After over five months of marriage, Hubby and I remain happy and content in our togetherness.
He still makes me coffee every morning and massages my tired feet every night. He helps clean the shower (I never seem to get why you have to pick up hair in shower instead of allowing the hair to accumulate) and ensures that our laundry gets done twice or three times a week. For me, I am happy working in the day time then resting at night, often playing Anipop or watching our favorite shows per night. Not a bad life if you ask me.
We have admittedly fought twice in our marriage. Hubby calls them “complete melt-downs” where I am reduced to a “wailing, useless puddle.”
I call it, “fighting for what I think is right.”
The first fight happened around three months after our wedding. We were reduced to shouting at loud volumes to each other. The second fight happened last week at Disneyland where I gave him the silent treatment, and kicked him in the morning.
As newlyweds, we’ve always had our little irritants here and there — me for not getting my way and him working on his patience, but the two blow ups take the cake. And guess who is the culprit?
Yes, evil technology.
You see, Hubby conducts a lot of his business online. He answers customer inquiries via email and Facebook ALL THE TIME. Even while he is away, it never ends. He is busy emailing his office.
And if you think he is secretly emailing other people, I’ve checked. His texts, messages and emails are all work related. So at any given time, Hubby is ordering an item, shipping the item, quoting a price, posting a comment or photo on the car club walls, or instructing his people. Ho hum.
The issue is this though — I DO NOT think it’s polite for us to spend time together, be it just the two of us or with family, and have your face stuck in the phone, texting or emailing.
It’s ironic that technology which is supposed to bring people closer together, is actually bringing people apart.
Imagine this, how usual is it for you to have dinner with someone and have that person Facebook while you’re talking to them? Or in the midst of an intense conversation, you see them interrupting the flow to text somebody else on the other line?
For Hubby, it’s okay to put technology over loved ones since I am a “kai ki e lang” (Fookien slang for own people). Hence, while he would not be texting while having dinner with the president, it is okay to text if you’re just having dinner with your parents. “Hon, you should be very understanding and know that I am working. So I should be allowed to get away with it,” he would say.
I find this concept ridiculous! Since when are you allowed to get away with rudeness just because you are close? Politeness should be universal. I think people should be polite with the president, with their friends and yes, even with loved ones!
Personally, I feel that there is always the right time to work, to spend time with family and to play. I find it preposterous that you are spending time with me, but actually your focus is somewhere else!
Sure, it is work.
And yet, I do believe that when having dinner, one should focus on your companions who are there with you at the dinner, instead of texting a customer who is somewhere else and can wait to receive his price quotation for headers!
Now hubby would insist that replying fast is good customer service. I agree. However, there is the case of good customer service and actually spending quality time with your dinner companions.
“If you are a doctor, I can understand,” I told him. “If you don’t reply, your patients may die. But you are not a doctor so yes, your customers can wait while you eat with your wife.”
So the first fight was when he was twiddling on the phone during lunch time, replying to another inquiry. The second fight was when he was FlipBoarding (it’s a magazine app) in The Magic Kingdom.
I went bonkers then.
The straw that broke the camels back was when he was again FlipBoarding during the Disney fireworks which I was so excited to show him. I showed my displeasure and he curtly answered back.
So I didn’t talk to him for the rest of the night.
I am usually very sweet and understanding but if he wants to still talk or use his phone when it’s “meal” or “family” time, then I put my limit to that. I don’t think it is polite and I think it’s an INSULT to the people you’re with that they’re spending time with you and your nose is on your phone or iPad! If that’s the case, then why not text, Facebook or iPad at home?
I call it Technology Addiction and I think it’s a big problem. I really think it’s in bad taste and I know if not stopped, this bad habit will only get worse.
Do you know what else is interesting?
This Technology Addiction is mostly an Asian bad habit. Go around bustling Asian cities and you can see Asians on their phones or iPads all the time. They Facebook, read the news, or watch their favourite soap operas on their favourite gadgets.
Generally, Americans are not as addicted to their gadgets as Asians. While waiting at Disneyland, I noticed that my husband and my husband’s sister were the only ones Facebooking and twiddling on their phones. The rest of the people on line were talking to each other or patiently waiting for their turn.
“But that’s because we don’t have universal internet access!” my sister-in-law insisted. “So we mooch over it as much as we can.”
I just think that Asians cannot control their technology intake, while Americans may know how to put their gadgets away and enjoy what is in front of them more. Technology addiction is truly an Asian thing!
Anyway, I digress.
In summary, I do agree that technology can be very helpful. But there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. As we focus on our phones and apps too much, we forget who we are with in the first place.
So when Hubby insists that his phone is important, I always tell him when I am with him, he is more important. Not the phone. If he noticed, I do not pull the phone out. Instead, I focus my entire attention to him or the people I am with.
Husband cannot protest. He knows when it comes to technology, people I am with comes first. Which is probably why mom always complain I don’t answer my phone.
In the end, we resolved our issue.
For one, my husband doesn’t like to upset his wife.
No technology is worth that much as seeing a wife angered.
And as a smart person once told us, “It’s better to be married than right.”
So we agree to the following:
- On mealtime, all gadgets are put away. Inquiries can wait. Mealtime begins when you go in the restaurant and lasts until everyone stands up from table.
- If someone calls, then you can answer phone. If people take the time and money to call you, it must be urgent or important.
- When using gadgets, answering customer inquiries, ordering or any business related stuff is okay. But if I am with you, no Flipboarding or Angry Birds, especially when we are still talking. Insistence that you can multi-task well and can talk sense to me while Angry Birding simply isn’t true. Conversation quality actually goes down so no.
- Lastly, everyone can Flipboarding and play games if the other party is doing so too. This usually happens when we are relaxing AT HOME.
I share this because I want you to know, like any couple, that we fight too. And we may fight for the silliest of reasons.
But technology addiction is not silly. This is the real evil. It’s smart really. Technolofy fools you into thinking they bring you much closer to people much to the detriment to the people you are with now!
Husband thinks playing with his phone is fine.
For me, I think it’s rude if you are in the company of other people. As I really believe in this more (e.g., I really get irritated when I see him twiddling on phone while we are with other people) vs. him (e.g., he agrees people can wait for his text), he gives way.
Then again I don’t ask for much and if this will keep me happy, why not?
Anyway, I think this is a fight worth having, and hopefully by hearing our story, you have a taste on what it’s like to be married and how it’s about giving and taking.