Is technology making it easier to drift apart in our relationships?
Instead of talking, we sit on our cell phones. Date nights become us chatting about what we saw on Facebook, instead of what’s been going on in our own lives. We spend hours that families used to have together watching Netflix or YouTube videos.
But that doesn’t mean it’s all bad!
Just like everything, technology is a tool, and it can be used for good or for bad. I’m so happy to have Diamond with us today to give 10 ideas of how to use technology to enhance your marriage, not detract from it! Here’s Diamond!
There is a lot of talk about the ways technology can cause problems in relationships. As with any issue, though, there is another side to the story. When used deliberately, there are many ways technology can bring you and your husband closer together.
Here are 10 ways technology can actually enhance your marriage.
Instead of listening to the radio in your car, consider trying a podcast. There are thousands of podcasts available through outlets such as iTunes. A simple search for “Christian marriage podcast” will reveal great options such as “Anything & Everything” and “Sex Chat for Christian Wives.” These podcasts have great stories and tips for strengthening your marriage. Some shows are humorous while others are more serious. With so many choices, you should be able to find something that appeals to you and your spouse.
UPDATE: And now I’ve got a podcast, too! Every Wednesday night there’s a new episode, and then I do a post with lots of podcast extras. Check it out here! Or subscribe to “To Love, Honor and Vacuum” wherever you listen to podcasts.
2. Text Messages
Texting is something you probably do every day. Yet what’s in the messages you’re sending to your spouse? Do you use texts to remind your husband to pick up the kids or stop at the store for milk? While there’s nothing wrong with that, you can also use texts to send special notes, reminding your husband why you love him. Make it a point to send him at least one romantic or flirty text every day. You might be surprised how much of a difference this will make in your relationship.
Here are a few of my favorites to send (and receive):
- “Thank you for being you and for being mine.”
- “I was just thinking about the way you kissed me this morning. I can’t wait to do it again tonight.”
- “I looked at that photo of [the time we did that thing] and remembered [fun memory].”
3. Subscription Services
Online subscription services have exploded in popularity in recent years. You can get monthly boxes in the mail with anything from wine and candy to clothing, makeup and accessories. One subscription niche you may not be familiar with is date night boxes. These boxes provide fun activities for couples. Most include a theme with an activity and conversation topic included. Activities can be anything from painting to cooking to dancing.
My husband and I received one such subscription box for couples as a gift. We expected it to be kind of lame, so we weren’t in a hurry to open it up. It collected dust in the closet until one Saturday night where we didn’t have plans. We cracked it open along with a bottle of wine and were pleasantly surprised by how much fun we had. Our box included a dessert we made together and an art project that required us to both contribute different parts, but still work together to complete it.
We spent the evening laughing and talking and generally having a good time. It was a great night, and we’re looking forward to ordering another box soon.
4. Meal Services
If your marriage is anything like mine, then “what’s for dinner?” is a question that haunts you daily. Eliminating the hassle of meal planning and grocery shopping can free up a lot of time in your week. Consider trying a meal delivery service such as Chef’s Plate. These services allow you to log-on to a website or an app and choose weekly meals for delivery.
Once you’ve placed your order, the service will send you pre-portioned ingredients along with recipes and cooking instructions. Most meals require 30 minutes or less of cooking time, and you’ll get to try new recipes, such as Nashville-Style Hot Catfish and Three-Cheese and Broccoli Stromboli. You and your husband can even try making these meals together for some additional quality couple time.
5. TED Talks
As a couple, especially if you have children, it can be difficult to find time to sit down every week at the same time to watch something together. Instead, why not choose a TED talk a day, watch it while on your lunch break, and then discuss it together at night? It will give you something to look forward to doing together every week but doesn’t require a lot of energy or planning.
Is the honey-do-list a constant source of arguments in your marriage? Instead of nagging your partner to do the chores you want to be completed around the house, try an app such as TaskRabbit. You can get help with anything from building a bookshelf from Ikea to hanging a picture. All you do is post the project on the site and you’ll be matched with Taskers who have experience in the area. You can communicate directly in the app and see hourly rates before making a selection. After you’ve chosen someone, he or she shows up and completes the work and payments are completed automatically through the app.
You might be thinking hiring someone to do the work your husband could do for free doesn’t make financial sense. But how much is a peaceful marriage worth to you? My guess: a lot.
7. Online Calendar
How many fights in your relationship started because one of you forgot something that was important to the other person? Nobody’s perfect, so it’s likely happened to all of us at one time or another.
My husband and I decided to solve this problem by creating an online calendar solely for the two of us. We each are responsible for putting in important things affecting our relationship such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. We also use it to mark out personal time for girls’ nights or guys’ weekends. It’s provided a great way to communicate and eased the burden of expectations on both of us.
You can use a free program such as Google Calendar to set up your calendar and create parameters that work for both of you. You might be surprised at how this small change can impact your relationship.
In addition to text messages, video chat apps such as FaceTime are a great way to stay connected with your spouse. This is especially true if one you has to travel or work long hours away from home. The app can also be a nice way to check-in when you simply want to see your partner’s face and feel a little more connected as a couple.
9. Happy Couple App
There is an app for everything these days, including your marriage. The Happy Couple app is a fun way to boost your relationship and learn things about your partner you never thought to ask. The app uses a quiz-style interface and presents questions about both you and your partner.
You both answer the questions, and the app compares your answers. It can be fun and surprising to learn new things about your husband, especially if you’ve been together a long time.
10. Silent Alarm Clock
Getting enough sleep is critical for everyone. Since most of us require an alarm of some kind to wake up, this can become a serious point of contention in your marriage, especially if one partner likes the snooze button or has to wake up much earlier than another.
Luckily, technology has provided us with quite a few options when it comes to waking up without disturbing your partner. One silent alarm option is something you might already have at home. If you wear a fitness tracker such as a Fitbit, you can set a vibration alarm to wake you in the mornings. The gentle vibrations shouldn’t disturb your spouse and will wake you up without a traditional alarm clock.
A second option is the Wakē by Lucera Labs. While somewhat pricey at $249, this intelligent system can wake one sleeper without disturbing another in the same bed. It recognizes each person based on individual body temperature and other variables. When it’s time for one person to get up, Wakē, which is mounted on the wall above the bed, sends a targeted burst of light and sound only to that person. The result? Better sleep for everyone, and likely a happier marriage.
In today’s digital age, we all have to be aware of technology taking over our personal relationships. While there are excellent reasons to be vigilant about technology disrupting relationships, there are also many ways technology can support and improve your marriage, if you manage it properly.
What are some of the ways you use technology to keep you closer, instead of apart? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!