20 Oct Member Letter: “My Phone Was Destroying My Relationship”
We regularly look to our members to share their anonymous confessions. Whether they’re sexy rendezvous, success stories, or relationship musings like the one below, we want to hear what’s affecting you and your relationships. Read below as one of our members comes to the realization that she’s sabotaging her relationship, and think about sending us your anonymous confession at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I always panic when I get caught not listening to someone. I should have been paying attention, but instead I’ve been messing around on my phone. It’s a bad habit that we’ve all most likely been guilty of at one time or another; scrolling through Twitter, constantly checking emails, and replying to messages from friends while trying to keep up with group chats. My phone just constantly calls for my attention, it’s constant blinking and vibrating makes it hard to not reach for it.
Maybe if I check it often enough I’ll be able to pull even more of that feeling of being instantly connected to someone.
I’ve been thinking lately about how much I use my phone and saw a call for anonymous submissions. Maybe this is a confession? Does this count as a confession?
It doesn’t have any of the sexy details that a confession should have but I’ve sinned in my relationships—except my biggest infidelity lies in my constant attention to my phone.
It’s started causing problems in my relationships though, because at dinner or cuddling on the sofa I should be paying attention, but instead I’m constantly searching for a deeper connection. Despite being surrounded by people, I’m glued to my phone. Bombarded by the stimulation that it’s glowing screen provides keeps me entertained, keeps me constantly connected to the world at large, and without that constant stimulation I feel lost.
Obviously the phone is only a signal for a bigger issue in my relationships, and the more I think about it the more I worry. Is my smartphone making me more stressed? Is it making me less connected rather than more connected? Is it bad that I would rather spend time texting multiple people than actually spending time face-to-face with someone?
All signs point to yes and I just wish that I could get all of the benefits of smartphones without any of the negatives. That’s not how life works but I can wish it anyway.
Everything that I’ve wanted can be found in a combination of having a husband and a boyfriend. My husband knows that I’m seeing someone on the side and we’ve talked about it. For us Ashley Madison was a saving grace. When our marriage was losing its spark we turned to each other and decided that having an open marriage was the best way for us to stay together, open and honest instead of having an affair. For the first time in probably 10 years, I feel completely fulfilled.
So why am I still so connected to my smartphone if I’m happy in my relationships?
It has become a safety blanket for me. I can look at my smartphone to let someone know that I’m not interested when they approach me on the subway. I can stay in touch with my friends no matter what time of the day it is. I can never be bored. The downside? My husband gets neglected at the dinner table when my phone inevitably buzzes. My boyfriend is annoyed when I tell him “I just need to send this one last message.” I know it bothers them, and it would probably bother me too, but it’s such an addiction for me.
This is the power of the smartphone, but if it’s damaging my relationships, then I need to take a step back to look at my habits. Tossing my phone away isn’t an option. Just like laptops and the internet, smartphones are a part of our lives, for better or worse.
But my phone was destroying my relationship. My husband stopped trying to make plans with me, and I have this feeling that my boyfriend is going to start seeing other people.
I just need to pay more attention and be more mindful. In any kind of relationship, a little attention can make people feel good.
It’s time to put the phone away.