Love in the 21st Century: Part I

By: Erin Logan Email
By: Erin Logan Email

The honeymoon doesn’t last forever after you say “I do.” Marriage has its ups and downs, but therapists say the secret to success is simple: communication.

However, how you communication could make or break that bond.

Marriage experts say couples today face a big challenge, the temptations of technology.

Being married for 54 years with nine children and 17 grandchildren, Stan and Marion Herman have a lot of names, birthdays, special occasions, and even sad stories to remember together.

Now 77-years-old, the Michiana couple met at a dance when they were 23 and were married a year later.

Marion says she was pretty sure Stan would be her husband right off the bat. Even if that meant letting him show some of his love and attention to the Chicago Cubs on his free time.

Marion recalls, “I had dated a guy I didn’t like because he kept changing his stories on where he’s been and what he’s been doing. Stan was very forthright.”

As the Hermans look back on their vows, they knew they were in the relationship together through thick and thin. They realized that no marriage is completely perfect and there are always problems to be overcome.

Stan and Marion say a common problem for them was staying on each other’s team when raising all of their children. They said it was hard to keep their message consistent.

They also said just the tension from having a bad day needed to be overcome. They say that arguments could hurt the other people. In anger, they might have said something they were sorry for later.

Today, the “later” means now. With e-mail, instant messaging, cell phones, and text messages, a fight can last all day, aggravating the other people and doing more damage to the relationship.

Scott Tafelski, a counselor at Intrigue says that, “back in the day when we didn’t have the technology, you had to base your judgments on your interactions with people.”

Now people are relying on the written word to work through the rough patches in a relationship. For example, sending a loved one a message after a fight saying “I really need to speak to you” might have a positive or negative connotation to it. From there, the reply and timeliness of the next message can cause even more problems for a feuding couple.

Tafelski says, “people are experiencing depression, anger, anxiety based on words and not actual experiences.”

Mental health experts say that it is very important to have self control. The advice from experts is to think before hitting send on a message during tense times.

The counselors at Intrigue say that respect is the key to surviving the rocky times, especially when technology is concerned in love in the 21st century.

In part two, meet a couple ready to file for divorce because technology came between them.

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