Post # 1
This is my first time posting. Don’t judge, lol. Lately I’ve become insecure in my relationship with my husband, and I feel it’s because of the silliest thing. My husband is always on his phone and it’s driving me crazy. He’s not just reading the news or whatever – he is in an actual text conversation with friends, clients, family pretty much all day every day. He uses pretty much all messaging platforms available: text, FB messenger, WhatsApp, email, or has conversations in FB groups.
We’re both busy. I work a regular full time schedule (office hours). He works 6 days per week, sometimes 7, spread over 2 jobs. I understand that he must be available to his clients, but there should be boundaries. Plus, many of the text conversations he has are with friends. These days when we’re spending free time together, I feel I’m interrupting him when I want to talk or share something. Because it’s likely that he’s in the middle of writing a text. It makes me feel like I’m not important and I often feel these people and conversations are coming into our home and are taking up the limited time we have together. Note that our schedules aren’t in sync and we typically only spend Saturday evening and Sunday together. Sometimes, it’s less than that even.
So, am I overreacting? Should at say something about it? If so, how do I bring it?
Post # 2
Hmm. He sounds like a busy guy. And while I understand that you have limited time with your husband, it sounds as if he has zero time to spend with others outside of work. While you are his primary relationship, you can’t expect that you will be his only non-work relationship
Post # 3
intjwife : I don’t think you’re overreacting, if you guys have such little time together I would be really annoyed by him continuing to be on his phone so much.
I would just be direct and let him know that it would be nice if he could put the phone down when you guys are spending time together. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend quality time with your spouse, just be honest with him about how you’re feeling.
Post # 4
jannigirl : It doesn’t sound at all like OP expects she’ll be his only relationship. It doesn’t matter how little time he has to spend with others; his wife should be a priority, and their time together should be quality. That can’t happen if he’s always on his phone.
OP, people are always busy and many have busy jobs, but that’s no excuse for his behavior. You need to talk to him and lay out everything you’ve said here: you have limited time together, you feel that you’re interrupting, etc.
Post # 5
In my relationship (which is obviously not one-size-fits-all, but might be a helpful point of reference), the rule of thumb is that if my SO or I are sitting on the couch or at our desk reading a book, playing a video game, or texting/browsing our phones, we will take a break if the other wants to talk. We’re good about allowing ourselves and each other some lazy moments and space to unwind, but when one of us is speaking to the other, the phone/book/computer goes on the back burner until we’re done. If we’re eating at a restaurant together, we keep our phones put away unless we’re sharing the screen to look at something or one of us is checking movie times, etc.
We live in a world that’s full of technology, and it can be easy to lose yourself in it. But when your husband keeps texting over you trying to have a conversation with him, it’s much the same as if you were standing there with another person and he ignored you/kept you out of the loop. He wouldn’t do that in person with a friend around, nor would it be acceptable, so he shouldn’t do it anytime. When the two of you are in person, you take precedence over a text conversation, period. He can respond later.
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2015 - City, State
You feel insecure because you come next to last on his list of priorities. You are his wife and should be priority number 1. You need to sit him down and tell him that he should prioritize his time with you and your needs much, much more. If he refuses to do so, you have a big, potentially marriage-ending problem on your hands. I get that he is a busy guy and has other nonwork relationships. But if he can’t make time for his wife, he needs to realize that his lifestyle is not conducive to even having a wife in the first place. intjwife :
Post # 7
I would talk to him about it for sure.
I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit like your husband. I have a big family with a lot of group chats (he’s in a lot of them, but he’s not a texter at ALL) and I have 2 friends that I chat to a LOT, plus work things.
BUT – I really limit that when it’s *our* time. If we’re out doing something together, having dinner at home, or are just chatting at home I’ll put the phone away completely. And if we’re doing our own thing at home, I may be texting a bit, but if he starts to make conversation I put the phone down and give him my full attention. (we also have most evenings and weekends together, not just 1.5 days)
It’s possible he’s just in the habit of doing it because you have such limited time together so he’s just used to being on his phone when he’s at home. I lived alone for a number of years before he moved in so I didn’t really realize I was doing it until he commented on it.
Just tell him exactly what you told us and ask him to limit it to work emergencies. You’re not being unreasonable at all and I’d bet he’ll be receptive.
Post # 8
intjwife : you aren’t overreacting – people playing on their phones drives me crazy. I harp on my husband about it constantly! If I take a breath in a story he pulls out his phone – he can’t handle even one second of not being distracted. I’ve always been this way, but since having our daughter I’ve been extra insistent on no-phone meal times. Life can get crazy, everything can fall to crap, but so help me God we sit at the table and share a meal together without any external distractions for at least 15 minutes. If you’re answering texts during dinner someone better be dead.
Post # 9
What are you guys doing while he is on his phone? I think it’s totally fair to say no phones at dinner or whatever, but if you are just watching TV and he’s on his phone, it’s not (imo) that big of a deal. If you’re having “passive” time together, I think phones are fine. So I think it dpends on what youre doing in your free time.
I do think if its bothering you that talking to him is the best thing though. Talking, not accusing or attacking. Use “I feel ___ when you ___” statements and convey how his actions make you feel.
Post # 10
Everyone’s busy. That’s not an excuse to be rude. And make no mistake, it is rude to be spending time with you but texting others throughout the event. Everybody seems to be conditioned to believe that the phone and its messages must be answered immediately, that it takes priority over anything else going on. That’s asinine. It entirely negates real life interactions in favor of a cyber-something on a screen. Your husband needs to adjust his priorities because this is f-ed up.
Or show him the clip of the woman who fell into a man-made pond in a shopping mall because she was too busy playing on her phone to look where she was going. It’s hilarious.
Post # 11
jannigirl : Should’ve specified. He does get time with others outside of work. He plays music with friends about every other week, does dinner / lunch with a friend about once a month, plays golf with friends in summer once a week. He also has work trips and considers some of his peers at other companies as close friends. During these work trips, they do dinner and drinks about every night.
Post # 12
jannigirl : from OPs update this isnt the case, but even if it was, why would other people get priority over his wife?
OP, can you talk to him? Maybe you need to have an honest conversation and maybe you can set a no device rule when you’re spending quality time together?
Post # 13
No you are not overreacting. He needs to put down his phone when he comes in. He is neglecting his marriage.
Post # 14
I feel like this is one of those little things that he probably has no idea bothers you but you haven’t brought up because you don’t want to seem demanding, but the problem with these little things is that over time they absolutely grate on you and grow until you snap and handle the issue poorly.
Don’t do that. If something bothers you, even if you think it’s silly, you need to bring it up. It doesn’t have to be an argument or even a serious conversation. You just need to say “hey, it’s been bugging me lately when you spend so much time on your phone because it makes me feel unimportant. I know that’s not intentional, but I’m hoping now that you know, you’ll try to be a bit more conscious of it.”
Post # 15
Just let your partner know that you’d like to set aside some time each evening where phones are off limits. My boyfriend mentioned to me that I’m constantly on my phone. And I am, my family and I have a group chat where we’re constantly texting each other. And I love browsing online shopping apps lol.
I genuinely didn’t realize my boyfriend minded until he told me. He didn’t make it a big deal so it wasn’t one. So now I make more of an effort to put the phone down and be present. It’s good to take a break from screen time to enjoy some quality time!