My wife’s addicted to her phone. What should I do?
You couldn’t imagine this can happen to you. Your wife spends far more time on the smartphone than she does with you. Your soulmate is absorbed reading the Facebook feed, checking Instagram pictures while completely ignoring you and kids. And it drives you crazy. You identify yourself as a loving, caring husband and you have no idea what could go wrong and what to do. We’ll provide you the hints to deal with a wife addicted to the phone.
Is the situation like this rare?
Specialists say addiction might be one of the most challenging situations for married couples. Living with an addicted person is hard luck that might end in a break or even divorce unless the addiction is stopped. In fact, cases of phone addiction among spouses are not rare recently. The growing impact of smartphones on relationships in the family even caused an emergence of the term “partner phubbing” meaning ignoring a partner while being occupied with a phone or other mobile device. One survey shows that 46 % of its respondents experience phubbing by their partners and nearly 23% confessed it causes arguments with the other half. Moreover, a third of the surveyed felt depressed because of partner’s phubbing.
What are the signs your wife’s addicted?
If you still not sure there’s a serious problem in your family, look at the signs proving your beloved one is likely to have an addiction. So, if your wife:
- spends much more time communicating online instead of chatting with family and friends in real life
- sleeps with her phone under the pillow
- responds messages or comments at any point of the day and night even if you having time together
- uses her cell phone at the wheel
- never goes out without her phone
- takes food with her phone next to her
- checks every single notification
- has unsuccessful tries to reduce phone usage
- places relations and job in threat because of obsessive cell phone use
Where to start with the help?
If your partner’s addiction makes you feel anxious, scorned or even depressed then it’s high time to crack down to help your wife. To start with, find out the genuine reason for your wife’s behavior. Perhaps your wife just kills her time with a smartphone. Social networks keep her busy. There is a possibility your beloved find your relationship boring and routine so that the phone helps her to get distracted and fill in time.
She might also not fully realize that her actions hit you or vice versa she might intentionally avoid you. To figure that out, ask your addicted to smartphone wife to spend an hour together without any distractions. Then be interested if she goes nuts on you or you’ve insulted her in any way. If that’s the point let her explain the matter. Try not to interrupt or defend yourself, just listen and imagine yourself in her shoes. When she finishes, discuss what you can do to garner her attention back.
If it’s not the case and your partner isn’t angry with you, share the way you feel with her. Tell your wife that her phone addiction makes you feel down and ignored. The dialogue may be like this: “Dear, I’m very much looking forward to having time together. I’d really appreciate if we turned our phones off during dinner or at the cafe and focus on each other. In such a way I will feel less frustrated and I might be more caring. I hope you’ll support this initiative and we’ll both enjoy our leisure time”. Highlight her neglection concerning you and children while she concentrated attention on the phone. Of course, expressing your feelings might be difficult but it shows commitment to the relationship that your partner might find attractive. Calm and honest communication can be a start for your reconnection and bring you back together.
Remember that there are some things you shouldn’t do while talking to your wife addicted to her phone. Keep them in mind when you communicate with your spouse concerning excessive phone usage.
- do not blame a person for the addiction. You won’t have any positive outcome with that and another quarrel is granted. Instead, do your best to encourage and collaborate.
- avoid disrespecting and putting your partner down. As a result, you might get a protective response and hostile behavior.
- refrain from serious conversations while your spouse is absorbed with her smartphone. Her attention will be distracted and she won’t fully understand what you’re saying. Kindly suggest putting the device away and discuss the matter.
The main thing is to create caring and loving atmosphere in order to get positive feedback. It should help to go ahead and deal with addiction.
How to help your addicted partner?
One of the effective methods to deal with addiction is community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT). The approach includes taking the following steps:
- Talk to your partner in an empathic and nonjudgmental way. The true concern will reduce confrontation and help to build rapport with your beloved one
- Сreate a list of your wife’s positive traits which you appreciate without excessive phone usage. This helps to stay objective and creative supportive environment
- Suggest your spouse keep self-regulatory strategies. It’s vital to establish rules to ensure both of you have the same expectations. This will also help to avoid conflicts and disappointment in future. Look at some ideas:
- no gadgets at mealtimes
- phones put on silent and kept out of sight when you go out together
- no devices in the bedroom before sleep
- device off while driving
- during conversations the attention should on the speaker and the phone be put away
- benefit from the special application like Kidslox to help with decrease phone usage.
What can be concluded?
Remember that coping with addiction requires your patience because stopping the obsession might take months. It takes time for your wife addicted to her phone to see her behavior has a detrimental effect on your marriage. The change is likely to take place gradually so don’t be anxious and impatient. Cooperate to work on your relations and resolve the problem together. Like any other contretemps in a marriage, excessive phone usage should be considered and discussed. Your spouse might not be aware there’s a problem unless you say about it. Cell phone shouldn’t be a drawback in your relations in the age of technology. Don’t hesitate to start a conversation right now and save your marriage.