5 Texts You Should Never Send Your Spouse

This past weekend, my husband and I had the privilege of attending our church’s annual marriage retreat. Our guest speaker was Doug Fields,* an amazing communicator and family man. He reminded us that technology has connected us with our world, while very often disconnecting us from our spouses.

So in that spirit, here’s my advice on the 5 texts you should never send your spouse

1. I’m on the road now and will meet you in 10 minutes.
Never text on your phone while driving, even if you’re using the “speak” option. This is a dangerous choice you’re making and just not worth the risk … unless you’re okay with spending the next 20 years behind bars or “going to meet the Lord” much earlier than you should! I’m certain, your spouse and kids will appreciate having you around a little longer.

2. I’m sorry for what I said/did last night.
Never, ever apologize through a text! It might feel important to get it off of your chest quickly, but saying your apology face-to-face is as important as the apology itself. The only exception to this rule would be to follow it up with the real deal later—an apology face-to-face.

3. You are such a #@!%#$ idiot!
First of all, cursing through a text is just plain stupid. It not only offends and disrespects your spouse, but it’s written down, “recorded” for them to see for the rest of your married years—which may be significantly shortened by this practice! No spouse needs to actually “see” the ugliest expressions in the human language being directed at them from the one who vowed to love, honor and respect them. You’ll regret this one if you ever do it, I promise!

Along with apologizing in person, you should always discuss heated or important matters in person! When you don’t, you can consider yourself a “terrorist” with “guerilla warfare tactics.” You’re simply dropping a bomb on your spouse from a distant location. It’s the coward’s way to address a disagreement and it’s a cold-hearted way to hurt your spouse and run.

4. Would you pass me the salt?
Put the phone down and step away! I mean, really?! Are you willing to let your marriage and the relationships you should value most in life be controlled and interrupted by your phone during a prime time, like a meal, to connect with them? If you are, then you need to reevaluate your priorities. Simply put your phone on silent or come to dinner without it, and I guarantee your relationship will have all the spice it needs.

5. Would you get the milk on your way home?
Asking for this in a text is not wrong, but if you are using texts or emails to avoid communicating with your spouse, know that you probably have a serious marriage problem. Not being able to talk with your spouse about important, much less, insignificant issues in your marriage and life, indicates a major intimacy problem. Perhaps you’re running, not just from communication, but from your spouse. If this is occurring, it makes me wonder if there might be someone else you’re running toward.

What do you think? 

Can you add another text you shouldn’t send to your spouse to my list? If so, please tell us about it!

And don’t forget to join us on Wednesday for our weekly Wedded Wednesday link-up!

*Doug Fields is a pastor, leadership mentor, youth specialist and author of more than 50 books. He served on the staff of Mariners Church in Newport Beach, California for 11 years and later at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California for 18 years. He’s currently working with Youth Specialties & Azusa Pacific University (HomeWord’s Center for Youth/Family). You can find out more about Doug’s website and resources at DougFields.com.

Click on the link, if you’d like to watch the video of the practical and hilarious message Doug gave at our church this past weekend – Family Life: Setting Up the Next Generation to Succeed.

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Linking up with – NOBH, Monday’s Musings, Marriage Moment, Marriage Monday, Matrimonial Monday, and Playdates with God

  • These are good but somewhat humorous reminders 🙂
    since hubby doesnt like to text, I don’t have any to add to the list. Still trying to decide if a birthday/anniversary/Valentine’s reminder is a good idea 😉

  • Wow… yeah, those are definitely on the list of “NEVER text”! I actually don’t text much. Hubby and I talk in person or, when we have to be apart, on the phone. I use email and facebook to send him “I love you messages” throughout the day when our schedules don’t overlap.

  • These are great. We have been in a season where often we aren’t even in the same state or time zone, and texts have been about all we had. But now we’re in the same place, and I see we still use texting for basic communication at times. I needed that reminder!

  • This is so good, Beth! Texting, emailing any attempt to try to work through any kind of issues, problems, or misunderstandings is such an invitation to disaster!

  • GreatPeaceAcademy

    Very Good reminders Beth!. I think that we must be careful to remember to not allow txt or fb or any other messaging system to get in the way of face to face time.
    I can’t thing of a specific “Dont’ Text” but I would say, NEVER text something you wouldn’t say directly to another person. Not only is it wrong, but they then have a digital record of it and your words can still hurt even in txt form.

