You love your iPhone and can hardly imagine life without it. You love asking Siri to tell you a joke when you're bored, or asking her which flavor of ice cream you should order. You love how much easier your life is now that you have 24/7 access to the news, your bank accounts and investments, a GPS, a camera and a kajillion other apps that you can't live without.
However, if you're not careful, your beloved phone can wreak havoc on your relationship. Here are seven ways your iPhone could be destroying your marriage — without you even realizing it.
1. Your iPhone is the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you touch before bed.
Hello people! Think long and hard about how wrong this is. Your husband or wife should be the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you touch at night ... not your phone. If you can't go a day without your phone, but you can easily go a day without seeing or talking to your spouse, then something is wrong, folks. Motivate yourself to nurture your marriage by reminding yourself to reach for your spouse before you reach for your phone.
2. You are constantly checking your work emails and you always bring your work home
If this sounds like you, then your job may slowly be killing your marriage. Set boundaries for yourself and try to avoid checking work messages while at home or out with your spouse. Sometimes there are urgent work issues that have to be resolved and times where you may need to be on-call, but hopefully those are the exception.
3. You are a more discouraged and depressed person because you spend too many hours comparing yourself to others on social media.
If you spend countless hours soaking up other people's lives and marriages and comparing them to your own, then you are going to find yourself feeling pretty down in the dumps. We all know that people tend to present a pretty rosy scenario on social media. Instead, put your phone down and go have an adventure with your spouse. While you are at it, choose to unplug and to not post any pictures to social media. Just enjoy the beauty of your spouse, your life and all that it has to offer you. Set goals, make plans and choose to create the life of your dreams.
4. You spend too much money buying things you don't really need
Shopping isn't bad, but if you are constantly surfing the web and impulse-buying, that can take a toll on your marriage. If you feel a need to buy things, then you are probably trying to fill a hole in your life. Talk to your spouse and find other things that make you happy, other than online shopping.
5. You are convinced that the only way to talk to your spouse is through text
For example, you text your wife when she is in the other room. She texts you when she is upstairs and needs you. You text him to ask about his big presentation, rather than simply calling to catch up for five minutes. Certainly, texting isn't bad. It's a huge convenience. However, a quick call from time to time, or a Facetime call, or walking into the same room and talking in person is going to make big deposits into your marriage bank account. Plus, moods can easily be misinterpreted through texts.
6. Your phone is your means to extramarital relationships
If you spend time viewing pornography, sexting, or participating in other inappropriate chat rooms or apps, then your iPhone use is certainly destroying your marriage. Whether you use your phone to text that girl from work, or to look up an ex on Facebook, those things aren't benefiting your marriage. Instead, use your iPhone to text your wife, or to post something kind to your husband's Facebook wall.
7. You are simply wasting too much time — too much of life — on your phone
If you were to participate in a survey about how many hours a day you spend on your phone (we're talking personal time, outside of work), would it trump how many hours you spend in quality time with your husband or wife? If so, you may want to take a look at your priorities. How you spend your time is a good indicator of what your priorities are. If you have prioritized your spouse and marriage above all else, that should show in the amount of time you spend nurturing your marriage.
Now, don't feel too bad if you recognize some of your own habits in this list. In this technology-driven world nearly all of us are guilty of at least one of these items from time to time. So, it's a good reminder for all of us. If any of these are causing you to ignore your responsibilities as a spouse, then your iPhone could be putting your marriage in trouble.
If you find yourself zoning out of life and staring at your phone during dinner, while you are sitting in the same room with your spouse, or while laying in bed, then you should take a look around and realize that life shouldn't be centered around a small screen.
This article was originally published on Nurturing Marriage. It has been republished here with permission.
Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.