Are You “Phubbing” Your Spouse?

Phubbing is becoming more and more common, and it’s ruining American relationships.

By Ashley Willis

“Phubbing” is ruining relationships, according to a recent study. It’s rampant, and it’s a behavior we’ve grown to accept as a society. So, what is phubbing?

A friend of mine sent me an article on phubbing, and I read it only because I honestly had never heard the term before. When I began reading it, I quickly realized that most of us are extremely familiar with the act of phubbing—we just didn’t know it had a name.

So what is it?

According to the article, “‘phubbing’ is ruining American relationships”: phubbing your partner is the act of being on your cellphone instead of giving them your full attention when the two of you are together. As my husband, Dave, and I have discussed in many of our blogs—including “6 Subtle Ways You Cheat on your Spouse Every Day”—excessive cell phone usage is extremely detrimental to marriages.

According to the article, partners who felt “phubbed” were not only dissatisfied with their relationship, but many eventually experienced depression over time. This is very concerning.

As a married couple, we must prioritize our spouse over our cell phone. This probably seems like a given to most of you, but Reader, believing this and doing it are two different things. I know, because I struggle with this issue too.

I feel the pressure of responding to emails and Facebook messages. I love perusing social media, too. But, I can’t let these things control me. They are TOOLS, and if I’m not careful, they can become real TIME-SUCKERS that take away from my family.  

Unfortunately, I’ve seen the disappointment in my husband’s face when I wouldn’t put my phone down, and I kept on looking at my phone anyway. In those moments, I was choosing a device over my husband. I chose to retreat from my husband—who was right in front of me—instead of engage with him. I will never get those moments back, but, thankfully, I’ve learned from my mistakes.


So, let’s take a good look at our marriages. Think about your communication habits. Are you phubbing your spouse? If so, please join me in choosing to STOP obsessing over our phone and giving our partner our first and best attention…before it’s too late.

Thank you so much for reading, sharing and responding. I’d love to connect with you on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

For more great tips on how to strengthen your marriage, check out our NEW Marriage App by clicking here.

And, grab your copy of my husband’s amazing NEW best-selling book, The Seven Laws of Love, by clicking here.

About the Author: Ashley Willis is a wife and mom of four boys who together with her pastor husband, Dave, founded and the “Marriage” app as a way to encourage couples to build stronger marriage. You can follow Ashley’s blog on Patheos where she encourages women in faith, marriage and motherhood.