cell phone addiction
I need some help. I believe that my husband is addicted to his cell phone. He is constantly on it. It never leaves his hands. He even takes it with him into the shower. He will come home from work claiming to be sick, but when i go to check on him, he hides the phone. He won't let anyone get hold his phone, or answer it. He has even put his ring tone on silent so know one knows. He claims that he just enjoys talking to people. One of the major problems is that 99% of the people he talks to is women. He has them call him, text him, email him. He claims that he is happy with our marriage, but I can't seem to get it through to him that this is becoming a major problem. If anyone else is having this problem with a significant other, I would appreciate any helpful advice. It's getting to the point where I am considering alternatives. We have 3 children together. I don't know what to do.
He says that a lot of my problem is that I don't get out. I have very few friends, but a lot of that is because I don't care to hang out with dopers, drunks, and ignorant people. I have always been very exclusive. They have to stimulate me intellectually for me not to be bored. I'm not saying that I am above anyone, because I'm not. I told him last night that I want to join the gym. Maybe it will help me make some friends. Then he said to stay away from the personal trainers. I said maybe i'll find a really good looking one and start doing stuff with him, i.e. going to do stuff with. and see how he felt about it. He said it didn't really matter because I won't be unfaithful. I think some of the problem IS my self esteem. I have told him that I don't feel needed anymore, which he rebutted. I start working my summer job in a few weeks, and there is a part of me that doesn' want to go, because that will give him more time, since it's night time hours. Yes, I do need him. I have looked into help for myself. He, however, feels there isn't a problem.
I came here looking for help on the same issue. Although, with mine, it isn't just women. In fact what is so strange to me is that it's anything and all things social and information. Him interacting with another woman, to my knowledge, has not been a big issue until the last few weeks. Because our phones are on the same bill, I found out after a big fight we had that he has started talking and texting to a married woman that is a friend of a friend whom he says in is "confiding in for advice" on what to do about me. My issue with that is I was out of town on a work trip and they were talking at various times all morning, day and night for 20-30 minute intervals while they both were at work and at home. He has been very "hurt" by the way I have treated him because of his addiction. I will admit, if I would've talked to someone a long time ago, I would've handled things differently. But instead because I was hurt, I nagged, complained, threatened and said all kinds of things I didn't mean because I was so hurt that I had been replaced by a cell phone. We began our relationship almost 5 years ago (we live together and got "engaged" but due to this problem continuing to grow we have never officially gotten married). When we first got together, he did send quite a few text messages on his flip phone, but it wasn't a big deal. When he got a blackberry, it was a big inconvenience because people from work started contacting him at all hours and he wouldn't ignore the texts, blackberry messages or E-mails.(We also work for the same company but in different locations)So the blackberry was when things started heading downhill but it wasn't ALL the time. When he got the droid where he could access facebook and twitter, his time on the phone increased significantly. There was very little time he wasn't on it including dinners out and family events like Christmas, his niece and nephews birthday parties etc. I started shutting down and shutting him out because I was so hurt and so angry that I was slowly being replaced by a fascination with apps, reading articles like Wikipedia, watching youtube videos, listening to music outloud etc. And then...the iPhone5 came. And I no longer existed. We came to blows a few weeks ago when I told him I didn't love him anymore, which I didn't mean. But that was the first thing he had heard me say in quite some time. And it stuck. So we went from no communication or intimacy because he wouldn't listen and I was hurt and angry, to him wanting to give up and be done because I'm an "insensitive, nagging, condescending b****" and so on and so forth. We've been working on things little by little the last few weeks. And I mean very little... For the first time ever, I sought out personal therapy services. I told him I was doing it to work on the things that I'm doing wrong that make him feel so bad about himself. But the reality is, I've never had to deal with someone who has this type of addiction and is in so much denial. Yesterday I got home from church and he was push mowing the lawn with one hand. He was texting or chatting or emailing or something with the other. He did this the entire time he mowed. This is not usual behavior for him since getting the iPhone. He is on it at work all day, in the car (even when driving), at home while we eat dinner,when out with friends, at family functions, while we watch tv or movies, in the bathroom, and he falls asleep with it in his hands and it's the first thing he touches when he wakes up. It rarely leaves his hands and if it does, it's only because he's in the shower or he picks it back up after setting it down within 3-5 seconds. I have timed it. He never lets anyone touch it, and he yells, slaps and cusses if you try. And he does the same thing typically with the ringer in turning it down so I don't know how many messages or calls are coming in. I began therapy today to try to understand the addiction and how to snap him out of it and deal with it in the most effective manner. He is a good person and he was right about one thing; I never have gone about this in the right way. The truth is that it is a serious addiction and it has to be treated as such. I always treated it like he was just trying to annoy me or push me away. I had no idea that this behavior several years ago was the beginning of a long road ahead of addiction. I'm a long way from finding the solution. But I'm working on it for the sake of his family life, work life, for my sanity and for our own relationship.
Hi, I am in exactly the same situation as you. My husband would rather sit hidden away in the bathroom for an hour or more to play stupid games on his phone like clash of clans or other multi player games. He's currently there now while I lay in bed getting more and more enraged. I too am seeking therapy to help with how I can deal with this the best way possible. I love him but our marriage is eroding thanks to him choosing his iPhone over me time and time again. He tries to throw the issue back at me saying I have a problem not him. I don't know what to do or where to begin to save us. If there is even an "us" any more now he's got his virtual life that's apparently better than what I offer. Ugh.
You have my support and sympathies.