Cyber Health in Your Relationship


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Is this you or your partner when you're together? The third "person" in your relationship may be your mobile; ipad or laptop! It's really hard to compete with a cyber device. They buzz and you immediately respsond, who needs a mistress when you have a mobile.


You need to learn how to deal with cyber in your relationship!


I suggest a contract, I know this sounds crazy. But fundamentally, you have to accept that there are three parties in your relationship. You, them and a cyber device! What are the rules? How do we do this is public and in private. How are we showing our children to use Cyber respectfully and thoughtfully? What happens when you break the rules?


A contract helps us see what the rules are but also gives us the opportunity to revisit the contract and talk about new things that might come up and gives us a format to work with that can updated and agreed by both of you. You may just write is down or type it out, you might make it really formal and sign and date it , all options are good.



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4 Things you might want to discuss or have in your contract.

  1. What do you do when you have the problem and your partner doesn't think it's an issue?

  2. Can we negotiate? Who is the contract for? (you; me; them; our children)

  3. What are looking at, is it private or can we both look?

  4. Where's the stick, if we break the rules in the contract what happens?


So let's look at each of these:


1 . What do you do when you have the problem and your partner doesn't think it's an issue?


In a relationship, the basics are love and respect. If they have an issue, there is an issue. They might not think it's important or that it is impacting your relationship, but you must try and be open to the possibility that if you look at these issues, your relationship could improve and remember change can be a positive.


2. Can we negotiate? Who is the contract for? (you; me; them; our children)


Negotiating can be tough, especially if only one party thinks there is an issue. Try and find a time when you are both not using a mobile or iPad, that way no one feels got at in the moment. Often client come to therapy to help negotiate and learn new skills to improve their communication.

Think of the rules in the contract are they for all of you at home or just for the adults.


When do you use your device? Is there a time restriction? (Remeber real time interaction are the best!!!)

Are you a multi-tasker, watch TV, play on phone and chat to partner. Are you doing anything in a present mode? Your interaction from being on the receiving end may feel passive. "What do you want for dinner?" response "Yeah, yeah, sounds good!"


Do the children have a set time to play or be on their devices, do you contradict the rules because you are more able to self regulate? But are you? Why do it for them and not for yourself? Devices eat time. How often do we sit down and think, I'll just quickly search for a new jacket and look up an hour and half later, no further ahead! Remember real time interaction are the best. Couple therapy can help you reclaim time together, which means more than sitting in the same room!


3. What are looking at, is it private or can we both look?


Again, in a contract it is best to agree the finer details of what you can both look at. You, may say looking at porn is fine, but maybe certain kind of porn crosses a line for you and your less comfortable with those videos or images. This has to be discussed, and therefore there should not be an issue at looking at your partner's history log because you've agreed on the content. If you want to broaden your content then talk it through.


4. Where's the stick, if we break the rules in the contract what happens?


This is personal to you as a couple. what is the "Stick"? Is it a deal breaker or somthing that you might need professional help with in counselling.











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