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Dear Husband, Your Addiction to Your Phone Is Hurting Our Family

Photograph by Twenty20

Dear Husband,

You missed it again. Our daughter was trying to show you how her doll could do yoga and you missed it because you were looking down at your phone.

I get it. Your phone is your way to unwind after a long day. I’m also guilty of preferring my Instagram feed to watching our daughter go down the slide for the 57th time in a row. I get the distraction it causes. But here’s what I don’t think you realize: You’re missing out.

And these moments? These small, seemingly insignificant moments that pass you by as your thumb is scrolling? You aren’t ever going to get them back.

It was annoying when it was just the two of us. It was annoying to constantly have to repeat your name because you didn’t hear me the first time. It was embarrassing when we were out with my family and you were the only one sitting on your phone while everyone else was talking.

When it was just the two of us, I felt like you were only half here with me. I was talking and you were only giving me some of your attention while the rest was catching up on Reddit. In fact, it’s hard to remember back when smartphones weren’t a thing yet and you used to go hours without a phone in your hand.

I don’t want you to look back and realize how much you didn’t see because you were looking down at your phone.

But things are different now. And as hard as it can be to only have half of you present with me, it’s our daughter I’m sad for. And I’m sad for you, too.

I don’t want you to look back and realize how much you didn’t see because you were looking down at your phone. I don’t want you to have regrets about how much you weren’t mentally present with us when we were all together. I don't want you to look up one day and see a grown girl who no longer cares if you're paying attention to that tiny adorable thing she was doing.

Our daughter isn’t going to always be this plump curly-haired toddler. This time is so short.

My fear is one day she's going to realize what she’s competing with. It’s not a father too busy at work or one who's juggling multiple hats. It’s simply one who chooses to look at his phone more often than not. That whatever is on that screen is more important than her. My fear is she’s going to pick up on your distraction and will stop trying to get your attention because she figures it’s no use.

I love you but your addiction to your phone is hurting us. It’s affecting our marriage and the relationship we have with our child. Please think about the message you’re sending to your daughter and your wife. You may not realize the power you have to make or break us.

Please, I’m begging you, put your phone down every once in awhile. Be more present with us. Look us in the eyes while your phone is in the next room. I promise you won’t regret it.

Love,

Your wife

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