Megan and Ron are a couple in their mid-30s with 2 young children. They both hold high demanding jobs and are determined to find the magic balance between home, work and alone time. They both see the use of cell phones as the culprit that takes away their home time from them and tips the delicate balance in favor of work.
They came to my office blaming each other for their excessive cell phone use. “
During dinner his phone is right there
,” Megan claimed. “
He looks at it every few minutes. You do not pay attention to us even though we agreed not to use the phone. “
“ He was ready with a quick answer. “
You answer every buzz even if it is only a text and you are telling me not to? You are so controlling!!!”
So what happened here?
Clearly, they did not listen to each other’s needs. Megan’s need is to have quality home time with Ron. She wants an engaged husband who gives the family his undivided attention during meal time. Ron, on his end, feels as though Megan imposes some rules on him. Rules that he doesn’t agree with. He views it as a threat to his independence.
They both feel blamed and accused through no fault of their own.
In our meetings they listened to each other and allowed each other to express their underlying needs. Megan confessed that she needs him and Ron admitted he needs to make the decisions sometimes. We looked at different options that will make the ground rules for a positive environment and will address both needs. Megan and Ron decided that both will answer the phone during meal time only if it rings. They will alert each other that they only check if it is important and will be right back. Both agreed to avoid texts during family meals.
They would re-evaluate their agreement and make changes periodically.
What is your experience with phone use? How did you address it?
I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at
and I will incorporate your reply in my next newsletter.
Join me on Facebook Live on Sunday
July 1st at 11:00am for a discussion about this topic.