New iPhone App: The Marriage Killer

Let's face it: marriage can be hard. With kids, work, money and general life pressures all conspiring to destroy any intimacy that might remain between a couple, it's amazing so many of us stay together.

Now, according to therapists, there's another intimacy-killer in our midst: the iPhone.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports a spike in the number of couples complaining about each others' overuse of technology, and questioning whether the digital age is chipping away at our marriages.

Is your iPhone destroying your marriage?
Is your iPhone destroying your marriage?

Tara Fritsch, a marriage counselor in Edmond, Okla. "is hearing more and more clients complain about a spouse whose body may be right there but whose mind is off in cyberspace. Some say the best way to get their spouse's attention is to send a text — from the next room!

Others complain that a spouse's late-night e-mailing cuts into their sex life.

"Closeness depends upon this rapidly disappearing phenomenon of undivided attention spread over time," says Edward Hallowell, a (Arlington-based) psychiatrist and co-author of Married to Distraction. Just think how hard it is to complete a work project amid a stream of interruptions, he says. "What you give up at work is depth. And what you give up in relationships is intimacy," Hallowell says.

This program aired on November 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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