5 Ways Media Could Be Affecting Your Marriage

Keith and I were in Hilton Head, SC  7 years ago.  We had left our son with my parents to “get away” and enjoy each other BUT the Blackberry got in the way.  He spent quite a bit of time on it – so I decided one day at lunch to take his picture – since it was becoming a memory!  You will notice in the first picture – two sandwiches and in the second, only one.  I am guessing that many of you have experienced this – your husband may be close in proximity but his mind is distant because of technology.

I remember when my husband brought home his first laptop from work – it was over 9 years ago -before we had kids. He would sit beside me on the couch and tap tap tap away. I grew to hate the sound that his fingers made on the keys…the tap tap tap sound was like finger nails on a chalk board to me. Why? Because the laptop was competing with me for my husband’s attention!

Then came the blackberry only a year or two later. It was great because my husband could get all his email on it. Other guys warned my husband that the blackberry was an addictive device like crack cocaine- they called it the Crackberry! It was the omnipresence of the phone that was hard for me to deal with. It rang at the dinner table, in the middle of the night, in church, in the car while we were driving, and during family events. Now I was competing with a laptop AND a Blackberry!

Then our world changed and I got a laptop (and later a blackberry too!)! Now we could sit beside each other on our laptops! The tapping no longer bothered me because I was tapping now too! I entered the world of blogging, facebook, twitter, youtube, and skype. I loved all the connections and the sky was the limit to my learning – from recipes to decorating, to theology and motherhood – the web world fascinated me!

Has all this technology been a source of contention in OUR marriage? YES!  A thousand times yes.  We have time and time again revisited the conversation of how much is too much or when is the right and wrong time to be using it.

It is hard for me to remember back to the simple life – when the only media source we had in our apartment as newlyweds was the television! And it can be hard to navigate because there’s no role models on how to manage these things. I can’t say “well my mom and dad did it this way” because they didn’t have this technology.  Now we both have iPads and iPods – new technology taking more of our attention.  We have to daily manage our use of these items because we are aware that we can connect all day with the outer world while becoming distant with the person sitting right beside us!

I have said before that technology is amoral.  In and of itself it is neither good nor evil but rather the way you use it determines it’s morality.  I have benefited greatly spiritually from all the media resources I use daily but I’ve compiled a list of pitfalls that I see for marriage and media:

   1. Time – we must be aware of how much time we spend on-line versus making sure our husband’s needs are met.  Especially the bedroom needs…just sayin lol!

2. Beware of Inappropriate relationships on-line. 

 “Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8) I read recently on mashable that over 20% of divorces now site the use of Facebook as one of the reasons for their divorce – usually it led to an affair.  Though my marriage is strong, I want in no way to leave a cracked door for Satan, so I have chosen to delete all men (except relatives) from my friend list on Facebook.  This is a personal conviction and I’m not saying all women should do this – but if you are currently talking to an ex-boyfriend on-line or flirting with a man other than your husband stop – and take whatever measure you must to break off any innappropriate relationships. 

3. Disrespectful talk about husbands on-line. 

When I see it – I cringe.   We must carefully choose our words when referencing our husbands on-line.  Because Facebook is so public we must be careful to not complain, criticize, and vent about our husbands for the whole world to see.  I have innocently shared details about my husband without his permission and upset him.   Once I shared something I thought was funny that happened to him – and let’s just say – he did NOT think it was funny!  Oops!   We live and we learn and we do better next time.  It’s important to listen to our husband’s feelings and respect them.  Remember God’s word says: “let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Eph. 5:33)  Our talk about our husbands on-line should stand out and be different than the worlds!  No husband bashing – rather use the platform to sing his praises!!!

4.  Sadly the Internet has introduced p*rn into Christian homes that just 10 years ago no one had access to.

 I have not experienced this in my marriage – but if you are a wife in this position I have compiled a list of 11 resources for wives whose husbands are addicted to p*rn.

5. Looking at other’s lives and growing jealous, discouraged or discontent. 

I should probably write an entire blog post on just this one topic because it is a serious problem that social media has created for women.  While it is fabulous to connect – it can grieve a woman who is tight on money to see someone else’s vacation pictures.   For a wife whose husband never takes her out to dinner, it can be painful to hear about date nights for other couples.  It can create comparisons and a “the grass is greener” elsewhere mentality which is poison to your marriage!   We can wrongly believe that another husband is better than our own by comparing them spiritually, romantically, financially or physically.  All men are flawed (just as we are), all marriages are flawed – do not be deceived into believing that the grass is greener – rather water and fertilize your own lawn – make your grass greener!

