If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this from the mouth a man, I’d at least be able to pay my own cell phone bill without personal cost. Seeing a wife fixated on her cell phone is excruciating for many men, a true source of agony. Why won’t she get off her phone?
The feeling becomes even worse if it turns out, as it does for many, that she’s talking to or has noticed another man.
Brothers around the world are experiencing their disconnected wives and this painful feeling of disconnection that it triggers within them when they see her on her cell or mobile phone for hours at a time. Why won’t she get off of it?
What is so important on her phone?
“Why won’t she put it down and spend time with me? I thought women wanted connection, closeness and intimacy but here I am, ready to give it, and she just wants to look at Facebook or text!”
“It’s like… as soon as she finally has time after the kids go to bed and the work is done, instead of coming and spending time with me, she gets on her phone!”
“I’m a good man. I make myself available to her constantly. I’ve given up every hobby and interest to be home with her and yet she doesn’t want to spend time with me. Instead, it’s her damned cell phone. I’m ready to fucking destroy it!”
“I wish there would be an EMP or something so that the stupid cell phones would turn off for good!”
Friend… there is hope!
To get through this, you’ll need to gain new insight and understanding into what is going on and develop a new way to handle it. What you’ve probably been doing – talking to her about it and and getting angry and exasperated does not work. If you don’t stop, it will get worse.
The phone is not the problem. Facebook is not the problem. You’re seeing symptoms of something else – something YOU must fix, not her.
Understanding your wife
Your wife, like all women, is leading a stressful life. More so if she’s a mother. Her days are filled with endless streams of things that feel like they need her attention. What she wants nothing more most of the time is to find a place she can relax, breathe deeply, and just unwind. She wants to be free of the pressure of all the unfinished pressing things that need her attention.
For her, one of the ways she can feel good and relax is to do things that produce dopamine and make her feel good. Connecting with others is one way to do that.
But why doesn’t she connect with me then?! I’m right here!
She isn’t connecting with you despite your availability because you’re stressing her out and making her feel worse! You’re a like a big bottle of soda that’s been shaken and shaken and shaken that says “open me, I’m ready to connect”. “No way, no thanks!” she thinks to herself.
It is far easier for her to find what she needs – and safely – somewhere else, especially ready-made dopamine-dripping social media platforms designed exactly to do this.
She isn’t going to be lawyered into stopping this either. She needs and wants to feel good and she knows it. You mine as well ask her to stop breathing.
Social media, the phone, the texting, the connecting – they’re not the problem. They’re a symptom.
Your wife isn’t dysfunctional or just behaving badly, she’s searching for something – a grand adventure to be invited into. She can’t find it and so she’s settling for whatever small adventure she can find in the moment.
To get through this, you’ll also need to understand yourself and what is causing your pain.
The first thing that is causing your pain is this: entitlement. You’re most likely a good man who’s giving everything to his wife and family and you’re feeling downright angry that for all your hard work and dedication, you’re not getting the deep, intense, romantic, emotional connection and intimacy that you long for.
Your wife doesn’t seem at all impressed with you, at least not enough to put her phone down and give you what you thought you were signing up for in marriage and definitely deserve.
That’s entitlement and it’s tripping you up – not because you don’t deserve those things, you do! It’s tripping you up because you’re seeing your wife as the creator of those things you want instead of yourself. I can’t tell you how to fix that in a blog post but is one major area I help me through mentoring.
In the meantime though, let me just encourage you with this. You’re not dying. You’re not going to die if you don’t get these things you long for in your wife. Do you want to live the life you’ve always dreamed of and yet never found? Good! To do so, you have to overcome your sense of urgency that is rooted in believing you have limited time left. It’s just not true, and in fact, you are much closer to that life than you realize – mere thoughts away.
How your thinking needs to change
To get there though is going to take a big shift in your thinking. That shift will require a lot of deep breaths and calming down – way down. If you’re like 99% of those reading this article, you DO have time – lots of it. Probably several decades and perhaps as long as you’ve already been alive. Don’t let your FOMO (fear of missing out) actually make you miss out. Kick that fear to the curb, tighten your belt, and realize that your wife isn’t holding out on you. The universe isn’t holding out on you. God isn’t holding out on you.
There is all the deep connection, intimacy, emotionally charged, passionate and romantic love you could imagine you could hope for. It’s not found in her, but in you!
To learn how to harvest it though – you need to slow down and stop white-knuckling your relationship. If you don’t, you WILL crash.
What she’s showing you via her mirroring
You are playing too small. Way below your ability as a man. You need a bigger story because the one you’re creating for yourself is meh. She knows you can do better – perhaps better than you know this yourself. Deep down inside, she needs you to have a bigger adventure and purpose than her and the kids. She can’t be happy because at present, there isn’t any adventure that you can invite her into. She doesn’t want to be the adventure and purpose of your life, but join you on whatever it should be.
Don’t resent this mirroring brother. It’s a gift intended to draw and push you out of your comfortable, “playing it safe” zone. The one that you, and I, are prone to stay in because we know the rules, learn the game and know how to win. That other stuff seems nebulous, unknowable and uncertain. We have no idea what it takes to get there, let alone stay there.
It took a lot to get where you are didn’t it? The feeling of going even further seems impossible.
I know, I know! But… get there we can and our wives instinctively know to behave in ways that reflects our need to become this kind of man.
Their pressure can turn our coal into diamonds but we must start seeing what they’re showing us as being good.
Your wife will stop looking at her cell phone when you invite her into a bigger adventure than what she finds on her phone. To do that, you’ll need to be your best. There is no need to feel ashamed that you’re not yet that man. All of us are journeying toward our best selves.
Exploring her needs further
Dr John Gray, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus talks about how dopamine and oxytocin impact a woman and what is necessary for her to feel good:
- Open Her: Activate 7 Masculine Powers to Arouse Your Woman’s Love & Desire
- Good Guys 2 Great Men: How to reconnect to your phone-addicted wife
I live for talking with men in this scenario. I can help you find the life you’ve always dreamt about.