I talk often about being too busy, a major marriage problem for many. A related problem is being so distracted we don’t give our spouse the time and attention we should.
Relationships require time together. Not time in the same room doing two different things; time talking (and listening) and time doing things together.
Many things can distract us, but for most the common culprits are things with a screen. TVs, computers, tablets, game systems, and smartphones have become incredibly powerful, and they can offer us a huge array of information and entertainment.
This is not exactly a new thing. I remember before one could record television (yes, I’m that old) people would plan evening events around their favourite television shows. The VCR “freed” us from that, but it also allowed us to record more shows than we could watch. The same is true for our other gadgets; they offer us more than we can possibly consume. Yet, even though we have too much, we stand in line for the newest phone or the newest release of a game.
I’m not against technology. I have five monitors in front of me as I write this. I get all my news on-line, and we stream the shows we watch. The question is this: do we have the self-control to use our devices wisely, or do we allow them to eat up so much time our relationships suffer? Are we master of our devices, or have they mastered us?
I have no idea how one draws the line, and it’s different for everyone. Start by being aware of the danger, and then watch yourself for a while. If you can’t go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without checking your email, you may have a problem. If you spend more time interacting with a device than your spouse each evening, you may have a problem. If you regularly stay up after your wife goes to bed to watch something or play something, you may have a problem.