I had to take a minute to let that sink in.
I don’t know about you, but that didn’t sound weird to me at all. But then again, these words are part of everyone’s conversation nowadays that they’re hardly alien or weird at all.
It starts with that, doesn’t it?
One person decided to text a person and they started to talk for hours, ignoring everything and everyone else around them.
This is not a big deal if you‘re not seeing anyone. But it can get pretty darn annoying when it’s your spouse who’s doing it. He or she might spend the whole day texting back and forth with whoever it is, and you can’t even get a minute of their time. When you ask them about it, they say it’s just a friend.
Okay, hang on. Let me backtrack a little because even I feel as though I’m jumping the gun here.
I feel, ever since we’re more savvy with technology, many things have gone wrong with the way we live our lives.
Our kids are more glued to their tablets and smartphones than they’re with books or board games, many of us are hooked on online games that we spend hours and hours trying to win the next level, and one of the most common problems I hear from my friends is how their spouse spends hours on the phone talking to friends.
Isn’t this weird? I mean, you have your wife there, she’s watching TV with you and there you are on the couch, alternating between looking at the screen of your phone and the TV. Or your husband is watching the TV and you’re the one who’s playing Candy Crush.
Not a single word is spoken between the two of you.
Is it just me or I find there is something very wrong with this picture?
1 in 5 divorce cases in America was caused by Facebook and instant messaging. Arguments and fights between husbands and wives are most of the times caused by WhatsApp or some other instant messaging services. I’ve personally known 4 friends who were divorced because of affairs that started from instant messaging.
A friend, who recently went through a divorce not 6 months ago, bitterly said to me that nowadays relationships are just messed up – You can know everything about me there is to know but don’t ever touch my phone.
I don’t have to go far. I experienced it myself before. You just know that your partner is not talking to just “some” friends (read: guy friends) because
1. He’s on the phone from morning and checking it every 5-10 minutes and,
2. There’s that sometimes playful smile when he reads the text.
I can’t tell you how it drives me crazy while I pretended not to care. I don’t want to ask because I feel that it’s his space to talk to whoever he wants. But I feel like an idiot hanging around him trying to get his attention focused on me instead. Me. His wife.
Almost every other woman that I met has experienced this with their husbands. And when asked, they said he would almost always say, It’s a friend and we’re just talking.
I’m not just talking about guys. I know women do this thing too. I’ve done it as well. But just to see what it feels like to spite my husband by me doing the exact same thing he’s doing.
Of course, all hell breaks loose. I guess it’s all right if he does it, but not me.
But then again, thank God I hated it. It made me feel weird to be texting a guy at 2am in the morning and started flirting, because I know he knows that I’m married and I don’t want him to think that I’m being available that way.
Call me old fashioned, but I believe in changing the way I am once I’m married.
I might be too available, or too promiscuous or too easy before I was someone’s wife, but now that I’m married, I feel I can’t be that way anymore. Especially now I have 3 kids. I believe in women being liberal and open about who they are or their sexuality, but I draw my own line about how I need to behave now that I’m someone’s wife.
My mother taught me to take care of my actions and my words, especially around other men, because I’m now a married woman. I have an obligation to my husband and I can’t be embarrassing him by being flirty with other men. My mother said it’s okay if people think I’ve changed drastically or that I’ve become boring, as long as I don’t do anything to jeopardize my marriage.
To be honest, I personally feel all this secret texting and late night Facebook chats can jeopardize a marriage even though a lot of people that I talk to say that it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the intention to cheat.
I mean, I find it disturbing that your partner is sleeping alone in the bed and you’re talking away to someone until the wee hours of the morning. When asked, It’s just a friend. It’s not like it’s anything. Can you just trust me?
Ah, “Trust me”. That’s another phrase I feel it’s being overused in marriages and relationships.
With trust, I’m supposed to be okay if you’re talking to someone on FB chats at 4am. With trust, I’m supposed to be okay with all the comments you make on someone’s Instagram photos that are rather provoking. With trust, I’m supposed to ignore how I feel and agree with you that I’m overthinking.
You know what, maybe I am. Maybe because I’m a woman so I distrust my whole species for talking to my man. Maybe because I’m a woman, I feel that my man can easily fall for some other women that he spends hours talking to every day.
But before you think I’m on a men-bashing crusade because of my experience, I know for a fact women do it too.
My guy friend, also just went through another divorce, because his wife was always on the phone with a long lost schoolmate (who also happened to be an old flame) and ended up falling in love with her old friend all over again. My friend was devastated because they had a daughter and he thought he was being nice to her, letting her talk to her old friend. *Yes, I read his message with my husband next to me so there’s no secret messaging there, mind you.*
See where trust gets him?
I know it’s probably the wife’s fault that she abused his trust, but he did wonder if things would’ve been different if he told her not to text her friend too much.
This kind of things takes two to tango. If one person keeps on sending messages, but the other person never replied or replied curtly with one word replies, I don’t think it would’ve gone too far. People that I spoke to tend to say that, Oh, I can control myself. I know what’s the limit and I don’t flirt. It’s nothing.
But can the other person have as much control?
Say if I were to flirt with another man on the phone, then he would probably see it as an open invitation. Suppose he doesn’t flirt back (because he knows I’m married with kids), but never fail to reply me anyway, I would feel encouraged to continue texting him. And it goes from there.
People probably get thrills or something from this kind of thing. It’s exciting to know we’re texting someone that our spouse doesn’t know. Or that person says something your husband or your wife doesn’t say to you. We start to see other people as more interesting than the one we married.
My friend (the one who said modern relationships are messed up) told me that when she asked her husband what was wrong with her that he had to find someone else to talk to, she said he told her that she has started to bore him. That she’s no longer interesting.
In my heart, I felt this unreasonable anger toward her husband. Was it so hard for him to tell his wife this? Was it so hard to tell his wife that he wanted her to try something new? Or that she’s become so tied up with work and their kids that she’s no longer the woman he remembered her?
When a married couple starts to feel that other people is more interesting, more exciting than his or her own spouse, this is when the cracks start to happen.
One of the things that I’m really terrified of is how I might be boring to my husband.
How I wont‘ be able to excite him the way I did when we first went out. How he won’t get the butterflies anymore while thinking about me at work. This paranoia is worse when I’m running around the house with 3 kids while trying to squeeze in my writing projects, because I know when I’m this hectic person, I become snappy, sarcastic and spiteful toward anyone. I’m afraid this behavior might drive my husband away because he sees me as this annoying housewife that blabbers and bickers all the time.
My mom always says, When we start to feel our spouse is boring and no longer attractive, even the slightest temptation is enough to drive us away from them.
I can’t stop technology any more than I can stop the Sun from rising. But I honestly feel a lot of couples are affected by this and it’s completely unhealthy. I bet things were greater when technology wasn’t that advanced for married coupled now who were going out then. Couples actually talk and spend time together. They actually look into each other’s eyes and laugh while they share stories.
Call me old fashioned, but that’s the kind of relationship that I want for me and for almost anybody who’s going through hell fighting over text messaging.
But then, maybe I’m just overthinking and being absurdly jealous.
I guess I’ll just text a guy friend to pour my heart out to, eh?