This was probably not a problem some decades ago, but in this age, phone addiction is a big thing. It doesn’t only affect our productivity personally, it ruins our relationships as well. 

However, while it is not an issue for everybody, some people really cannot help themselves. And in marriage, this can be a severe problem when one partner is addicted to their phone. 

It destroys intimacy and makes the other partner feel unseen. To keep the relationship strong, something must be done.

So, if you are in this situation where you are asking how to deal with a partner who is always on their phone, this article will give you an answer.


Reasons Your Partner is Always on Their Phone


Social media can be very exciting; there is just so much to see. And with the way the algorithm works with all the platforms curating content they have observed will interest you, it is easy to spend hours on social media and not be bored. 

So, for some, social media is a way to cure boredom. They’d probably spend less time there if they had something engaging and exciting to do. 

Instant Gratification

Social media does provide instant gratification. Living vicariously through others and constant attention from online friends can really gratify one for a moment.

The problem is that it is not long-lasting, so you find people returning for more. 


A lot of people spend time on social media to escape. For instance, I have personally had that problem where I spend more time on social media to prevent thinking about a particular situation going on in my life.

The problem is that the issue doesn’t disappear just because you pretend it isn’t there. After scrolling through your timeline, the issue will still be waiting to be addressed. 

Feel of Neglect

People who feel neglected may turn to their phones to seek attention. Although unreal, that attention from followers can fill a certain void for a while.

So, if they are not getting attention from the people that matter, they will try to seek it from outsiders.

Anxiety and Discomfort

Some people spend time on their phones because they are anxious and uncomfortable. Socially awkward people, especially, are known to hide behind their phones when they are in social gatherings to keep from interacting with others. Or to hide their anxiety. 

This may seem far-fetched to you if you don’t have this challenge, but it may be why your partner is always on their phone, especially if they do it more at social gatherings. 


How to deal with a partner who is always on their phone


How to Deal with a Partner Who Is Always on Their Phone

Having a partner who is always on their phone can be frustrating. And it may seem impossible to solve, but it is not. There are ways to handle it and help your partner solve their problem.

That is probably the first point to note. Remember that it is about helping them and not condemning them. You are likely to get a positive response when you approach them to help, not judge them.

Have a Polite Conversation

One of the greatest mistakes you can make in a relationship is to make assumptions about things instead of discussing them.

Yes, we are talking about a partner spending too much time on their phone. But it’s possible that’s not the case in your situation. Maybe your partner enjoys catching up on the news during dinner, and you think dinner time should be us-time.

You are both not wrong; you just have different perspectives on the matter. And that’s why you should politely voice your concerns instead of making assumptions.

That is also why you should avoid criticising them when bringing up the issue. Let your partner know how you feel about their being on the phone instead of accusing them of why you assume they are being on the phone.

You want a partner that’ll listen to you and not a defensive one, so don’t go offensive on them.

Therefore, instead of saying something like, “You don’t care about me anymore; your phone is more important to you than I am,” say something like, “I feel hurt when you are on the phone during dinner. I want it to be a time we spend focused on each other, and I would appreciate it if we both put our phones down to talk.”

In the second instance, you have communicated your feelings instead of accusing your partner. And they’ll be more open to talking to you about it.

Also Read: How to Communicate Effectively in a Relationship

Be Empathetic and Ready to Listen

After talking to your partner about your feelings, you must also listen empathetically. Like I said earlier, it could be that it is not deep; your partner is just catching up on the news.

And it could be something deeper, like they see it as a means of escape or to avoid anxiety. By listening to understand, you will be able to decipher what the issue is. 

People are more likely to open up when met with understanding, not criticism.

Start with a No-Phone Time

Now, you need to set some boundaries. Believing that you and your partner want what’s best for your relationship and you have discussed how the phone use is an issue, you can agree on boundaries. 

The no-phone time can be based on specific locations or times. For instance, you could say that you both put your phones down from this time to this time. Or you could agree on no social media in the bedroom when you are together. 

Decide on what’s best for both of you, but be realistic as well. Don’t push for an unrealistic goal, setting your partner up for failure. 

For example, your partner’s job could require them to spend time on the phone throughout their work hours; insisting on 5 hours of phone time would be you setting them up for failure. So, keep all these in mind.

Set An Example

You may not be spending time as much as your partner on the phone, but you must also respect the boundaries set. 

It will be counterproductive to expect your partner to keep a rule you are breaking. Remember, you are a team, so work with your partner by setting a good example for them. 

Solve the Underlying Issue

I mentioned some underlying issues that could be why your partner is attached to their phone. You need to address them.

If you simply provide the above solutions and don’t solve underlying issues, you will only have temporary results. And you want permanent ones.

So, if your partner feels neglected, you need to give them more attention and show more interest in them.

If they are bored, it is time to encourage a more engaging activity. If they are looking for a job, help them polish their CV or enrol in a course to improve their skill set to increase their chances of getting a job. 

And if they are socially awkward, try to include them in conversations when you go out together. 


In some cases, the issue could be addiction, and they may need therapy. If you think it is deeper than a simple attachment to their phone, encourage them – without criticising them – to go for therapy.

Give Room for Change

No new habit is formed quickly. They will fail a number of times; please encourage them instead of pulling them down.

And give them time to change. Don’t be impatient, or you’ll destroy your efforts. 

Change takes time; give them room to change


Having a partner who is always on their phone when they should be spending time with you is a challenging thing to deal with. However, using the methods highlighted in this article, you will be on your way to helping your partner develop better habits.