Too Distracted

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.

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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.

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6 Comments on “Too Distracted

  1. It may not work for everyone, but I have found that if I schedule specific time with my wife, we each work towards those times together. It is a form of having an accountability partner. I mention to Elaine that I have something I need to share or talk to her about something special and we set the time aside. One of our sons is in the Army Corps of Engineers. So guess who has been out of a pay check lately?  Of course we are concerned for him and his family.  We have turned the TV off and her “Nook” off to focus on our son’s needs and to pray for him and others who are in the same predicament.
    Let your bride know how important it is to you to connect with her each day through verbal communication. You will be amazed the fringe benefits!    
    The Best Is Yet To Be!!!!  — Jerry

  2. Any time that you can cull out of a busy day to spend time together is time well spent. However, recognizing opportunities to spend time on each other requires a willingness to do so, first, before It becomes foremost. Changes in life can create new opportunities that were not there before. For instance, now that I am in school again, I can get up with my Precious One every morning and prepare our breakfast so that we have about 20 minutes each morning to be with each other. When I was employed, we planned a dinner at home or a date night on one of my (rare) days off. Now, we can have a date night every week because I take my son to music lessons in the evening close to where she works. Because we search for ways to spend time together we find them. So, the demands of our devices don’t become a problem. Indeed, a willingness to shut the da** things off will preceded finding these opportunities.

  3. thanks for the refresher  My fiance and I, both widowed seniors, use electronics to help fill the void. Now we are relearning to set them aside for each other

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