For some, it’s social media or checking your fantasy football team; for others, it’s being in the pit of binge watching your favorite show or online shopping. Do you want to learn how to minimize digital distractions in your marriage? 

I’ll be the first to admit, I sleep with my phone next to me every night, and there are mornings where I wake up and immediately look at texts, Instagram, and my email. In today’s digital age, there are endless opportunities for screens to distract us. How can you identify if screens are distracting you from growing in your marriage?

Do you struggle with digital distractions?

Is it sleeping next to your phone? Watching TV at night to “wind” down? Most of our time is spent in front of a screen instead of being in front of real people—most importantly, our spouses—who are looking to us for connection.

Answer yes or no to the questions below to help identify if digital distractions are having a significant impact on your marriage:

  1. Do you fall asleep looking at your phone every night?
  2. Do you and your spouse have uninterrupted time together for a few minutes every evening?
  3. Do you spend more hours on social media than you actually want to?

I get it, it’s fun and addicting. The pings, the colors, the videos, the music, etc. But our screens are sometimes the culprit of creating too much space between us and our in-person, human relationships. You’re not stuck in this place of digital distractions; keep reading.

I’m digitally distracted, what do I do now?

In his book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, pastor and author John Mark Comer discusses the idea of putting your phone to bed. He writes, “Parent your phone: put it to bed before you and make it sleep in.“ Another way to help create more connection and conversation with your spouse is putting your phone in another room and using an “old fashioned” alarm clock. 

This idea of putting your phone to bed allows for time and space with your spouse to catch up on your day or just cuddle together before you go to sleep.

Here are a few more ways to limit digital distractions in your marriage.

1. Set social media limits.

When social media limits are set on our phones, we may be more apt to limit our digital use because we see how often we are ignoring the limits we’ve set. It helps highlight just how addicted we are to digital distractions.

2. End your evening with uninterrupted time with your spouse.

When you think about time with your spouse, do you picture laying on the couch watching a movie together, or drinking tea and catching up on your day? For my husband and me, we often fall victim to laying on the couch staring at our phones at the end of a long day.

3. If needed, delete social media and streaming apps from your phone. 

Oftentimes, when we don’t have apps on our phones, we tend to not think about them or reach for them mindlessly anymore.

There have been multiple times since having a smartphone where I’ve gone on a hiatus from social media. I’ve deleted Instagram and/or Facebook from my phone for a week and it’s been one of the most therapeutic exercises for both my individual relationship with God and my marriage.

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What if your spouse struggles with digital distractions? 

Perry and I have had conversations like this before, when one or both of us feel more connected to our screens than one another. Once we talk about it, the result is often more time together, which always leads to laughing and feeling connected as a couple.

Before pointing fingers at your spouse, where they might not be as receptive to your criticism, practice humility. Be the first to admit that phones and screens can be addictive. 

Once (hopefully) the conversation is opened humbly, mention how you’d love more uninterrupted time together in the evenings. It could be sitting and talking, going on a walk, etc. Make them feel loved and desired. Chances are, they will want more undistracted time with you as well. 

Questions to process together:

  1. How do you feel when I’m on my phone and we are together?
  2. Are there any boundaries we can set on digital distractions so we feel more connected?
  3. Do we want to establish weekly rhythms with our technology, so we can be fully present together?

Want more on this topic? Check out these resources:

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Brooke Wilson is a content writer and editor for FamilyLife at Cru’s World Headquarters in Orlando. She is newly married to her husband, Perry, and they have a Chocolate Labrador named Willow. Originally from Syracuse, New York, Brooke moved to Florida to pursue writing and editing content full time. A few of her favorite things are photography, running, and sipping a warm chai latte across from a friend.