So I’ve shared the negatives – but I know there are many positives.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on media and your marriage.  I invite you to leave a comment in the comment section  or if you are a blogger – write a post about Media and Your Marriage, include the Media Mondays button and then link up below.  I look forward to hearing from you all and I will be visiting as many link-ups as I can (within my 3 hours a day limit :)  )

 

Walk with the King!

I apologize that I am having some button trouble – for some reason the code is not working? I’m still learning wordpress and am not sure why when I plug in the code it doesn’t work? argh!  Anyhow, if you would copy/save as the logo and link it to Women Living Well – I’d greatly appreciate it.

For the Media Mondays Weekly Topic List click here - next Monday we will be discussing Media and Our Parenting.

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve got no comments about media and marriage, as I am a single mom. I did during the course of my marriage realize that my hubby was lost in the land of p*rn and never had the desire to get away. But as a single woman I have found myself seeking attention from guys online and with my phone. Too many nights I have found myself texting some guy into the wee hours of the morning. Checking and re-checking to see if they’re online. Leaving me too tired and cranky for my responsibilities the next day. Taking care of my home, my children and my schoolwork and even (dare I say) my quiet time with God.

    Thankfully God got my attention and should be the harm it was causing and I’ve since stopped and refocused where I needed to. It’s a hard line to tow single or married.

  2. says

    I love this post… I am more addicted to technology than my husband and there have definitely been times where I’ve seen his frustration. It’s something we have to work on. It’s challenging because it can be all consuming because chances are, there is a device of some sort ringing or beeping or vibrating close to you!

  3. says

    I will be honest and say that I have, too, been distratcted by media. In our home it is the TV. I have to say that sometimes I wish we would haul them out! I have learned though, to be patient, and to just give it all to God!
    Great post! Thanks for the encouragment!

  4. says

    Thanks, Courtney.
    I think Technology has changed our lives in certain ways.
    When my oldest kids were young, every morning I sat them at the table, sun pouring in the windows and we would all listen to Patch the Pirate music and talk over breakfast.
    At lunch, I would read aloud to them.
    As they grew, I realized that their lives are literally being sucked away by mindless hours of video games, etc. (we don’t have tv, so we are dealing with just video games and computer.)
    It really has affected us. We are more disconnected.
    I think our major problem is that we really do underestimate the tactics that Satan will use.
    If we are distracted, we are not teaching our kids God’s word like we should be. If we are distracted, we miss some of the teachable moments.
    Great topic.
    Thanks for posting.
    Sarah

  5. says

    Thank you for posting! The Lord has been really speaking to me on this very subject and not only with my marriage but my family in general. I have really been noticing how much time I ‘waste’ online that I will never get back. Those precious minutes or hours with my kids and hubby are time that I will never get back! This just confirms what I already knew in my spirit….that it is time to turn some things OFF!

  6. says

    Now, here’s where I’ll just sit back and learn from the married ladies ;) :) I’m still single. However, my dad and I both love the comp uter…using it for checking emails, Facebook, blogging…or most of the time listening to sermons/Bible studies on-line for my dad. So we’d make breakfast and he’d take his meal upstairs wile I was eating breakfast alone. It eventually started happening with lunch and dinner, too. Finally I said “No more… The computer isn’t so important that you can’t at least spend meals eating in the same room…”…or something to that affect. I don’t remember my exact words, but I was frustsrated and my dad saw it. So now we eat all meals together and it’s really fun :) :) we laugh, joke, tell stories, talk about the day etc :) :) Now we have our own lives for sure…but it’s nice to sit down for meals as a family :) :) Have a great week. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  7. says

    I have recently really explored your website… and I love it!!! I had a question that doesn’t directly pertain to the topic at hand, but I was wanting your biblical advice. How do you determine what is an overconsumption of “things” and waht is God’s material blessings?? I live in a lovely home and have nice things, but I sometimes feel like I need to live like a pauper to be a Christ follower. Now, I know that isn’t true and that God wants to give us blessings, but I feel like it’s hard to find a balance. I’m sure my sleep-deprived, mommy of two brain has left you confused with my question, but I’m hoping you can understand what I’m trying to ask. :)

    Thanks~ Liz

  8. says

    Loving this series!