  • SimplySaidMom

    I’m so guilty! The issues of technology and relationships has been a hot topic in the Christian blogging community lately, and for good reason – we have stopped communicating f2f with people (in general). However, thinking about those texts, I know I’m guilty – but sometimes it’s good to know why and how to resolve your mistakes.

  • That’s great, Jaimie–when texting, FB messaging and emails are used for positive encouragement, then I’m all for it! But negative communications, avoidance or conflict communications should be reserved for face to face. Thanks so much for coming by!

  • Yeah, sometimes a text is all that’s available … I get that. Of course, that’s not what I’m saying is wrong. I just think we sometimes get too lazy when we revert to texting, Julie. Thanks so much for your encouraging words and coming by!

  • Yeah, I’ve worked with way too many people who’ve had relationship “disasters” because of the overuse of texting. I’m sure you’ve encountered that with those you work with too. Thanks so much for your continual support and friendship, Linda!

  • Yeah, I think that’s a great one to add, Renee. I feel pretty passionate about this because I see people being hurt or their marriages being hurt by these kinds of behaviors. Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me, my friend!

  • If you have a smart phone, you are probably being tempted daily–like so many others. It’s just another downside of technology and I want to sound the alarm! Thanks so much for your authenticity and kind words, my friend!

  • OutnumberedMom

    Oh, Beth, I LOVE this! Have you considered doing a post entitled, “Five Things You Should Text Your Spouse”? I’m thinking, “I can’t wait for you to get home.” Love the pass the salt one…oh, my. No phones at the dinnertable here!

  • Ugochi Jolomi

    I agree totally Beth and I am sometimes guilty of this.
    Especially using text to avoid communication.
    Thanks a lot for sharing what you learnt at the retreat. God bless you.

  • GailBP

    These sound like great cautions. I’m not a big texter, but I can get absorbed in my computer work and ignore my hubby. Sometimes we’ve sat near each other for several hours and I suddenly realize we haven’t really communicated. We can do this if we watch too much TV too, and sometimes we turn the TV on for noise since we’re empty nesters. yes, technology can be used for good or bad, and I am guilty of some of the bad.

  • Oooo! I like that idea, Laura Lee! Thanks for giving me something to work on, hopefully, for Wednesday. 🙂 Thanks also for your sweet words!

  • I’m glad you found it helpful, Ugochi. It’s a balance we all need to strike–since the temptation is always there. Thanks so much for your authenticity and friendship!

  • Yeah, this problem can crop up in a variety of ways in the technology saturated society we live in, Gail. I appreciate your vulnerability on this subject. It motivates me all the more to be vigilant as well–as a TV show lover! 😉

  • e-Mom

    LOL, some of these made me giggle. (We actually love texting… even at our ripe old age. Secretly we think we’re so hip and cool.) But your warnings make very good sense… especially DO NOT text while driving. Thanks for linking up for Marriage Monday today, Beth!

  • Julie@comehaveapeace

    Some really good thoughts. I have to admit, though, that I’ve used a text as a way to “pave the way” for “real” communication, to give my husband time to think before we talk. In that way, it’s been helpful. I agree that texting is making it easy to disconnect from each other, including our spouse.

  • I got worried reading #5. I do that sort of thing all the time! But it’s not to avoid talking with him. Whew. And I agree with OutnumberedMom about things you SHOULD text. I love the one I got last week–Be home for “lunch” soon.

  • bluecottonmemory

    LOL – I know if I send a text about the milk, that he’ll get it – because if he’s in a meeting, he’ll read the text before listen to a message:)

    I will say, though, about one of my sons – that we communicate better through writing – it takes the emotion out he is apt to over-respond to:)

  • These are so true.. Great reminders. 🙂

  • Denise Oldham

    Good reminders.

  • great reminders Beth! I use #2 alot! Cos am such a feeler and like building bridges..lol. It’s often followed by a real face to face. Great reminders!

  • Awww, how sweet that your hubby sent you that text, Tami. It does brighten our days when we get encouraging texts – so, yes, I will be posting 5 Texts You Should Send Your Spouse tomorrow! I hope you can come and link up with us for Wedded Wednesday to read them all! Thanks so much for coming by!

