Couples should discuss their assumptions about texting and set boundaries on technology in their relationship. Affairs can happen at work, in bars, at school reunions, on Facebook and with your phone. Texting is one way the “other woman or man” enters the family.
If trust is low, couples often become aware of the degree to which their partner needs to guard their phone. Do they take the phone everywhere? Is the phone immediately hidden if you are around? Partners may become aware if their spouse has difficulty setting boundaries with others which is often correlated with inappropriate relationships. Also, they are suspicious if their spouse begins sending texts during dinner, bedtime, in the middle of the night, and first thing in the morning. This could indicate a boundary invasion and is inappropriate no matter who you work for, or what they are going through.
Many couples don’t address or communicate their feelings about texting or emailing until there is a violation and at that point it may be too late. The fact that there has been no ‘sex’ doesn’t mean that there is no cheating. You are cheating if you are texting someone and would feel embarrassed if your spouse read them.
Here are a few suggestions to “text proof” your relationship.
- Talk together about texting. What is acceptable, and what is crossing the line? It is not true that if you ignore it, it won’t happen. Talking about these issues and preparing makes them less likely to happen.
- Agree on a plan regarding when and where cell phones are permitted. Shutting off your cell during a dinner out is wise, as that is your time. However, having your phone on during a coffee break with your spouse may be permitted if you are still on the clock.
- Couples who agree to shut their phones off at a specific time each evening protect their marriage from people who lack boundaries and will text any time of the day or night.
- Phone passwords should be made readily available to both spouses.
- Do an inside check. Would you be anxious if your spouse left with your phone for the day? Is there anything on there you would be ashamed of if they saw? If so, deal with it now.
The only fool-proof way to protect your marriage is to discuss these topics prior to letting them into your marriage. Establishing healthy boundaries so neither spouse feels monitored, but both feel protected and secure will help to safe guard your relationship.