Do any of these statements ring true for you?

I text my husband all the time.

I hate when my husband is texting while I’m trying to talk to him.

When I get a nice text from my husband, it makes me smile.

We make a lot of decisions by texting from what we should have for dinner to where our next vacation should be.

The idea I want you to consider today is about texting your spouse…does texting promote connection or disconnection in your marriage?

In a study done by Brigham Young University, the researchers looked at how texting impacted the ways couples connect.  Here are a few things they found:

For women:  Using text messages to apologize, work out differences or make decisions is associated with lower relationship quality.

For men: Too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality.

For all: Expressing affection via text enhances the relationship.

What’s the takeaway for your relationship?  How does texting affect the closeness you feel with your husband?

I think if you are sending short loving texts throughout the day, that use of technology could be really sweet. But if you’re substituting texting for talking, it can cause a distance and a coolness between you.

If you have a decision coming up – whether it’s where to send your child to school or if you should work longer hours – those are discussions that need to happen face-to-face and voice to voice, not via text.

Don’t strive for convenience in communication, strive for connection.

Make sure you have daily talk times (don’t worry men, it doesn’t have to be long).  Don’t resort to texting when you have something awkward or difficult to bring up.  Part of growing together as a couple in intimacy is sharing truth face to face, not phone to phone.

Maybe an apology needs to take place today.  If feelings were hurt or someone was misunderstood, don’t just text “sorry.”

In our book Growing Up Social, Dr. Gary Chapman and I write about the five languages of apology (based on his book co-authored with Jennifer Thomas).

They are:

  1. Expressing regret
  2. Accepting responsibility
  3. Making restitution
  4. Genuine repentance
  5. Requesting forgiveness

See how that’s awfully hard to do in a text?

To hear me talking about apology and also on how texting impacts couples, listen to this segment on Dr. Bill Maier Live on Faith Radio.

Arlene Pellicane

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