Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I recently published a post which listed six tips to help make your marriage better. I asked for additional feedback from my readers and got some good responses—in fact one response was so good I couldn’t believe I had neglected to put it on my original list. The marriage tip: put down your phone!

Our electronic devices have grown to be such an integral part of our lives, an extension of our selves, that we don’t realize how insidious they have become. For a long time, I held out against technology. I got a smart phone long after many of my friends and when I finally did get one, I tried to leave it in my purse as much as possible, especially when I was with other people. But as time went on, I began to take it out more and more, as did my husband. It started infiltrating our lives. And our marriage. Here’s an example: When my husband and I go out to dinner, we generally start off device free. But then…my husband will remember he needs to shoot off a quick work e-mail. He will apologize and say, “This will just take a second.” Or we start chatting about something and he grabs his phone so he can Google the topic to get more information, like the name of an actor we can’t recall. Of course, I leave my phone on the table as well in case one of my children text or phone me. Mind you, I have three male children, two of whom are grown, so I am unlikely to hear from them, but on occasion they have tried to contact me during the ninety minutes or so we are dining. As a mother, I think, “How can I not instantly answer their texts or calls (despite the fact that they have no problem ignoring me when they are busy)?” And if I’m being honest, since the phone is sitting right there, next to my plate, I sometimes give in to the urge to sneak a quick peak at it; to check Facebook, e-mail or read those seemingly alarming news alerts which flash across the screen. Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

Although I can remember a time BCP (Before Cell Phones), I have become as dependent on them as younger people who have grown up with the technology. So why do I continue to allow my phone to distract me? I’m not a psychologist but I think it’s largely become an addiction. Plus, we have all gotten used to a more immediate level of interaction; we just can’t wait for things anymore

I will admit I’m not the greatest at breaking bad habits (as noted by my constant resolve to lose ten pounds). But I know I can do better. The next time we go out to dinner, I will leave my phone in my bag and encourage my husband to do the same. The e-mails, news alerts, and Google questions can wait. And our kids can manage without us for a short while as well. (To my sons–If you are reading this and dad and I don’t answer the phone while we are at dinner, please forgive us and try back later.) And perhaps, even when we are not on a date, we can try to unplug and focus on one another, at least for a bit (note: I’m not proposing eliminating devices, just being more mindful of their usage). We’ve gotten to the point that even while we are watching television together or just hanging out, we are on our devices, missing things that are going on around us and our conversations with each other. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life tethered to a device. My husband, as well as the other people around me, are as deserving of my attention as anything on my phone.

I am grateful to my reader who pointed out this obvious tip to improve a marriage and I vow to do better. I will let you know how it goes—but not during one of my new device free periods!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Marlene Fischer

Marlene Kern Fischer is a wife, mother of three sons, food shopper extraordinaire, blogger and college essay editor. She attended Brandeis University, from which she graduated cum laude with a degree in English Literature. In addition to Her View From Home, her work has been featured on CollegateParent, Grown and Flown, Kveller, The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Beyond Your Blog, The SITS Girls, and MockMom. You can read more of Marlene’s work on her site here:

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading

5 Tips For Dealing With a Toxic Mother-in-Law

In: Grown Children, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Woman frustrated with her mother in law

Many people admit to having difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships with their in-laws, however having a toxic mother-in-law can be especially tricky when balancing a relationship with your spouse. I have five simple tips that can help put you on a happier and healthier path when dealing with a toxic mother-in-law. 1. You don’t have to like your mother-in-law, or even be friends. Establish clear boundaries with your spouse. Let him know that it is OK for him to maintain a relationship with his mother without involving you. By doing this you can eliminate the pressure to please your mother-in-law;...

Keep Reading

To the Mother of My Son’s Future Wife

In: Grown Children, Inspiration, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
marriage, wife, husband, grown children,

To the mother of my son’s future wife, I’m in the midst of dirty diapers and temper tantrums, but I do have days where I think about the future and what it will look like for my son. I wonder who he will be, what he will do and probably most of all, who he will love. I wonder about the type of woman he will bring home to meet us one day. I have my own thoughts on the type of person I wish my son would fall in love with, but we all know that the heart wants...

Keep Reading

Sometimes the Middle Child Needs a Little Extra Love

In: Kids, Motherhood, Relationships
middle child mother

Mamas, look after your middles. Those babies who are born second, third, fourth or so in the birth order. The ones who are sandwiched between the idolized older sibling and the teeny tiny baby who stole everyone’s hearts. They need you more than you know. They need a little extra love from time to time. A hug and a “good job” here and there just to remind them that nobody has taken their spot in your heart since you added to your family. Try to remember they weren’t given a choice of their place in the lineup. If given the...

Keep Reading