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What do you do about your wife and boyfriend texting constantly when they are not together? It's rude and I've talked to my wife about it and she just blows it off like I'm overreacting. I just find it very irritating. Advice?
First, state an honest observation. "Constantly" is a word like "always" and "never." She texts more than you are used to. You think it's rude because ... it interrupts your time with her? She ignores you when you thought you were doing something together?

Next, try telling yourself some corny "I" messages.

"When dinner is interrupted by texts, I feel frustrated because I was wanting attention and respect."

"When I notice texts happening for long periods, multiple times throughout the day, I feel sad because I want to matter more, to be in on the fun."

Figure out what the real feelings and needs are. If you just think what she's doing is stupid, well, don't be so judgmental. ;) But if you have needs that aren't being met, and a concrete request for change could help them be met, then you can ask for what you want.

"Hey, I would really like some exclusive attention around dinner time, and for a couple of hours every evening. Would you be willing to put your texts on Do Not Disturb from 5-8, and let BF know we are gonna keep this time to ourselves? Could we try that for a week, and see how it goes?" (Using whatever reasons and ideas for limits --time, place, or activity-- that make sense to you)

She may agree. She may not. You may prefer to be more vague and ask how you can get [whatever it is you are needing] without infringing on her communication needs with BF. But ultimately you have to figure out what you're needing out of her texting less, because her texting less won't necessarily get you what you're needing (unless it's to control her level of texting, which doesn't seem like a reasonable need). And you will have to negotiate with her around getting it, whether through agreements about texting, or some other way.

Are they in the throes of NRE, or is this an established relationship? Not that NRE would negate your experience, just that knowing it's a temporary thing might help you weather it.
I think that the unwritten rule of texting is that the in-person person takes priority, unless the text is an emergency or a convo that needs to wrap up. When anyone is in social engagement with in-person people, no texting should be happening. BUT - if you're just hanging out with an in-person person, together but not in conversation, then texting is fine. That's my rule, anyway.

But as SlowPoly asks: What are you really concerned about?
What do you do about your wife and boyfriend texting constantly when they are not together? It's rude and I've talked to my wife about it and she just blows it off like I'm overreacting. I just find it very irritating. Advice?

I don't know you, so it is a difficult answer. I am not usually too bothered by such things unless they are accompanied by other trouble in our relationship. I'd probably tell her to go to him and be where she wants to be and return when she is ready to be with you. Or not return. If he's not handy to meet, go find a room, or go out, or be in another place than being around you while she does it. So that at least there is no pretense of her spending that time with you in terms of sharing time between relationships.

Or you can get up and go elsewhere. It isn't like she is with you anyway. If that is not possible, do your work or something else you have to do and make it clear that this isn't time you are spending together.

You can't control her actions, but you can request her and you can control your actions. If requesting to stop texting doesn't work, request that it isn't on your time with her. The time she spends with you has to be apart from that. Make that happen. Walk out if she isn't present with you.

Then insist on getting your share of time with her.

This is how I would handle it.
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I look at texting as situational. If there is active conversation or a meal stay present with life now. In other words stop texting it is rude. If there are no acive conversations I don't care.

I look at why, if there is texting all the time. Why does it bother me? I feel alone in the room and excluded. I don't feel as if you think time with me is important.
Whatever it is, I speak my real feelings.

I ask for non texting times for alone time or meal times or when we are socializing. I look at the other and see it just doesn't matter if, my partner wants to be with me he will. Look at your why does this bother me?
Hi threesnocrowd,

  • never texts = fine
  • seldom texts = fine
  • sometimes texts = okay
  • texts often = okay in most cases
  • texts excessively = a problem
  • texts constantly = an addiction
At least that would be my rule of thumb. In some cases I'd probably be wrong. If your wife and boyfriend are texting constantly when they're not together, then I have to think they're out of control. Although like the others have said, it's only your problem if it interferes with your time with her. Or pulls her away from her share of work around the house, that sort of thing.

Don't know if that helps but that's how I see it.
Kevin T.