Today Courtney deals with the ways in which media can affect your marriage. She's done such a great job of it (make sure to read her post by clicking on the above link) that there's not a lot I can say differently, but I will add a few things.
Firstly, like Courtney, I resented the intrusive presence of cell phones and the computer.. long before it became a laptop and a Blackberry. As she says, it seemed to be 'omnipresent'. I hated the interruptions to conversations or family time that the ever-present cell phone seemed to bring. Just as Courtney admits, I felt that I was competing with both the phone and the computer for my husband's attention and I was losing.
It seemed as if my husband preferred to be on the internet than to spending time with me. I guess because it seemed to be something that made me seem petty and selfish I didn't bring up the subject for many years. The internet became my enemy. Cybersace held no interest to me, I was too busy raising a family and taking care of all the things I had to in my home.
It became more than my enemy after I realised that it was a source of entertainment for my husband that made me feel inadequate, bitter and resentful and introduced a poison into our marriage that slowly created a chasm between us. It was a silent and deadly destroyer, one that held us in its grip for many years, creating silent and unknown implications that would have a profound effect on our relationship.
Ironically, the internet became the thing God would use to recreate my marriage. Doesn't He have an awesome sense of humour? I got an e-mail account eventually and started using it to communicate with my husband, but it wasn't until I did one drastic cyber action (that I will share someday) that things started to change, first dramatically declining and then dramatically improving.
I began to use the internet to rebuild the passion and romance in our marriage, to communicate my needs, my feelings and to elicit a response from him. It seemed to me that I couldn't get the time or the attention to address issues or to build on our relationship so I used e-mail instead.
Now, let me interject here that this wasn't always a good thing. I had to learn that some things just couldn't and shouldn't be said in an e-mail and that I was pressuring my husband to respond to difficult issues while at work. While I may have been comfortable pouring out my heart in words.. he wasn't. There was definitely a period of adjustment here!
My advice is don't use the media to try to solve your problems.. it isn't fair to your spouse to force him to face difficult issues while in his working environment.
On the positive side though, we began to use our cellphones to text each other loving messages every day and sending off e-mails or sharing articles of common interest (some with a view to improving areas of our marriage) to let each other know we were thinking of the other person and missing them. This I highly recommend!
The ever-present media SHOULD be used, in my opinion, to keep our marriages healthy and to keep our spouses in our hearts and minds. There is so much we can do to keep that flame burning brightly.. and the internet, I have found, is chock full of opportunities.
It doesn't take much... a simple text saying how much you cant wait to be with him later. Sending an e-card or a little note reminding him that you love him. In the beginning I would send more than one a day. I cant tell you the joy I felt when I got a text from my husband or the thrill of getting an actual e-mail, even a short one, that communicated his love. It was like being a teenager in love again!
Let's face it... if we take the time out of our busy day to connect with friends on Facebook or chat with someone on the phone.. we OUGHT to be taking time to connect with the person who is supposed to be number one in our lives (after God of course!)
As Courtney says in her post, " technology is amoral. In and of itself it is neither good nor evil but rather the way you use it determines it’s morality. " Its up to us to use it wisely. Let's commit ourselves to using the resources available through the media to build up our relationships and improve our marriages rather than doing the things that would break them down.
Take it from someone who knows... its worth it!! ;-)