Divorce & Technology: How Technology Affects Marriage and Divorce in America

Technology and marriage

A recent article in the UK Guardian called technology the “marriage killer.” It is a strong critique. Do you agree? Does technology affect marriage? Is technology causing problems in your marriage? Are you getting divorced because of technological gadgets such as smartphones and computer games as well as platforms powered by technology such as social media (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter?)

Welcome to the club.

In my opinion, technology affects marriage quite a bit. Indeed, technology is having a huge impact on the state of marriages in America and when those marriages break down, technology also factors bigly in the divorce. (Ever heard of the proverbial “digital lipstick”?)
How does technology affect marriages? Often in a negative way, I’m afraid. For many women, it just got to be too difficult to compete with their husband’s smartphones, and to a lesser extent video games on these phones. Yes, men seem to be a bigger culprit than women in this context of abusing their time on these techy gadgets while spending less quality time with their wives. Women, too, are technology geeks and maybe they are more inclined to an addiction to social media rather than to their smartphones and games, but it seems that where technology became a problem in a relationship, more wives complain that they felt ignored by their husbands once he put his hands to his smartphone.

Cell phone addiction is definitely usurping quality time spent with spouses and children and family in the United States and in other countries around the world. This is indisputable. At any given moment, the average American household (and this includes everyone in the family) is heads down on their cell phones, playing games, texting or talking with friends – often to the detriment of the people immediately in their vicinity. That is, once people get on their phones to play games, send and read texts, search emails, update their social media, etcetera, they become oblivious to the people in the room right next to them. This even occurs at the dinner table!

Indeed, it seems that technology has destroyed basic etiquette even at the dinner table where people can’t be bothered to talk to each other anymore, never mind spend quality time nurturing their relationships because they are so busy with and locked into their gadgets.

Some relationship experts believe that some spouses use cell phones to avoid intimacy and/or conflict with each other. This may very well be true when it comes right down to it. Cell phone usage definitely creates distance between a couple – even if they are using it to communicate with each other. Sending text messages rather than making a phone call, for example, is a way to keep the link, but minimize the commitment to the conversation or to the person. It leads to detachment, lowered expectations and less intimacy between a couple. It is not going to be long before someone tunes out and starts looking in other pastures once this becomes a pattern of behavior in the relationship.

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