Your marriage is a fairytale right? You both offer up sweet compliments to one another, share exciting dreams, deliver jokes, with the hope that they have the effect of bringing a smile to your partner’s face, and you basically just waste billions of words explaining to each other how bad you wanna kiss each other and how much you love one another.
Oh yes, this does sound very much like a fairytale!
Except this fairytale…
IS HAPPENING OVER TEXT MESSAGE.
Yes, you heard me right. You have a perfect marriage, or so it seems — a perfect texting marriage. Anyone else familiar with this?
For most married couples, the length of your marriage does affect, and sometimes decrease, the “romance” between the two of you. Add in the challenges of raising children, to a couple that is already many years deep into their marriage, and intimacy and true connection may seem like a foreign concept. Top all of that off with stress of work, financial worries and personal flaws and there is not a lot of time left for true connecting between you and your partner.
Often times, couples who are exhausted by life’s seeming hardships and day-to-day stresses, take their frustrations and anxieties out on their partner when they are together. But, there is something about texting, that on most occasions, makes you want to be sweeter, kinder and softer to your partner.
Maybe it is the fact that texting is usually done when couples are apart and there is distance; local or far. However, when you are in the presence of your partner, typically within your own home, you are less likely to be as nice to them. When you are both actually present, at the same time and in a location where you are surrounded by your to-do-list, your pet-peeves and the clutter/mess of life with multiple children, your grievances and dissatisfaction get amplified.
So, what can be done to combat this? What can be done to translate your texting fairytale to your actual marriage? I have some ideas…
— Use text messages more sparingly. Of course it is appropriate and encouraged to continue to send your spouse sweet nothings and intriguing emojis when he/she is at work, but do not let your romance towards them stop when they walk in the door, as that is your chance to truly strengthen your relationship
— Talk to each other each morning. Wake up each day with enough time for the two of you to sit down to have your coffee together and have a meaningful conversation.
— After work, after dinner and once the kids have gone to bed, don’t turn on the TV. Take your smart phones and put them in another room. Sit with one another and be sure to actively listen to what each other has to say.
— Be less controlling. What most people enjoy about texting is that they have control over what gets said and when it gets said. In-person conversations are different, in that there is more opportunity for sporadic and spontaneous rebuttals; it is harder for you to ignore the conversation, if and when it takes a turn that you do not like, since the person is standing right in front of you. This is why most couples try to avoid them.
— Embrace the complexity of real in-person conversations. The messiness of some conversations is one reason people steer away from actual intimate moments with another person, but in all actuality, we should, and want to be, drawn to these type of in-person discussions, as these are the conversations that will improve our relationships.
The above suggestions are not a magic fix for translating your texting fairytale into a real-life one, but they are, what I believe to be, some good and important steps toward such.
According to a HuffPost article, titled “Texting: The Relationship Killer” by Hannah Barbakoff, “In an age of digital communication, we are so connected that we’ve become disconnected”. Let’s mend that discrepancy between the relationship that you and your husband maintain over text and convert it to be just as sweet, loving, endearing and supportive, in person.
“A real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal herself or himself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want”. — David Whyte
Let’s have more real conversations…and more real-life fairytales.