Therefore… As difficult as it is to set limits with parents who might feel offended or betrayed by such actions, if the boundaries are reasonable and clear, most in-laws learn to respect them in time. Keep in mind that they are likely to test the boundaries first, so it is important to address any violations and reinforce the stated expectations. The most effective way to do this is to respond to the very first violation (testing of the limits), as failing to do so will make the boundary violations and clashes continue.
Our phones and tablets are doorways to the world, but in relationships, they function more like walls than doors. I’ve previously written about how devices can significantly interfere with relationships (read about “Technoference“). Studies found that higher levels of technoference were associated with greater relationship conflict and lower relationship satisfaction, as well as depressive symptoms and lower life satisfaction.
Therefore… Create device-free times (e.g., during dinner or after 9 p.m.) and zones (e.g., the bedroom or restaurants).
When our partner voices a concern, we should always listen and take it seriously, especially when it involves a complaint in the high-risk category. Responding calmly and fairly isn’t always easy, but it will increase both relationship satisfaction and longevity.
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Written by Guy Winch
Originally appeared on Psychology Today.com
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