Cell phones are causing marriage problems in ways the inventors probably never
could have imagined,” says marriage counseling coach Nancy Wasson, Ph.D. “Every
week I deal with cases involving emotional or physical affairs that are impacted
by the secrecy that cell phones afford.”
Wasson continues by saying, “This has gotten to be a fairly common problem.
The spouse often never suspects that the partner is having intimate conversations
with someone else throughout the day. When confronted, the secretive partner
often defends what’s happened by saying that the other person is just a
According to Wasson “In some cases, that’s true, and in others, the
two individuals are involved in a sexual affair. Many spouses never know for
sure whether the relationship was really a physical one.”
Wasson admits to still being astounded by some of the cell
phone stories that she hears each week. “One husband woke up in the middle of the night to
find his wife crouching in the closet talking on her cell phone to her male ‘friend.’ Other
spouses tell of mates who lock themselves away in the bathroom for private conversations,
giving lame excuses afterwards.”
When asked to give an example of a typical case, she replies:
One common example is a husband who discovers that his wife has been secretly
having frequent cell phone conversations with another man. Often the other male
is a co-worker, and the wife will say that they are just ‘friends’ and
that their relationship is not sexual.”
Wasson shares that it’s difficult to ferret out the truth in many cases.
The husband lacks concrete proof that there’s been a sexual affair. He
just knows that something is amiss but often doesn’t know what to do about
it. He doesn’t want to drive his wife further away or lose his marriage.
What advice would Wasson offer the husband in this situation?
I’d tell him that whether there was actual physical intimacy or not is
important, but it’s not the defining criteria for whether betrayal occurred
or not. His wife ‘crossed the line’ with the ‘friend’ when
she began having secret conversations with him that she didn’t tell her
husband about. Another line was crossed when the frequency of the calls accelerated
to numerous times each day.”
Wasson feels that at the least, secret phone calls are
indicators of emotional affairs. Even if sex was never
affairs take energy
and focus away from the marriage and provide an escape from tackling
marriage problems directly.
Marriage counseling is certainly indicated,” says Wasson. “Secret
cell phone calls can be viewed as a crack in the marriage foundation that needs
prompt attention. The trust has been damaged and fast action is needed to address
the issues in the unhappy marriage.”
Wasson poses the following questions to spouses who are
in this situation:
1. Are the two of you spending quality time together?
2. Do you still go out on “dates”?
3. Do you sit and talk at least ten or fifteen minutes each
4. Do you know how to share feelings easily?
Wasson’s final marriage advice to couples who want to stop divorce and
transform an unhappy marriage: “Be creative and proactive and see what
is possible in improving your marriage. Finding out about the secret cell phone
conversations may turn out to be the catalyst for you and your spouse to transform
your unhappy marriage into one that better meets the needs of both of you.”
Marriage counselor Nancy Wasson, Ph.D., has been a Licensed
Professional Counselor for more than twenty years. She
coaches couples in
unhappy marriages and provides
immediate help through the privacy of telephone and email
consultations. She is the author of “Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says ‘I
Don’t Love You Anymore!’ ” She offers a free weekly marriage
advice newsletter at www.KeepYourMarriage.com.
* * * * *