If You Want a Stronger Marriage, Ditch the Cell Phone

Every day occurrences—a buzzing cell phone, a nosy ex, or even your co-workers— can cause a rift in your relationship. Here's how to tune them out and reconnect with your significant other

by Lois Tarter

In any marriage, there are often lots of outside distractions that can keep a couple from focusing on each other.  From children’s schedules to work duties to relatives visiting, the list seems to never end.  However, there are some distractions that a couple can avoid, which can make a big difference in their relationship.

You are in control of some things that can pull you closer to your spouse or pull you both further apart. With so many marriages ending in divorce these days, we have to look at all of the ways we can keep ourselves connected to our spouse.  The little moments that we miss on a daily basis may mean more in the big picture of a marriage than some elaborate vacation or lavish gifts.  Below, I've outline some of these common distractions that couples should look to avoid:

Too Much Texting: At restaurants you often see couples together constantly texting on their phones. Why go out with your spouse for dinner if you're going to be looking at your phone more than them?  If you want your marriage to work, here's a text you should send yourself: OMG, divorce your phone so you don’t divorce your spouse. 

After-Work Drinks: Sure, it's important to network and bond with your co-workers and business contacts, but going out all of the time after work will probably create stress in your marriage.  Nothing like your spouse having a hot, home-cooked meal waiting for you on the table and you're still out at a bar on your third martini with the accounting department.  Keeping the after-work drinks to twice a month is a good move.

Post-Dinner Laptops: How many of you sign online and send work emails or go on Facebook after dinner?  Here’s an idea: Cuddle with your spouse instead! TV isn't nearly as big as a distraction as a computer in a marriage.  When was the last time you and your spouse curled up with your computer and surfed the net for the rest of the night? You have watched a movie together or a favorite television show, though.

Ex-Spouse: If you have been previously married and have children, your new spouse might not take kindly to a demanding ex.  If your ex can't seem to stay out of your new life, you have to balance your past relationship and make sure you are showing your new spouse respect. They don’t need drama from your old marriage. And you don't need another divorce all because of an ex who can't keep out of your business. Find a healthy way to keep it all in check.

Long Distance: Here’s a scenario that’s frequent nowadays in this current economy…one spouse has a job and the other loses theirs.  One finds a new job, but it’s in another state. Then, one spouse relocates from let’s say New York City to Boston and the other stays in the Big Apple.  They have a long distance marriage and see each other on weekends only.  This usually does not work long-term.  If money is tight, try to downsize your lifestyle or cut back as opposed to you or your spouse taking a job far away.  

Not Enough Sex: We all need love and attention from our spouse.  With busy lives, you might not be having as much sex with your spouse as when you first met.  However, that doesn't mean you can’t still make it an important part of your lives.  Sex is an important way to connect and vital in any marriage, so make it an important part of your lives. 

To read Lois Tarter’s new book “The Divorce Ritual” click here!

Photo courtesy Robert Kneschke/Shutterst

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Comments

Brans02.27.2013

Thanks for the great article Lois! So many times we forget how easy it is to forget about the people we love in this distraction filled society we are living in. This is a great reminder to set aside the gadgets and focus on what's really important in our lives.

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