Chris and I have been married for 12+ years. We’re best friends — still, despite the stress of work and life and co-parenting two little kids. But in the last few years, a sleek little number has come between us: His iPhone.
To be clear, there’s no other woman. My grievance is all about the little device that lives in my husband’s back pocket and soaks up his time and attention at all hours: first thing in the morning, on the subway, during breaks at work, and at night while we’re watching TV. I’ve even caught him checking twitter in the middle of the night. And those times when I think he’s just going to the bathroom? I’m pretty sure twitter is involved then, too. And here’s the thing: I just can’t compete with a little device that gives my husband whatever he wants, whenever he wants, no matter what.
Even our kids occasionally compete with the little screen for Chris’ attention. This morning, for example, I watched my husband scroll through his twitter feed while he fed our 11-month-old daughter her morning oatmeal. He was so involved with his phone that he’d forget to feed her the next bite; she’d cry out in frustration as she sat there with her mouth open, the spoon just out of her reach. I stopped just long enough from debating with my son about wearing his superhero mask to camp (again) to snap at my husband to put his phone down. “Yeah, daddy. Stop playing with your phone,” our kindergartner chimed in, gleeful at the opportunity to take part in this ongoing drama between his parents.
So, yeah, the phone makes me mad. It’s quite possible that I spend too much energy thinking about the phone, but I don’t appreciate competing with a device for my husband’s attention. Nothing annoys me more than having a conversation with him only to realize that his eyes have been glued to his Twitter feed the whole time and he has no idea what I just said. I also hate having the same discussion two days in a row because he completely missed our chat the first time around. I mean, c’mon! I expect my son to ignore me from time to time, but I need my hubs to listen.
In a way, I totally get it: The phone doesn’t make the demands that I do, in a
not-very-nice shrill tone. It’s not asking Chris to do the dishes or carry boxes downstairs or pack lunches in the morning. (Unless, I can find an app to do my bidding?) The phone is never moody. And, unlike our oldest child, the phone isn’t whining about bedtime or begging for another cookie after dinner. The phone is just there to entertain my husband and make him happy…and that’s why I’ve started to think of it as my husband’s mistress. All the fun without any of the responsibility.
I’m tempted to hide the thing.
Is your husband hooked on his iPhone? How do you deal?