Dear Aquila and Priscilla:
Our together time in our home has been replaced with my wife spending all her leisure time on her cellphone. She is consumed with playing games, texting, and using Facebook that absorbs several hours of her time.
I miss spending time with my wife and participating in activities together as we did earlier in our marriage. I am feeling neglected. When I try to ask a question or make a comment, she answers, but we sit mostly in silence and ignore each other. Must I accept this as the new norm that seems to have swept over our society and wait for her to tire of this activity? I have gently mentioned my dismay, but when I do she becomes defensive and says it is her time. Do you have any advice on how to cope with this? – Neglected
Facebook, texting, and gaming can be so absorbing that when people sign on for “just a minute,” the next thing they know, two hours have flown by. It is especially discerning when spouses spend Facebook time with the opposite sex. This can lead to an emotional attachment and then perhaps to a physical one, especially if done with people from previous relationships.
Discuss this again with your wife, and this time tell her you miss the closeness you had when the two of you shared activities and that you are lonely. You might suggest having a date night once a week to rekindle the mutual attraction you experienced early in your relationship. Spending time with each other apart from everyone and everything else is no less important after you’ve been married for many years than it was in the beginning. No matter how long you’ve been married, you’re still a couple, so it’s important to get involved in activities specifically suited to couples. If this step is eliminated, the couple connection begins to loosen and becomes progressively less important.
Also, look for projects or hobbies you can share with each other and with people with similar interests. You can sign up for a Life Group at your local church; take classes at a Community College, Local Library, or City Parks and Recreation; or take walks (with higher temperatures a shopping mall is a great place to stay cool). Kidnap her for a romantic weekend, without electronics and set short and long-term goals during this time to rekindle your relationship. Continue to visit our BCC Marriage Ministry Website to learn of other ideas to enrich your marriage.
Aquila and Priscilla