No Time for Me: Are You a Computer Widow(er)? – 5 Tips to Get Your Partner Back

For quite some time now, computer widows and widowers have become part of our social landscape.The loss of a partner due to computer overuse appears to be more of a female plight, with computer widow currently producing 1,600 Google monthly searches, and computer widower producing none — an interesting fact regarding differences between males and females and their relationships with computers and with each other. Thousands search for information on their loved ones’ behavior monthly: too much time on the Internet, addicted to video games, no time for me.Wikipedia defines computer widows and widowers as “those who have a relationship with a computer user, either one who plays video games, on a console or on the computer, uses the Internet, or creates his/her own programs, who pays far more attention to the computer or game than to his/her partner.”If you are a computer widow(er), or know somebody who is, here are 5 tips to try before engaging in a hurtful fight, going into despair, or leaving your relationship.5 Tips For Computer Widows: How to Get Your Partner Back 1) Take a time-out. Especially if this situation has been happening for some time, you may be having BIG feelings! If you are, take a time-out (or several) to allow your feelings to soften. Take a bath. Go for a walk. During your time-out, notice how the situation is affecting you. Ponder on your intention and your desired outcome.2) Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Do not assume he or she is an insensitive person who does not care about you. They may be struggling with balancing their lives, or even with addiction. They may be so engrossed in their computer that they do not realize the extent to which their habit affects you. Or they may be trying to escape unresolved personal or relationship issues.3) Communicate with your partner positively. Now you are ready for communication. As you know, blame or judgement never work. The “sandwich” structure can be helpful: the challenging news preceded and followed by appreciation or acknowledgement. Ending with a specific request and an agreement is a good idea.”Hey honey, I’ve been thinking lately about how much I enjoy spending time with you. I miss you, and I’ve been getting sad and lonely when you spend several hours at the computer every evening. Would you like to agree on a time for us to be together every day with the computer turned off?”4) Change the things you can. With his or her consent, kindly help your partner create new habits, and have fun (yes, fun!) with it. Invite your partner for a walk or a movie. Sit on their lap when it is time to go. Tickle them if you must. Offer to set an alarm or timer. Make a bet: They owe you money if they do not leave the computer at the agreed time. Plan activities that you used to enjoy together. Remember that beginnings are the hardest and “it takes 21 days to break a habit.”5) Get help. If your partner is not receptive or interested in change, you may want to seek group support or professional help in the form of individual or couples counseling. For some people, computer overuse is a phase. For others, it is a strong habit or even an addiction that is difficult to break without help.