Dear Dr. Yael,
I loved your column on December 8th on staying married. I am married for over 20 years and when we were younger we had issues. You probably don’t remember us, but you helped us stay happily married. Some of our friends did get divorced, and we see the trauma in their children. Some children went off the derech, others are struggling with various issues, and some are struggling with addiction. While some of their children did build beautiful homes, we know those children worked on themselves tremendously to build those marriages. If there is serious abuse in a marriage, then there may be no choice but to divorce. Other extreme issues like a spouse who is no longer religious or who may want a totally different lifestyle also may not be reparable. However, with the letter that you printed, the marriage seemed to be salvageable with a lot of hard work. Marriage is always hard work, but nothing good comes easy.
Divorce can be traumatic to the couple and the children. Unfortunately, so many of my married friends have a child who is divorced. It seems like this generation does not work as hard on their marriages. In addition, cell phones and all the technology present a lot of stress to couples in this generation. I feel technology is creating a lot of strife in this generation and is exacerbating many issues in young marriages
Happy I Stayed Married
Thank you for your letter, and I am so happy that you were able to build a beautiful marriage. I agree with you that technology is affecting our generation. Technology creates barriers in marriage since it can be very interesting and exciting. Smart phones and other technology and social media affect the time couples actually spend together. Even regular flip phones can be a great distraction in marriages. When I see couples walking together and both speaking on their phones to other people, it hurts deeply. Instead of walking and talking to each other, they are speaking to other people. I see this in restaurants as well. When a couple used to go out together, they spent time together; however, with smart phones, sometimes a couple is together, but they are not connecting because they are so busy with everything around them.
“An overall survey results show that higher levels of technology use and technoference adds up to significantly less time spent together as a couple, less satisfaction and connection, and higher levels of depression and anxiety.”
I know that the yeshivas and the rabbonim are trying hard to curtail the use of cell phones in general. It is difficult to deal with the great challenges that technology presents.
I know many people reading this column will say that technology has also created great advances in society. Personally, I know that texting can be a helpful and easy way to communicate, especially when you just want to impart information. However, it also creates barriers in communication and people are simply not speaking to each other on the phone the way they used to.
I hope this column will influence people to try to spend time connecting with each other as couples and help create deeper, more meaningful relationships. I also appreciate you responding to my letter and showing other couples the beauty that can come out of saving a marriage. Hatzlacha!