    It was so funny, I remembered you saying in a previous post about not having men on your facebook that were not family. So yesterday when I wrote my Media Monday (it will not post till tomorrow) I mentioned that. Then came here tonight and you said it again. :) Great post and encouragement.

  9. says

    “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive.” 1 Corinthians 10: 23. Says it all!

  10. danielle lihzis says

    myhusband and i date for several months when i noticed we txted more then we talked. we spent more time on our phones even if we were sitting with each other. When my husband deployed to iraq online is all we had esp with the new internet. When we got married we set online boundries quickly as a way to establish connection. As long as hes not bashing me or our marriage or treating someone more then friends its fine. If something does arise online we make sure to tell the other immediately. I make sure hes fed promptly and the laptop is something that is a night thing. I will not compete with an electronic device of any kind in my marriage. I learned quickly if you post it, your open for comment and i dont like when others bash my husband so i shouldnt either. But if it wasnt for fb or the interent my contact with my husabnd over seas i think would be more limited. We also institued a date night when hes home where its just him and i. No phones not computers,just us. And well be celebrating a one year wedding anniversary in sept . But most people to dont appreciate what marriage has to offer, seeing how divorce is so popular. 1 out of 5 people date online and 50% of marriages break before the first year. I think its media and what you have as an example.

  11. says

    I’m really enjoying your series Courtney! My hubby and I have somehow managed to balance our time spent online. We enjoy sharing website and video finds with each other, and often watch movies on his computer. He’s housebound without a car every day, so the internet is his main social interaction and God is showing him more and more how to use it and the information he finds to reach out to others. Now that our boys are both teens, we do get out of the house a lot too, whether it’s a true date night, a quick dinner down the street at the local BBQ joint, or just breakfast and Saturday morning errands.

  12. says

    Great post! I love your honesty and know God will use this and all the other posts in this study to make a huge impact on families! Very timely. Big hugs!!

  13. says

    Hi Courtney- What a great post today! I struggle with this all the time because my husband is in social media. He is constantly researching, reading, working, always with the iPad, macbook, iPhone in hand. Its funny because until I got my iPhone I was not as crazy with social media. Now I find myself at times wanting to check my twitter stream even when I wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom! I feel like we have the “we need to calm down on the technology” talk at least once a week, especially how much we are on our phones/computers in front of the kids. Its an incredible new struggle but another way that we can learn to lean on God and ask for His guidance. Because my husband needs to be on his computer and phone a lot for his job, I need to learn how to talk about the technology use without him feeling like I am disrespecting him. Its a work in progress but glad I’m not the only one struggling!
    Jess

  14. says

    I will be linking up tomorrow but I’m a week behind. I started late but I’m loving reading what you have to say and I hope that I can read more of other people that linked up too. I really think that a lot of women are being convicted on these things right now and I’m glad to be able to share and grow and hopefully impact my family and friends by linking up and sharing what I discover too. Thank you so much for your post and you past posts.

  15. says

    We’re currently watching a marriage of almost two decades disintegrate in no small part due to an inappropriate relationship via texting.

  16. Ann B-H says

    I have been trying to encourage “one screen at a time” in my household. Having older teens and a husband who is very “plugged in” This is very difficult to achieve. This become painfully apparent to me when we were all (supposedly) watching a movie or show together on TV when I realized all of them are watching with laptops or tablets open. I may be losing the battle but I think it’s an important reminder that technology can prevent us from being in the moment and in the moment together.

  17. Sharon says

    I can so relate to sharing something about your husband that you had no idea he did not want shared! My husband is extremely private, and I am not! I’ve learned that if I am going to mention something in regards to him on my blog, I ask for permission first. And I think he’s given me permission every time I’ve asked! Until you started this series, Courtney, I had my laptop on the kitchen table and was on it every chance I got. Even when my husband and toddler were in the room with me! I have since moved it to my desk and am so happy that I am spending less time on it since it’s less convenient to sit at my desk! I don’t know a lot of people in my city and have gotten together with some ladies here a few time. And every time I walk away thanking the Lord for my husband! They mention negative things about their husbands and it makes me so grateful that I married the man that I did. Hmm, though I know we aren’t supposed to compare so maybe I shouldn’t be doing that! You made such a great point about how easy it is to compare ours lives to the lives we read about online. I needed the reminder that I should focus on my grass and not other peoples. Thanks Courtney!

  18. says

    The DH and I are rapidly becoming equal partners in our quest for online social media presence. I’ve been a blogger for 5 years and recently started a blog just a week ago. I’ve been on Facebook and Twitter, then he slowly joined in- it’s almost like he felt if you can’t beat’em join’em. I’m lucky in the fact that we respect each other’s motives for being online, but there has been contention and striffe in the past (before he came to Christ we fought like cats and dogs over the subject). At that time we just had different motives- he was a gamer and I was seeking anything that was a distraction from him ignoring me 12+ hours a day. We have grown, and grown so much together, that I feel confident and comfortable with social media in our home now.

  19. Jenny says

    This has really hit home. We have only 1 computer but 2 tvs now (we just got a 2nd tv about 8 months ago after 6 years of marriage) and since we have got the 2nd tv I have thought about throwing it out the window, we both sit in 2 different rooms at night and watch different things so we never talk and someone is always on the laptop (often its me). I struggle with this throughout the day also and I have 2 kids to be taking care of. Thank you so much for the encouragement I cant tell you how many days and nights I have cried out to God to help me with this media “addiction” in my home and espcially with myself. Thanks again!

  20. says

    Courtney, you have so much wisdom in this post! Most of these things I can relate to on a personal basis. I agree with not having males as friends on Facebook, it may seem drastic to some, but I’d prefer not to have temptation to begin with. From the beginning of my marriage I have constantly asked myself what would be like ‘cheating’? For me, I have always wanted the focus to be one one man and one man only.. I deliberately did not encourage male friendships. as I felt that my husband must be held in the highest honour. After many years, and dire consequences, my husband finally realised that female relationships were undermining his relationship with me.. that I was not held in the highest honour as a wife should be. Praise God for His wisdom and for not giving up on any of us!

    Thank you for this wonderful series you are doing.. I pray that many of us are enlightened by it!

    God Bless!

  21. says

    My husband and I have not had a t.v. in our house for five years. The computer has slowly crept in to replace it, so I have still been glued to something–how sly Satan is! Now we have been intentional about our time spent together, and lately we have been reading “Essential Truths of the Christian Faith”. My husband reads the chapter aloud, and then we go over the Bible verses at the end. It has been such a rich time together, instead of one of us (me) mindlessly staring at a computer screen.

  22. says

    Hi Courtney!
    Delighted to find you through Relevant 11 site!
    My name is Teresa~I live on Bainbridge Island in WA.
    I just know I’m going to LOVE your blog and YOU!
    So glad I found you~
    Subscribing!
    Yes~yes~yes!
    Technology!
    Last night before bed I was in the bathroom of all places.
    Hubby was already snug in bed.
    I was checking Facebook~twitter…instagram!
    Ridiculous!
    I kept thinking Greg’s already in bed.
    WHY are you doing this!!!!!
    Sadly for me…by the time I hit the sheets…hub had already drifted off.
    I learned a lesson.
    *Don’t take iphone to bathroom before BED*
    xo
    Happy Day to YOU!

  23. says

    Does anyone have a good recommendation on a couples devotional? I’d like to have something to slowly help wean us off of media and spend that time together!

    Thank you!

    Peggy

  24. says

    Hi,
    I found your article via Facebook and so glad I did! I chuckle to myself right now as I type this from my iPhone but in all seriousness I recognize myself in what you’ve shared here. This is a great article for anybody to read, not just married couples but anybody invested in any relationship; siblings, single parents, best friends, new friends, ect. I tried to join/follow your blog but not sure if it went thro this time.
    Thank you for exposing a little bit of light in my world where shadows often lurk. I plan on sharing this with my husband later today. And I will also reference it on my Facebook wall too as I feel it’s very valuable to read.
    God bless you!!

  25. says

    Awesome message! My husband and I have went through everything that you mentioned as far as technology goes. The only thing we don’t do is text. I do believe that if you are sitting on the couch with your laptops; there is something wrong with that pictures. We do need to just have time wth each other and communicate. I fear for the youth of today because with texting they aren’t learning about how to really communicate to others. Thanks for sharing all of these thoughts and links. I will be forwarding this to children; so they re-evaluate where they are on this issue.
    Blessings to you !

  26. says

    Great post, Courtney! Thank you for sharing this warning. We must be careful that nothing becomes more important than spending time with our spouse.

  27. Sarah says

    Yesterday marked 1 year of marriage for my husband and I. He works as a Programmer and a lot of technology is used in our home too. It’s become a point of tension many times and the more we talk about it the more we realize we have to come to an understanding about when is a good time to use it and when is not. I relate largely to the word you used Courtney, “omnipresent”.
    One thing that HAS helped, is scheduling our time. We are very recently doing this. But we keep a white board calendar for general week to week planning. If there are things he wants to accomplish with technology/learning then it gets on the calendar that way, it’s a planned event rather than an unwelcomed one. Technology has become so much apart of our lives and “progression” is unstoppable. But we can learn how to set boundaries and God gave us discernment and way to know where we each need to draw the line. Thank you for your post sister, it was timely.

    Love you girl!

    Sarah

  28. says

    Thank you for this post…so glad you’re doing this series!
    I can most relate to #5 (growing discontent, jealous, etc)
    And I am so glad you included it because I NEVER hear anyone else admit this. But it is the #1 reason I dislike Facebook. It’s exactly as you said…I can be feeling fine, but I sign on to facebook and see my friend uploaded her photos from the beach and I start thinking “How long has it been since WE’VE been on vacation?!” I see where one of my friends comments on a mutual friend’s page about a recent coffee date they shared and feel left out. I read status updates about the accomplishments or awards my friends’ children have earned and start to feel like mine don’t measure up. It’s crazy!
    Thank you SO much for showing me it’s really NOT just me that has a tendency to do that. ;)
    Amy

  29. says

    Well said! You know, it used to be television that came between couples but now it is all types of media and they are all literally always at our fingertips – at home, at work, in the car, in our pockets, on our sides. My pastor-hubby has always said that the tv is a ‘marriage killer.’ I believe we should extend that to include all types of media. We really have to be diligent to keep these things in their places!

    • maria says

      hello ladies,

      Here I am at work because I feel lonely and upset. my husband is totally addicted to his IPad and i keep praying for the Lord to show him how bad is this for all of us. It takes time from our marriage, our bible reading and teaching time with the boys… it feels now as if the Ipad is the firts thing he grabs in the morning as soon as he opens his eyes and it is the last thing he touches before falling sleep. Ladies I beleive we all should set free-technology time and areas in our homes or the devil will win this one. As if mariages were not destroyed enough with all the crazyness around us, we now have to also fight with a phone a computer or a tablet for our husbands attention. it is so sad… I ask you dear Courtney to please pray for my marriage and all other marriages that are facing trouble and lossing intimacy with GOD and with one another because of these gadgets. Thank you all and may the Lord pour out His blessings in all of your homes.

  30. says

    This is a great reminder for me. Often its me – not my husband – that spends too much time reading blogs/twitter/facebook on my iphone. And I definitely agree with number 5. It can be really easy to start comparing ourselves to other people. I heard a great quote from Steven Furtick recently: “Don’t compare your behind the scenes to other people’s highligh reel.”

  31. says

    We have a home office where the computers and laptops are located. I find that having this setup has lessen our time online. Shut the door and walk away!

  32. says

    This is a great post! I agree with everything you said… especially #5. Thanks for sharing! Definitely some things to think about…

  33. says

    This is great. This is a good reminder for me. I too often spend too much time on Facebook, twitter, etc. It’s definitely something I need to work on. Thank you for speaking the truth!

  34. says

    Hi Courtney! I really enjoyed reading your post about media. Sometimes, I find the best place to close out the world is in our own backyard. I’m your newest follower and how you follow me, too.

    Helen of Helen’s Decor

  35. says

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    I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will be gratefl if you
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  36. Dr. David Carter says

    I am a Counseling Pastor in my retirement. I lived before even home with a telephone. I am now user of email, text, and once in a while my smart phone. I am noticing more of my clients face their partners social media message and record of searches and Facebook friends. You mention what happens when one person’s success causes jealously, regrets, and too much transparency and self-disclosure. I predict more research will report that there is a new contributor to divorce-a major cause. If I were to work on a dissertation, I would write it on social media. It is not the cause of corruption, but almost gives the deceiver a platform for dishonesty, disrespect and distrust. Now that I have a Facebook page, I get email from other social media that someone is searching for me. I think: “what if I didn’t have my love or God, my wife and my Christian character. Eighty percent of persons are not at this level of high character. Those are motivated by selfishly motivated desires.

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