Find Solace in Your Partner, Not Technology

by | Mar 31, 2024

Technology is blamed for a lot of things, but the fact is, our lives are greatly enhanced by technology. It keeps us connected, makes many mundane chores easier, provides entertainment and so much more. But it can also be very isolating. And it’s way too easy to fall into bad habits using technology, binge watching movies instead of getting work done, for example.


So why do we do it? Why do we surrender to technology and let it take over? When we indulge in too much mindless scrolling, how does that affect our relationships with our partners? And why do we let bad habits rule our behavior?


Why are you turning to technology so much?


You are using technology as a reward. You’ve worked hard all day. Your senses have been assaulted by needy children, clients, bosses, coworkers, friends, even. You just want some time to relax with a passive activity, so you reach for your phone. You need a time-out, but it turns into a time-sucking experience that removes you a little too much from life.


Your time is precious and finite. When you use it to escape into your phone instead of touching base with your partner, you rob your relationship of an opportunity to connect. Spending a little time with your partner can be its own reward, especially if you plan to be together in a meaningful way, like taking a walk in nature.


You are using technology for your me-time. You’ve been on the go all day, juggling kids and work and family obligations. Maybe you’re a caregiver, or maybe you have a demanding boss, or maybe you’re just trying to get at least some of your to-do list done. There are not enough hours in the day, so you relegate your me-time to the evening hours when everyone else is in bed.


If you’re that overloaded, and need to rob yourself of sleep so you can have some me-time to take care of yourself, perhaps your partner can help. Or, if you’re routinely working on your computer while your spouse is snoring in bed, maybe it’s time to talk to him about sharing some of the load.


You are using technology to escape. Perhaps you grew up in a dysfunctional home and TV or video games or steaming movies kept you sane as a child. You didn’t develop secure attachment and as an adult you don’t feel comfortable sharing your feelings. Instead, you pull away from your partner and invest your time in technology. But when you escape from the world, you escape from your partner as well.

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If he knows why you have this pattern of behavior—which is based on an unhappy childhood—he can be more understanding of your situation. He won’t be as offended when you shut down, and may be able to help soothe you. A back rub or words of comfort can work wonders. But you have to let your partner in while you keep technology out.


You are using technology to keep working. After all, your boss is demanding—at all hours of the day. And you want to be a valuable member of your work team, possibly edging out others who are less available. Or, it makes you feel good to be indispensable, and you strive to get kudos for being on the job longer than anyone else.


But in fact, this is a recipe for burnout at work and in your relationship. Sure, if you’re occasionally on deadline and have to work late, it’s understandable. Otherwise, set boundaries. There are times and places when technology should be off limits. Like date nights, for example. Or every night after 6:00. Or in the bedroom, where sleep and being close to your partner is sacrosanct.


Instead of plugging in, use your time to connect with your spouse, to share an activity, to get some exercise, to do something together that gives you joy.


Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here:



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