Hold the Phone: How to Keep Technology from Taking Over Your Marriage

by |

F

amily movie night. We usually have a movie night once a week, but this week something struck me. We were sitting in front of the tv watching the film, but our faces were buried in our phone or tablet while the movie was playing.

Breakfast table. We sit down to eat breakfast and both have our phones sitting on the table. When the conversation has a lull or we feel bored, we can just pull up the screen on our phone to fill the silence as we munch on a piece of toast.

Do either of these scenarios sound familiar to you?

Screen time can so easily creep in and create division between spouses. When we’re bored, uncomfortable, or want to isolate ourselves, there’s an easy distraction right at our fingertips.
Technology can be fun, provide a lot of entertainment, and provide a great way to keep in contact with others. The problem comes when we start engaging with our screens more than our spouse. We have to be aware of how technology is impacting our marriage so that it doesn’t create wedges.

But how do we keep healthy boundaries on technology in the midst of our marriages (and, if necessary, break the bad habit)?

  1. Have dinner together
  2. Intentionally have dinner together, turn your phones on silent, and keep them off of the table. By keeping them off the table, we remove the distraction. Having dinner together is a great way to connect with one another after a long day. Talk with each other, ask questions about your days, and take time to connect.

  3. Choose nights that don’t revolve around TV
  4. When we were first married, our routine became work, Netflix, bed. With money being as tight as it was and with the problems we were facing, TV became our saving grace. We were absolutely exhausted at the end of our work days and TV was all we had the brain power to do…it also became a great way to ignore our problems. With a show on, we didn’t have to talk or engage with one another. After we started our crisis counseling, we knew that we needed to change our routine. We decided that we Monday through Friday we would leave the TV off. We found that with this rule, we started to have more fun together. We started playing games, going on walks, and becoming creative with ways to fill our time together.

  5. Talk time
  6. Take time to talk with your spouse without the distraction of your phone. Adam and I love to go for walks or sit and have a cup of coffee so that we can take time to talk. During this time, we put our phones away, out of sight.

  7. Intentional Mornings
  8. Before reaching for your phone in the morning, kiss your spouse and tell them that you love them. Your spouse needs to know that they are more important than your phone.

    Have your quiet time or take time to pray before reaching for your phone after you wake up. While not everyone has their quiet times in the mornings, we should be setting our hearts and minds on what matters most at the beginning of our day. By taking the time to connect with the Lord before our phone, we are setting our priorities correctly.

  9. Go off the grid for a weekend
  10. This may seem like a crazy notion, but take a weekend away as a couple and intentionally turn your phone off for the WHOLE weekend. Give the number of where you are staying to those who will need to get ahold of you in the case of an emergency, but leave your phone off. This will allow us to fully focus on our spouse and connect in a new way. Adam and I do this every few months to intentionally focus on one another.

  11. Take up a hobby
  12. If we fill our time with enjoyable things, then we can begin to separate ourselves from the hold that technology has. Take a dance class, a cooking class, take up running…get creative.

  13. Put your phone away from your bed at night
  14. Choose a place that is not right next to your bed to put your phone while you’re in bed. We have our phones in our bedroom, but on a table in the corner so that they can charge overnight. This keeps us from having them right next to us in the middle of the night or in the morning when we wake up. They’re also programmed to automatically silence all calls and notifications from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM. That’s our time as a couple.

  15. Lean into being bored or uncomfortable
  16. Technology is a great place to escape when we want to distract ourselves or if we‘re uncomfortable. It automatically gives us something to do with our mind so that we aren’t just left with the company of ourselves and our emotions. Rather than reaching for your phone, allow yourself to think about what you’re feeling. If you’re happy, savor it, if you’re not, dig a bit deeper and share with your spouse.

  17. Ask your spouse about your phone usage
  18. This is a difficult one, but ask your spouse if they feel that they are second to your phone. Open the conversation. Be willing to listen as they share how they feel. And if they feel left out, start to make changes so they don’t.

Do any of these suggestions bring anxiety? If you are feeling anxiety about any of these suggestions, that’s a pretty good indication that you might need to make some changes. As Mark Batterson says, “Anything you can’t fast from, controls you.”