  • Yeah, sometimes texts like that are very practical and less intrusive than calling. I do that all the time, but not as a means of avoiding my spouse. And I agree on the writing issue. I also communicate better in written form than in person, but I still would encourage couples to have that face-to-face talk, using the written letter as a precursor to sort through feelings or even reading it aloud to the spouse during the face-to-face conversation.

    Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me!

  • Thanks so much, Jacinta, for coming by and encouraging me!

  • Thanks, Denise.

  • Yeah, as a means to “build a bridge” it can break the ice a bit. But my fear is that couples will take the easy way out and, of course, taking the easy way out always leads to problems! lol! Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope to see you at Wedded Wednesday, Ngina!

  • Thanks so much for your encouragement, Julie. In fact, I’m including your comment about “paving the way” in my post tomorrow on 5 Texts You Should Send Your Spouse, along with a link to your blog. So I hope you can join us for Wedded Wednesday tomorrow!

  • Yeah, isn’t it funny how sending a text can make you feel younger? Now if they could only find a way to do some wrinkle repair when I send a text! haha! Thanks so much for hosting Marriage Monday, Denise. I appreciate your encouragement and support!

  • One more thing, Laura Lee, I’m taking your advice and posting “5 Texts You Should Send Your Spouse” tomorrow in my Wedded Wednesday Link up and mentioning you and your blog to boot! I hope you can come back and link up with us! Thanks for your great idea once again!

  • i am still a little behind with texting, I think–do it mostly with my teens but not much with my spouse. I like your advice to step away and communicate face-to-face. Very good advice, not just for our spouses but our children and friends too. Good words, Beth, sounds like a fun weekend!

  • OutnumberedMom

    I plan to be there, Beth! See you tomorrow.

  • Yeah, that’s where I got my start with texting, Laura. It was almost the only way my boys would respond to me when I tried to reach them! lol! Thanks so much for your encouragement. And yes, it was a great marriage retreat! 🙂

  • Wow, what a thought-provoking post, Beth. Actually I treasure a text apology. I’ll take it any way I can get it! Although I agree with you that texting should not replace face-to-face communication or threaten to erode it. I still text in full sentences. Am I the only one? I can’t bring myself to use acronyms yet. To me, spelling and grammar are fundamental to genuine communication. I’m a real nerd that way 🙂

  • “I can’t believe you did that!” oh yeah! made the mistake of sending this text when I was first married to my husband. First of all, it was accusatory. Secondly, it was disrespectful since I didn’t have the common courtesy to wait and tell him what offended me to his face. Thirdly, it was so vague, that my husband had no idea what he had done.

    Let’s just say I never sent a text like it again. Expressing anger, hurt, or disappointment through a text message is not the way to go when dealing with big (or even little) issues in a marriage. Face-to-face honest respectful communication is.

    I do think an occasional “I’m really sorry” via text message is okay, as long as like you said, you follow it up with a face to face apology. Or even better a phone call if possible (though it usually isn’t with my husband’s and my schedule). However, I think there’s something to be said about a little bit of an apology “I’m sorry for XYZ and I’d like your forgiveness. I still love you. Talk when you get home?” is healthy because you don’t let the issue lie and your spouse doesn’t think you hate him/her all day long. Especially with this life being short and time being precious. A lengthy in-depth apology face-to-face is good, but if you can help put your husband’s/wife’s mind at ease and potentially contribute to them not dwelling negatively on the situation then it’s totally worth a quick text.

  • Yes, I can see where sending a quick text that says “I’m sorry” followed up by a conversation, could help to clear the air quickly. My only reason for saying that’s not a good idea is that many rely on texts to say what they don’t have the courage to talk about in person. I think it could be just the excuse to let ourselves off the hook when the time comes to talk about it face to face–defaulting to no follow up conversation. Then we could always justify by saying, “Well, I told you I was sorry!” (Although, it was only in a text). I just don’t want to encourage anything that could become an escape hatch! 🙂

    BTW, I haven’t done any of these, Heather. I just was on my soapbox! 🙂

    Thanks so much for coming by and weighing in!

  • I agree. No text message apology can make up for a face-to-face conversation, and people often use technology as a crutch. Good thoughts!