The ocean of information found on the internet can keep your husband's attention for hours. It's easy to get lost in the endless pages, games and videos available to him, but if he spends too much time online, your relationship will suffer. But with so much entertainment, how do you get his eyes away from the bright screen of a computer, cell phone or TV?
You can't force him, but you shouldn't let it continue. Here are 5 things you should try:
1. Reconnect with him by talking
I am not suggesting you just say "Can you spend less time on your cellphone?" No, I'm recommending the more intimate experience of facing each other in a quiet place where there are no distractions and just talking. Yes, problems that need to be discussed will eventually come up, but take the time to just talk in the first place.
This quiet time allows you and your husband to reconnect, remember why you wanted to get married in the first place and feel closer together. In this intimate setting, you can address your concerns about his cellphone, computer or TV use. Explain how you feel when he spends more time looking at his screen than his wife.
2. Set boundaries
It's a good idea to discuss with your husband what rooms and times cell phones, TVs or computers are allowed. For example, keeping electronics out of your bedroom will make nighttime a place for more intimate and personal time together. Both you and your husband will know that when you are together in the bedroom the focus is solely on each other. Having the dinner table be a "no screen zone" means there are no distractions from sharing dinner and conversation in the evening. You will find the more you connect with each other on an emotional, intellectual and physical level, the less you or your husband will be distracted by the screens.
3. Consider counseling
There is absolutely nothing wrong with professional couple's counseling; seeking advice from a professional can improve even the best of relationships. On top of couple's counseling, make time to do one on one counseling with a professional. When you are both strong as an individual, you'll be a strong couple.
Also, don't shy away from counseling with your husband. By asking for his advice or compromising on an issue, together you are creating a strong bond. He will not want to do anything that will break this bond or hurt you.
Imagine what he feels like when he turns off the phone because you've asked to spend more time together and turns around to find you on you on your tablet. Don't allow double standards; if you've set a rule that he shouldn't scroll through social media while riding in the car (take this time to talk!), then this rule applies to you as well.
If you both start spending more time on your phones or computers, you might feel less frustrated by his phone or computer use, but your relationship will also start disappearing. Your computer or phone can never replace your husband's company.
I did this once and never want to do it again, but it was incredibly eye-opening. For two days (or how long you want your fast to be) you and your husband will not use a computer, phone, TV or any other electronic device. Decide beforehand if you can use electronics for work or an emergency, of course. You both will realize how much time you usually spend just staring at screens...and how you can now use that time to reconnect with your spouse. If you do a media fast once, you may never need to do it again.
Your marriage is so much more important than any social media or television streaming site. Don't let yourself or your husband get distracted by things less important. Trust your instinct and speak up if you feel like screen time is harming your relationship. He loves you and he will listen.
Stacie Simpson is a FamilyShare staff writer. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.