It took time for us to feel comfortable putting away our phones. The first few weeks felt like torture as we were trying to find things to do or to find things to talk about. The transition took a while, but now we barely find ourselves watching TV and we are easily able to put our phones away. We still struggle sometimes, but the more we’re able to disconnect from technology, the more we feel connected to one another.


“When we are fully present, we open the door for intimate connection.”

Share Tweet


What this all comes down to is being fully present with your spouse. When we are fully present, we open the door for intimate connection.

Where is technology creeping into your marriage? Have you and your spouse had open and honest discussions about technology? Let us know in the comments below…

Will you join us?

Have you been blessed by our ministry? Do you want to help bless others? If so, we’d be honored if you’d pray about partnering with us.

Our mission is to encourage and challenge couples to have a solid foundation built on Christ. Because when couples have their foundation rooted in Jesus, they are then empowered to do whatever God has laid upon their hearts.

Want to join the mission to help couples have awesome marriages? And also get early access to new content? Partner with us today.

Want to dig deeper?

Check out Radiant Marriage Academy, our free 16-lesson course!

Tiptoes

(Fully free. No catch.)

adam & Jess

Hi, we’re Adam & Jess--we’re so glad you’re here!

Our marriage got off to a rocky start in 2014 and quickly escalated into a full-out crisis. God healed us, and now we're inviting you to walk with us as we all journey toward healthier marriages together!

7 Days to an Awesome Marriage

Check out our free eBook and connect with your spouse!


7 Days to a More Intimate Marriage

Follow Us

Treasuring the Tiny Moments

The goal for the day was simple...Get food for dinner and prepare a delicious meal for our friends who were coming over (while still social distancing). I had gone to the store and had everything that I needed...except for the fish. I was planning on making fish with...

Choosing Your Spouse Over Your Checklist

We published an image of a quote on our social media not too long ago, and it struck me in just how profound it is. The quote, by D.L. Moody, is this: “If I wanted to find out whether a man was a Christian, I wouldn’t go to his minister. I would go and ask his...

How to Love Your Spouse Through Their Rough Day

There I was in my car in the garage processing through the events of my day. You know those days where everything just seems to go wrong? This was that day. From dropping a smoothie onto the floor in the morning to having a rough interaction with a friend to work...

7 Game-Changer Questions to Fight Disconnection in Your Marriage

Have you ever gotten to a place in your marriage where you felt completely disconnected from your spouse...and didn't have a clue how you got there? In these times, it can be so easy to ignore the problem and become apathetic. In the moment, ignoring things seems like...

10 At-Home Activities to Do as a Couple

Let’s be honest. The past few weeks have been a bit insane. Have you been going a bit stir crazy? Have you craved being with your friends or family? Do you miss hugs? Are you finding yourself losing track of days and time? Us too. In the midst of being under “shelter...

4 Ways to Take Charge of Anxiety

Army. Green. Couch. Can you picture it? Now hold onto that image and I’ll come back to it. If you have read my posts for any length of time, you know that I struggle with anxiety. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I realized how much I can fixate on things…...

Faith in the Midst of Uncertainty

I t was dinner time when we found out that Washington had issued a “shelter in place” mandate. While we live in Idaho, Adam works in Washington. And Washington was the first of the two to issue the mandate. Like many of you who have these state rules right now, we...

7 Ways to Grow Your Marriage During COVID

This last week has been insane. I feel like I woke up on Friday last week and the world had started to end. Grocery stores were being emptied, in-person church services had been canceled, schools were closed, and my graduate program was put on hold...and I couldn’t...

Abandoned, Alone, and Afraid

Abandoned, alone, and afraid. These three words have been the theme of my feelings over the last month or so. We're in this weird stage of life where so much about our current situation feels unsettled and nothing is secure. Our finances, not having a home base, our...

Building Momentum in Your Marriage

Having a great marriage isn’t based on one moment, one action, or one success, but rather a pattern of right actions (and corrected wrong actions) over time. This may seem obvious--doing the right thing is commonly best practice--but the effects are less obvious. It’s...

Want to build an awesome marriage?

Get started with Radiant Marriage Academy, a 16-lesson online course to help you build an awesome marriage.

The best part? Thanks to our patrons, it's completely FREE. No credit card. No upsell. No catch. Just great, free marriage tools to help you make your marriage awesome.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest