Wife's blackberry usage


#1

I'd like to get some advice from everyone in here about something that has been bugging me lately.

First of all, we have 3 kids, aged 4, 3, and 18mos and we get along pretty well and have a lot to be thankful for in our family, however there is something that has been bothering me lately. My wife has a blackberry with the facebook app and seems like she spends a lot of time on it, either on facebook, sending text messages, or talking to her mom. She will get pretty defensive if I ask her to set it down for a little while or ask her to give it a break so I will usually reserve my comments about the blackberry when it seems like the kids really need her attention. She will "include" me by telling me the comments she saw or tell me who she is messaging, but many times I'm feeling left out. She is a great mom and wife so I don't want to give her an ultimatum or do anything extreme so I'd just like some suggestions on what I can do, if anything to help make this situation a little better. Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation? Thanks.

-Johny


#2

Can you define "a lot of time?" How often is she on it?


#3

Have you told her how much you don't like this? How much it bothers you? How hurt you are by this?

Ask her-"If the roles where reversed, how would YOU feel?" (That usually works)

Prayers your way my friend.


#4

If you have tried telling her how you feel, perhaps she's not "in a place" to really care how you feel. That's an issue for another day, but perhaps she might be motivated to put down the Blackberry if you explain to her how it's affecting her children?

When she engages with her phone, she's missing out on dozens of opportunities to engage with her kids (or model a healthy marriage for her children by engaging with her husband). I know there are studies out there on the topic because my girlfriend had this same issue with her husband recently.


#5

For many people, the internet, Blackberries, iPhones etc become an addiction very quickly. I have had many discussions with people who's marriages were being strained by this addiction by one or both parties. Classical symptom is being defensive about it. Another sign that it is an addiction is to see if you wife is willing to give it up... say for Advent... or maybe just for Friday's during Advent. If she can't... then there's a problem. I don't know the answer except to say you may need to treat it as a addiction, like alcohol or drugs, and speak to your priest about it together. Don't wait for it to tear you and her apart.


#6

I would say that all together she is on the blackberry for about an hour a day, spread out all throughout the day. Morning, noon, night, a little bit here and there. Its hard to say for sure since I've never timed it and it goes up and down.

I've never really sat down and told her how I feel about it, but I have brought it up when it seems especially inappropriate to use it such as at the dinner table, while spending family time together. She usually gets defensive and it sometimes leads to a heated argument so I try to avoid bringing it up if I can.

I'm thinking about seeing if she will go along with some rules such as no blackberry at the dinner table, etc. Does that seem fair?

-Johnny


#7

[quote="JohnnyXS676, post:6, topic:221120"]
I would say that all together she is on the blackberry for about an hour a day, spread out all throughout the day. Morning, noon, night, a little bit here and there. Its hard to say for sure since I've never timed it and it goes up and down.

I've never really sat down and told her how I feel about it, but I have brought it up when it seems especially inappropriate to use it such as at the dinner table, while spending family time together. She usually gets defensive and it sometimes leads to a heated argument so I try to avoid bringing it up if I can.

I'm thinking about seeing if she will go along with some rules such as no blackberry at the dinner table, etc. Does that seem fair?

-Johnny

[/quote]

I think your being more than fair, but don't tell her "the rules" like she is a child. Say something like, "Baby, can we agree to this...."


#8

Johnny:

You are not alone on this issue. My wife recently got an iphone and I was amazed at how much time she spent on it. The first several weeks it was almost laughable, and I have gave her a hard time about it..mostly in a joking way. After a few weeks of being inseparable from her iphone, she has slowed down a bit. She still uses it a ton, but it isn't a constant thing any more.

[quote="JohnnyXS676, post:6, topic:221120"]
I would say that all together she is on the blackberry for about an hour a day, spread out all throughout the day. Morning, noon, night, a little bit here and there. Its hard to say for sure since I've never timed it and it goes up and down.

[/quote]

To be honest, this does not seem all that excessive, imo. Of course, it isn't my opinion that counts..and your feelings on the issue do matter whether or not anyone believes her use is excessive.

it, but I have brought it up when it seems especially inappropriate to use it such as at the dinner table, while spending family time together.

Yes...I agree that it is using the phone during dinner and other family times can be inappropriate, and I imagine that she actually would agree.

I'm thinking about seeing if she will go along with some rules such as no blackberry at the dinner table, etc. Does that seem fair?

I think this is a reasonable request (avoid the whole "rule" thing, though). I would recommend you have a conversation to share your feelings and ask if she could avoid using the phone at dinnertime, but I would have this conversation at a time when you aren't engaged in an argument about her phone usage. She will be much less defensive if you bring up the issue outside of a "excessive phone usage episode."


#9

[quote="JohnnyXS676, post:6, topic:221120"]
I would say that all together she is on the blackberry for about an hour a day, spread out all throughout the day. Morning, noon, night, a little bit here and there. Its hard to say for sure since I've never timed it and it goes up and down.

I've never really sat down and told her how I feel about it, but I have brought it up when it seems especially inappropriate to use it such as at the dinner table, while spending family time together. She usually gets defensive and it sometimes leads to a heated argument so I try to avoid bringing it up if I can.

I'm thinking about seeing if she will go along with some rules such as no blackberry at the dinner table, etc. Does that seem fair?

-Johnny

[/quote]

I don't like to talk on the phone at all, probably since I'm on the phone all day long at work. Texting is too much trouble on my phone. From what I see around me, however, a total of an hour doesn't seem like that much. I definitely agree that using any of these types of devices at dinner is very rude. My ex-husband was self-employed and most of the people he worked with didn't have kids. We tried to have a "rule" about not answering the phone during dinner, but he did anyway. I wasn't going to spank him or stand him in the corner. It became an opporunity for the kids to see that the rules don't apply to Daddy. They both think the rules don't apply to them either. I would consider what would happen if she does it anyway before agreeing to some set of rules.

Does she have a job or is she home with the kids all day? I was home with the kids and most of my neighbors spoke different languages so I felt very isolated. This was a long time ago, and I didn't have any of those things, but if someone called me in the evening, I was dying for adult conversation. When he was home, he was still working. Maybe there are more sides to this than you see from your perspective.


#10

[quote="JohnnyXS676, post:1, topic:221120"]
I'd like to get some advice from everyone in here about something that has been bugging me lately.

First of all, we have 3 kids, aged 4, 3, and 18mos and we get along pretty well and have a lot to be thankful for in our family, however there is something that has been bothering me lately. My wife has a blackberry with the facebook app and seems like she spends a lot of time on it, either on facebook, sending text messages, or talking to her mom. She will get pretty defensive if I ask her to set it down for a little while or ask her to give it a break so I will usually reserve my comments about the blackberry when it seems like the kids really need her attention. She will "include" me by telling me the comments she saw or tell me who she is messaging, but many times I'm feeling left out. She is a great mom and wife so I don't want to give her an ultimatum or do anything extreme so I'd just like some suggestions on what I can do, if anything to help make this situation a little better. Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation? Thanks.

-Johny

[/quote]

Is she an at-home mom? If so, please keep in mind she is home ALL DAY long with 3 small children and no other adult contact. That's describes me! I am thankful for my fellow Catholic FB moms to connect with during the day. My husband gets to leave in the morning, have a half-hour commute into the city....in total quiet if he wants, then he's around co-workers for another 8 hours, and can choose a quiet 1/2 hour commute home. Not me......I wouldn't change being an at-home mom for anything, but I do love the ability to communicate with my friends throughout the day, if needed. Try looking at things from her point of view......She most definitely needs adult contact!


#11

[quote="JohnnyXS676, post:6, topic:221120"]
I would say that all together she is on the blackberry for about an hour a day, spread out all throughout the day. Morning, noon, night, a little bit here and there. Its hard to say for sure since I've never timed it and it goes up and down.

I've never really sat down and told her how I feel about it, but I have brought it up when it seems especially inappropriate to use it such as at the dinner table, while spending family time together. She usually gets defensive and it sometimes leads to a heated argument so I try to avoid bringing it up if I can.

I'm thinking about seeing if she will go along with some rules such as no blackberry at the dinner table, etc. Does that seem fair?

-Johnny

[/quote]

One hour out of the twenty-four hour day doesn't seem all that excessive to me. If she were neglecting her children (putting them in danger by not being a responsible mother, feeding, clothing, loving them, etc) and rather be on the blackberry instead, then I would think it was a MAJOR problem.

But you yourself said that she was a good mother and wife, and if she needs a bit of time to herself than that's certainly understandable. I can only imagine it's straining being a good mother of three young children. And I certainly wouldn't think that conversing with her mother would be a problem.

But then again, I'm probably bias as I'm a woman. :shrug:

The rule, such as, no phones at the table (wouldn't be unfair.) I suppose, different people could take it offensively.


