Married But;

This is interesting to me. My wife pretty much lives on Facebook these days when she isn’t at work. Literally as soon as we get in the car to drive home from where we both work, her phone is in her hand and she’s scrolling. She’s never shown an addictive personality before, but I genuinely think it is an addiction, and I am at a loss what to do about it. I’ve tried talking to her, but she gets defensive and of course immediately brings up QT3 among other defenses she tries to make. But she sits scrolling all damned evening, and even in bed I have to ask her to put the phone away and turn out the light.

Facebook is a problem with my wife, and is actively harming our relationship. So I hear you on this.

Like there is room to have that space, but when it interferes with you actually being present for your family, when I ask you to help (set the table while I finish cooking dinner, help get the kids ready for bed) and all you do is scroll Facebook looking for things to be mad about? I’ve very nearly reached the point of issuing an ultimatum on her usage of it. It’s that bad.

There have been a few times when my wife caught herself using facebook more than she wanted to. Now she logs out each time so she has a small obstacle to remind her not to use it too much.

I think the iphone also has settings that let you put a time limit on specific app usage each day. Some people definitely need to add friction because that shit is seductive and destructive.

This is a tough one. There’s some great advice upthread. I’m of the opinion that GENERALLY a marriage is worth fighting for, and if both people WANT to fix it, it’s probably fixable.

The alcoholism makes it…difficult. Hiding drinking from your spouse is stacking the deck against you both. I’ve done it, I’ve got friends who have. If we were to take the wife out of the equation, be honest with yourself: is your drinking out of control? There’s “drinking a lot” and then there’s genuine “I need help.” I dabbled with the former, and just decided to quit (for several years, and now I’m more balanced about it) and that’s not so bad to recover from. The latter is…well, problematic.

If it’s the first, talk to your wife, establish expectations. If it’s the latter, make her your ally.

Feel free to vent here, as we all certainly want the best for you. But don’t fall into a downward spiral.

It sounds to me like there are two separate difficulties in your life: a rocky marriage, and drinking too much. They’ll be tough to fight together, but if you address them each individually, it should be manageable.

Ugh, sorry to hear that. I had a similar issue but luckily for me my wife came to the conclusion that it was toxic and deleted/suspended/whatever her account. She’s still on Instagram but on there she mostly just follows cute dogs so it’s not the endless cycle of rage that Facebook had become.

Oh, jeez, who needs that. I hope this turns out okay!

My wife has a lot of family on line via Facebook, and it is the easiest way for her and them to keep in touch. But she does a lot of other stuff too. I actually think her phone is what really scared her so much about covid, she simply read so much bad news that it got to her. I also think she has no idea how much time she spends on it, but my gaming can be like that. She doesn’t miss things because of it, stuff gets done around the house still.

I gotta vent.

We just got a HELOC so we could pay down 60K in credit card debt that has been keeping us hostage for the last 4 years since we bought the house. Worked great and I also gave the wife 3K to spend over a few months before we refi the house when our FICO’s shoot way up.

Now, the wife has massive stress with her mom and sister living with us and many other things and tends to shop when she is stressed. So, I figure 3K would hold her over for a few months but nope, she spent the money in two weeks and then snuck in a bunch of Affirm and Afterpays on the credit cards we PAID off. OMG…every night she lies in bed on her phone looking at stuff to buy and then shows me even though she knows I am so freaking annoyed with her shopping and it’s really been a problem between us. I have no idea how to keep her from shopping as it’s the only thing she has…she does not have any hobbies or outdoor things she likes to do, just freaking SHOP.

So, that’s it…I feel better now…kinda.

That sounds like an addiction to me in the same vein as gambling. Have you thought about professional help for her, therapy?

I’d be worried she would secretly (but not maliciously - it’s an addiction?) would run up large amounts of debt without telling me.

I mean, sorry to be harsh, but if you are into such debt that you have to borrow against your house and refinance, giving your wife $3000 to spend “over a few months” is already excessive. If she truly has a shopping addiction (sounds like she does), you should be cutting up her credit cards and separating her from the family finances before she sends you all into the poor house. Come up with a reasonable budget and give her a cash allowance, or one of those debit cards you load up with cash that don’t allow overdrafts.

It’s your responsibility to manage the household responsibly, which unfortunately means making the tough decision sometimes. Draxen’s suggestion about therapy is also a good one.

She actually has for years been trying to get an appointment with a very good PTSD psychiatrist as she has that issue along with all the anxiety and some depression issues. Yesterday I noticed the doctor had a “possible” availability finally after years so called the wife and she was on it immediately…it is not 100% but she thinks she’s in with that doc now and insurance is going to cover everything. So, maybe I can send the doc a hint about her shopping issues also…or helping with the anxiety can help the shopping…I’m just crossing my fingers and toes.

Yes, I came up with an “allowance” for both of us for “fun” money…but that wont kick in until the refi and I thought the 3K would be enough until that happens…so, I’m really on her about this and she totally understands and is on board…just needs to start getting used to it and slow down on her habit…and with the therapy, hopefully that will help.

When I got tired of using excessive shopping to hide from my own PTSD-related depression and anxiety, and needed a way out, I found these folks EXTREMELY helpful.

If she doesn’t want a way out, I’m not sure it’ll help, but if she does, best of luck.

Glad to hear it, Petey! My prayers are for you to get through this time of trouble, and you both come out stronger on the other side.

Thanks for this. She definitely wants help and recognizes her own issues and how it has affected the family and really affected me and the kid so with the new doc, we all hope she can get that help she needs and will be more open to me suggesting things like what you just posted.

Excellent. I found it AMAZINGLY helpful, so I hope she does too. Good luck to all of you.

That is super important, I’m really glad to hear that. My mother had a really bad addiction to spending money (that we didn’t have) when I was a kid and my father was always unwilling to put his foot down in order to avoid the argument/fight. It caused a ton of hardship not only for my father but for all the kids as well.

My perspective is colored from that, but getting help and getting it addressed is something that really needs to happen. I’m glad to hear that everyone seems to be on board with that!

Just a brief update on my end. Everything is fine. Actually it could not be better.

Well, it naturally could due to COVID-19.

About 20 years ago, more or less, I was married to someone who, in the space of ~3 months, spent $100,000 on collectible dolls. I was working in another city, so didn’t find out about it until I came ‘home’ for a visit and found the living and dining room piled floor to ceiling with unopened boxes.

Those were not good times. Sigh.

This is good to hear.