Cell phones are great tools and have basically become another appendage to the human body. Like any piece of technology, it can either help enhance or destroy your relationships. This has never been more true than with your spouse.
The private nature of these devices can enhance intimacy within marriage or can cause your mind and eyes to wander elsewhere. There’s nothing wrong with a cell phone or the apps that you use. The problem lies in your unhealthy appetite for greener grass.
When trouble comes in your marriage (and it will come), you have to understand the traps that await you and how you can avoid them. Here’s what I’ve found in my own experiences and by counseling many other couples.
I still remember the first text message I ever received. It was from a high school friend who later went on to star as a basketball player at Notre Dame and eventually play in the NBA. (To not sound tacky I won’t name drop here) 🙂
I remember thinking “What the heck is this? I don’t even know how to respond. Why would a person use this and just not call?”. Well obviously since then I’ve crawled out of this cave and joined the rest of society. I honestly only know of one person who doesn’t text, and doesn’t indulge on social media…my mom! (P.S. She doesn’t read my blog either)
But texting has become second nature. As a husband or wife, you must keep boundaries. Texting each other is a great way to keep each other informed, impassioned, and in love. But texting others of the opposite sex too frequently, too freely, or too flirty can get you in a lot of trouble and cause great pain to your spouse.
We used to call these “private messages”. But let’s be honest, nothing online is really private anymore. Conversations can be copied, screenshot, and shared. Chat rooms, Facebook Messenger, Twitter’s Direct Messaging, and many other venues offer the illusion of instant and seemingly secretive messaging.
Are there ever messages that you’ve deleted because you didn’t want your spouse to see them? That’s a red flag that something inside you knows this isn’t right. If you have to clear your messages, your cache, or your history, then you’re beginning down a road that will only lead to misery.
Tell me, is there EVER a reason that you should send a picture of yourself to a friend of the opposite sex? The answer is usually no. It takes you down a slippery slope. Eventually, you begin to like the attention, the comments that soon follow, and before you know it you begin to crave the relationship with this “friend” more than that of your own spouse. Save the pictures for your family.
Maybe that’s too nice. Let’s just call it what it is….Cyber STALKING. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to see someone’s pictures and read their deepest thoughts. Maybe you’re beginning to think their life looks much better than yours. Maybe you’re thinking that you could make them much happier than their own spouse. Entertaining these thoughts are deadly to any marriage.
Would you still be looking at those pictures and reading every post if your significant other were there looking over your shoulder? If the answer is yes, then your intentions are probably noble. But if you even have to think twice about how to answer, then you need to steer clear from that person’s wall.
This may sound really old school, but hear me out. Married men shouldn’t have close female friends. Likewise, married women shouldn’t have close male friends. I’ve seen many marriages end up in trouble because of frequent or inappropriate phone calls to “friends”. Unless it’s totally business related, there’s no reason for you to call them up.
Marriage is more than just being partners in life. It should be about being each other’s best friend. When you’re best friends with your spouse, you think about them all of the time. When something great happens, you can’t wait to tell them. When something horrible happens, you feel the immediate need to let them know.
When ANY friend, male or female takes priority over your spouse, then your marriage is beginning to drift. But if this person is someone that you’re attracted to (whether physically or emotionally), or if this is someone that you’re beginning to rely on more than your spouse, then you’re already way off course.
THE CELL PHONE CHALLENGE
Here’s something I want to challenge you with. It’s something that Marilyn and I have done for years and it has truly brought us closer.
You’ll think it’s strange at first. I’ve had many people tell me that they’ve never even heard of couples doing this. What is it??? Here’s the challenge:
GIVE YOUR SPOUSE YOUR PHONE
Not permanently of course. Here’s what this looks like…
- Give your spouse permission to see your phone at any given time.
- Let them, unannounced, use it for a day.
- Let them have all of your passwords.
- Let them “snoop” all they want and don’t complain about it.
In a way, it keeps you accountable in the area which is probably the most private area in your life. To be a man or woman of integrity means that you are the same person in your private life as you are in the public eye. Would you be able to hand over your phone to your spouse right now?
That answer says a lot about your marriage, your integrity, and your priorities..doesn’t it?
CHALLENGE: If you’re willing to take the challenge, please share this on social media and let others know that you are making this commitment to your spouse.
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