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August 10, 2015

Balancing Technology Helps Sustain Healthy Marriages

by guest contributor Kelli T. Irvin

How much time would you say you spend on your phone? Is your time online affecting your real-life relationships? If so, you're not alone. People across the world continue to struggle to find the right balance between the digital and physical worlds when it comes to love.

The new advances in technology have definitely helped by providing the tools to be closer together, but there is also a darker side to digital romance. The use of social media and texting is a great way to stay in touch with friends and loved ones, but it's also important not to allow digital interactions to replace real-life connections. An article on ways to take your marriage "off hold" recommends putting smart phones or tablets away and spending that time focusing on your partner, rather than your Facebook status.

Feeling like your better half is ignoring you in favor of their phone can lead to resentment in a relationship. Also, depending on the state of your union, it can cause unnecessary distrust, paranoia and, worse, infidelity. Reports have shown that relationships with a healthy intimate connection are significantly less likely to experience affairs than those looking for more. This study on cheating habits found that 17 percent of those who are sexually satisfied in their relationships wouldn't even consider cheating whereas 52 percent of unsatisfied partners claimed they would.

This list of ways that technology kills relationships warns against some of the hazards and temptations these amazing inventions can create for users through overexposure to sexual stimuli, making it too easy to look up an old flame or do a little romantic "window shopping" online. Placing too much focus on unrealistic fantasies can negatively impact how people view their partners or the quality of their sex lives, sometimes when there isn't even a problem! That's why it's so important to take a proactive stance to your own relationship with technology and maintain a firm grip on your own reality.

One of the key ways to sustain a healthy relationship with your partner and your digital devices is to strive for balance. This means not only forgoing your phone for a few minutes but also taking the time for yourself and respecting each other's needs for space. It's important to take time to recharge and have a good think, which is pretty impossible when you're constantly bombarded by information!

When you get home today, try setting some boundaries for when and how you use the Internet. Maybe start by making a rule that no phones are allowed at the dinner table. Try taking the initiative and put away your phone first. Say that you'd like to spend more quality time with your partner so it comes of as a fun experiment rather than a scolding. Sometimes, cutting the cord can result in the freedom you need to put the fun back in your marriage.

Technology has opened a wealth of possibilities and, like any tool, its ultimate worth is determined by how you use it and making sure that it's used responsibly. Take advantage of these new abilities to make your relationship stronger rather than letting them create more problems.
 
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2 fabulous comments:

  1. Hi Kelli,

    This is a very important article, and I'm glad you wrote it.

    I fear that technology, which could be used to enhance our lives and save us time for things we enjoy, is replacing real relationships. Anyone who is entering college these days should consider orthopedics or psychiatry as people's obsession with phones will be a lucrative business for years to come (sore necks, addictions, etc). If someone is in a relationship and has to agree to put down their phone for dinner, I'm not sure how much of a relationship they really have at all. Sounds crazy that that is what we're aiming for these days!

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    1. Tammy, you are so right. On weekends my husband and I have breakfast at a local deli. We often see families who are all looking at their devices instead of each other - or even the food! Kids growing up like this will not learn how to relate well to other human beings.

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