Sexy Corte’s recent post about how people are more important than devices got me thinking over the past week. Like most of us, I’m guilty of sometimes losing myself in electronic distraction when I should be paying attention to my family! Each of us has a responsibility to forsake such distractions in favor of the people God has put into our lives, and if your distraction is bad enough then you could be violating your spouse’s conjugal rights. So, interpret the rest of this post in that light — I’m not trying to shift blame, but I do want to offer some ideas that might be helpful for the person who isn’t getting the attention he or she needs.

No matter what your spouse should do, you can’t force it; you’re only in control of your own actions. So what can you do to get more attention from your spouse? Let’s consider some of the reasons that the internet and electronics are compelling, and then think of some ways for you to beat them at their own game.

  • Novelty. There’s always something new (and pointless) to read on the internet. Last night I learned that a Harambe-shaped Cheeto sold for almost $100k on eBay. You probably clicked on that link, didn’t you? Shame on you! Ok ok, here’s a picture of the Cheeto.harambe-cheeto
    That’s completely dumb, right? But still, it’s something new to look at and think about, and the internet is full of novelties like that. New stuff is alluring, amusing, and interesting. There’s no reason that your relationship with your spouse has to be stale and repetitive! Do something new, even something small. Talk in a funny voice. Learn some jokes. Flash your boobs. Go to a new restaurant. Try something new in bed. Surprise your spouse pleasantly at least once every day and you’ll definitely get some attention.
  • Challenge and accomplishment. For men, the biggest electronic distractions are usually video games. They appeal directly to the male need to triumph over challenges. Sure, the challenges are insubstantial and inconsequential, but when a man beats a game it feels like a real accomplishment. Women may not get this, but they have other kinds of projects they pursue that men don’t understand. Find a project to work on with your spouse — something challenging that you both care about and enjoy. Fix up your yard, refresh your kids’ bedroom, or even play board games or video games together. There are plenty of sex games on our site! When you work together and achieve together, you’ll build intimacy together.
  • Knowledgeable discussion. Not everything on the internet is trivial nonsense. When I get most distracted it’s usually because I’m reading some bit of political or technology news, or learning about some historical event on Wikipedia. Learn something new that your spouse will be interested in and then talk about it. Put some effort into one of your spouse’s interests or hobbies, and he’ll probably be eager to talk until you’re sick of it. What games does he play? What sports does he watch? What series is she reading? How has God been leading her?
  • Brain-dead relaxation. Sometimes we surf the web when we just don’t want to think too much. Our brains need time to relax. Instead of pressuring one another to engage, make time to  relax together, which might include snuggling quietly while you “parallel play”. Sometimes Sexy Corte and I snuggle while we read, play on our phones, listen to music, or watch television; just being physically together is great when we don’t have the mental energy for more.

You have a responsibility to be your best “you” for your spouse and your family, not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually too. Your spouse has a responsibility to give you the attention you need, but that might come more easily if you take a few simple steps yourself! What do you do to make yourself more interesting to your spouse? Share a tip in the comments.

Our world has changed so much since I was a kid. There is so much to entertain. Sometimes we even need to be entertained while being entertained! It’s literally at our fingertips. With so much to distract, it’s easy to get into some bad habits. How often do we favor scrolling through our phone than paying attention to our spouse or children? What message are you conveying when your child needs something and you take your time to respond so you can finish reading your article or playing your game? Relationships take effort. Being present speaks volumes of love. It says, you are important, and worth my time. We have made a few decisions in our house to help us make time for being intentional with our family.

  1. No devices at the dinner table. We eat meals together as a family, and everyone sets aside their phones (or toys for the younger ones). Mealtime is probably the most important time of the day to engage with each other.
  2. No TV’s in the bedroom. This was a little more difficult to give up, but I’m so glad we did. The bedroom is for sex, and for sleeping.
  3. Play games! Board games are so different from when we were children. There are so many different kinds of games out there. El Fury and I love playing games together, and it’s a great way to engage with each other. We watch TV sometimes, but that feels more like parallel play. There are a lot of cooperative games out there too, so you can even be on the same team.
  4. We often say to our kids “people are more important” when they want to play on their tablets instead of hang out with our family. It’s a good thing for them to hear, and a good reminder for us as well.
  5. We also try not to be on our phones in the evening. After the kids go to bed it’s our time to hang out. We guard that time. We don’t get on our computers or phones, we spend time together.

When your spouse is talking to you, set your phone aside, and look them in the eye. They should be more important to you. Your relationship is with a person and not a device. At the end of your life are you going to be happy for all the time you spent with your spouse, or are you going to wish you would have spent more time on your phone?