In my work couples counseling in Houston, when one partner comes to me complaining about the other’s addiction to technology, the natural reaction I often get is for the accused partner to become defensive. They are not on all the time, that’s crazy. Why hasn’t their partner told them about this problem? They can’t just turn their phone off, they need it for work! This defensiveness comes from them feeling accused, and can cause even more marriage problems.
Instead, they need to understand how their overdependence on technology is making their partner feel: alone, abandoned, hurt. Rather than defensive, this is more likely to make them feel concerned and receptive to ideas. I do not, however, recommend suggesting “unplugging,” because technology can be like a lot of other addictions, and the threat of taking it away often brings those defenses back up.
Couples Counseling in Houston: How to Reach a Compromise
The compromise that I tend to offer is that the couple instead schedules in time for each other, and during this time neither one of them is allowed to let technology interrupt (outside of emergencies, of course).
In addition to this, I try to suggest ways that the couple can use technology together, such as a multiplayer game where they’ll still get to spend time together. Over time, you’ll both begin to feel more a part of each other’s worlds.