#12

Johnny - is your wife suffering from depression?

Does she need some me time?

Do you two need some us time?

If she doesn’t work outside of the home, I would really recommend seeing that this two things Me and Us Time get scheduled…yes, scheduled.

I can tell you, taking care of kids all the time and not having any me time can lead to wanting to be on the computer and basically escaping.

Or she just may be needing to connect with grown ups.

Like PP, I’m probably a little bias as a woman. :smiley: And if it’s only one hour a day, really, that’s not much, I have a friend that when I do talk to her about once a week, it’s for an hour on the phone. so…


#13

[quote="Rascalking, post:7, topic:221120"]
I think your being more than fair, but don't tell her "the rules" like she is a child. Say something like, "Baby, can we agree to this...."

[/quote]

But you can say baby, baaaaaby can I hooooold yooou toniiiiight?

Sorry, had to do it. :p


#14

^^^^ LOL! :D

Ok, so I remember reading this article not-too-long ago and I feel that anyone who reads it and has a "problem" with internet addiction may get a wake up call...

Perhaps your wife can read it and take the "attention" test? It's kind of fun to take anyway. :)

Anyway it's a good article I feel...and show's the problem tech can have on people's (especially families) lives.

nytimes.com/2010/06/07/technology/07brain.html


#15

My husband says that I stay on my iPhone too much too. I check fecbook, text, and a few other sites throughout the day. But what he doesn't understand is that since he is a salesman he is on the phone contantly. He is on call 24 hours a day, and there are no rules as to when he will or will not answer the phone. So when he is on the phone, I don't see why I can't be on mine. And don't get me wrong, my husband is a great and wonderful man but sometimes it's boring listening to him give the same sales pitch over and over. So maybe, just maybe, she's reacting you something that you doing. Or something else that it could be, my phone gives a little chime and shows updates inthe screen, and it catches my attention and I will look at it and decide whether to respond or not. Maybe she does that too, and it only feels like it's excessive because the evenings are your time. But either way, if it bothers you that bad, it is something that she should work on. And yes, I am workin on my "habit" also. :)


#16

I have had the same problem, but I was the culprit. I spent way too much online on various Catholic and homeschooling sites (not facebook and such). My husband reached me via a few things...

  1. For Lent, he suggested we ALL (me,him and our children) give up screens (TV, Computer, ipods, phones, gaming systems, etc.) every Sunday for the full day. We all were against it, but he really asked that we do it and it really helped me see my 'addiction' and jump back in to really enjoying my kids.

  2. He asked, before that time, what HE needed to do to be engaging to me so that I could get offline every evening and spend time with him and the kids, or even reading or exercising.So, he did not condemn me but made me see that I was making him feel inadequate, which he was not.

  3. He asked that we CUT online access from our phones as a cost cutting measure to help our finances. I went along and thus I only could be on here when at home infront of the screen...not in the car, while sitting in the family room, etc.

Maybe try some of these...especially the Lent one as that is just months away. I will pray for you!

Taben


#17

How long has she had the blackberry? I just got one a few weeks ago and spend a lot of time with my new toy, but I expect the novelty will wear off after a while.
What if she were spending all her time knitting? or praying? Both these would take her attention away from her family, though I guess you would not be so upset - is it the interaction with other people you don't like?
If her blackberry use is impinging on family time, remind her gently that you feel a bit left out - rules are not the way to go with a grown woman!


#18

[quote="JohnnyXS676, post:6, topic:221120"]
I would say that all together she is on the blackberry for about an hour a day, spread out all throughout the day. Morning, noon, night, a little bit here and there. Its hard to say for sure since I've never timed it and it goes up and down.

I've never really sat down and told her how I feel about it, but I have brought it up when it seems especially inappropriate to use it such as at the dinner table, while spending family time together. She usually gets defensive and it sometimes leads to a heated argument so I try to avoid bringing it up if I can.

I'm thinking about seeing if she will go along with some rules such as no blackberry at the dinner table, etc. Does that seem fair?

-Johnny

[/quote]

RULES about the Blackberry? This is your WIFE...your marriage partner! She is your equal, not your child, employee, or anything else that you would need to set "rules" for.


#19

Pick up your blackberry/droid/iphone when you are at home and she is on hers and send her a message on facebook

Hey hon - I'm home I love you and want to spend some quality time with you

That will probably shock her back into reality


#20

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