I’ve been hearing about text arguments from my clients for many years. You would think that after so much time, I’d have developed some sort of callous on the subject. Yet each time I hear a new story of text fighting, I feel frightened and concerned about our growing disconnection as a culture.
Don’t get me wrong. I text. Frequently. The general hello, forwarding a picture, the “what’s for dinner” text… but I would feel most dissatisfied texting anyone about my anger. After all, how would I know that I made my point? That I was not misunderstood? Or worst case scenario, what if I didn’t get any response? I would feel tortured!
Cell phones make it easy for us to give in to our impulses. We can go on a shopping spree, download a song or an app, get directions – and create a relationship mess – all with the touch of a button. How many times have you “blown up” your partner’s phone, only to feel more and more angry?
When you take the human connection away during an argument, it seems that the rules of the game change. You fight harder and nastier because you don’t have to see the hurt expression on your partner’s face. You may name call, curse and give ultimatums. I’ve seen text fighting bring couples to a complete standstill, or worse yet, total demise.
Anger can look ugly and that’s fine. But bring your “ugly” to the table – not to the cell phone. Couples need to see (not read) all sides of each other. If you want to resolve your relationship problems, stop hiding behind your texts. Show up! Take the risk of being seen in your anger. The results might surprise you.