How My Husband and I Use Know-how to Assist Our Marriage

To state the apparent, no relationship or marriage is all pleasure, on a regular basis. My husband, Rob Cottingham, and I’ve been married for 22 years, and despite the fact that we nonetheless love one another (and much more amazingly, nonetheless like one another!), residing with one other human means coping with all types of little irritations.

To state the not-so-obvious, expertise will get no less than among the credit score for our lasting relationship. Moderately than letting the little irritations construct as much as the purpose the place they have an effect on our relationship, we attempt to knock them out of the image—not by attempting to vary one another, however by embracing easy tech options that make a variety of these friction factors vanish with out debate or dialogue. A few of our tech fixes contain substantial effort or funding, however a variety of them are small, straightforward adjustments involving tech instruments that lots of people use already.

Within the curiosity of honest play, I’ve requested Rob to affix me in discussing how we use expertise to deal with among the annoyances that may come up in a relationship.

ALEX: Somebody left the lights on all night time. I’m now the early hen in our relationship, and as my sleep schedule shifted earlier and earlier, I discovered myself getting irritated if I awakened in the course of the night time to seek out that Rob left all of the lights on—partly as a result of it’s a waste of electrical energy, however much more as a result of I discovered it tougher to fall again asleep if the hallway mild was shining into my eyes. So, I changed all the sunshine switches in our home with sensible switches that hook up with our community, and arrange a easy residence automation system that turns off each mild in the home at midnight.

ROB: Don’t overlook our child’s bedtime routine. I deal with bedtime with our youngest, and once I’m on the highway for work, Alex typically wants assist remembering the way it unfolds. (In equity, a NASA flight director would most likely want a reminder or two: This child’s routine is concerned.) To maintain issues on observe, we’ve added his bedtime routine to our family guide—saved as a web-based doc, so we are able to each replace and entry it immediately, together with all the opposite important youngster data (from healthcare ID numbers to how a lot protein powder goes into his morning waffles).

ALEX: The place did you place the automobile keys? Typically it seems like marriage is only a very lengthy means of in search of the place your partner put your glasses, your telephone or your keys. Now we have eradicated a complete bunch of these “the place did you place my…” conversations by placing Bluetooth trackers on every part we each use often, like our shared automobile keys or the deal with bag we use once we’re strolling the canine.

ROB: Your alarm clock wakes me up too early. If you marry somebody, you recognize they’ll evolve and develop. And also you welcome it…even when what they evolve into is an early hen. What’s rather less welcome for this night time owl is being woke up by Alex’s earliest conferences of the day. Apple Watch to the rescue: Its silent alarms make sure that Alex has loads of time to fulfill together with her East Coast purchasers whereas her West Coast husband retains dozing.


What options do you may have for the way expertise might help take care of marital points? Be part of the dialog beneath.

ALEX: You probably did the grocery buying, however you forgot the yogurt. Within the olden days, I used to blow my stack each time Rob returned from the grocery retailer quick an merchandise or two, as a result of he had left the grocery listing behind, on the fridge. Then we switched to utilizing our Amazon Echo for our buying listing: Anybody can add to the listing by saying, “Echo, add yogurt to the buying listing,” and when both of us goes to the grocery retailer, the up-to-date listing is out there on our telephones. The one danger? Shopping for a bundle of Oreos as a result of one of many youngsters added it to the listing.

ROB: You loaded the dishwasher improper. It’s a heavy burden, being the one one within the family who can correctly load a dishwasher. So as an alternative of sharing this accountability with Alex and gnashing my enamel at her dish-loading method, I’ve taken the job over altogether, one thing made doable by mounting a house assistant beneath our kitchen cupboards. The system makes it straightforward—and resentment-free—to compensate for my information briefing whereas I unload the dishwasher within the morning, and distract myself with TV episodes within the night whereas I load.

ALEX: We maintain shopping for meals we have already got in the home. I’m fairly severe about protecting our pantry properly stocked and properly organized. However as a result of Rob does a lot of the grocery buying, our pantry typically overflowed with further jars of peanut butter (or luggage of flour, or cans of tomatoes) that he bought with out realizing we already had a stockpile. Now I keep a web-based spreadsheet with a list of our pantry and freezer, so it’s straightforward to see what we now have in inventory—and once we’re genuinely operating low.

ROB: I’m uninterested in listening to your TV on a regular basis. I’m in real awe at Alex’s multitasking expertise: She watches TV whereas she does nearly every part—from writing proposals, to crunching information, to winding down for mattress. At occasions, although, it’s just a bit a lot to must hearken to. However now these interval status dramas and gritty British detective exhibits play silently on our family screens. That’s because of the Roku streaming sticks we’ve added to each our living-room and bed room TVs, permitting Alex to listen to her exhibits on headphones by way of her telephone’s Roku app.

ALEX: You dropped the ball on my birthday plans. Intellectually, I do know {that a} large birthday celebration isn’t a measure of whether or not I’m liked or how properly my life goes. However emotionally, I can’t assist feeling upset if the week of my birthday rolls round and not using a particular plan in place. Since occasion planning isn’t Rob’s forte, I’ve realized to forestall disappointment by establishing an annual calendar reminder for a month earlier than my birthday, so I can remind myself to prepare a visit or gathering for the massive day.

ROB: Our mattress is method too sizzling. For the longest time, most bedtimes would see me comfortably cool and simply slipping over the hump into blissful unconsciousness…when half-asleep Alex, who usually finds it onerous to get heat sufficient at night time, would snap me awake by muttering a plaintive, drowsy “chilly.” That might set off a less-than-restful spherical of adjusting the thermostat and rebalancing the cover. Rescue (and sleep) lastly got here within the type of a dual-zone heated mattress pad. Now Alex can toast her aspect of the mattress to Tahiti-level temperatures whereas mine stays subtropical.

ALEX: Our bed room is method too chilly. Rob’s behavior of turning the temperature down at night time used to imply I woke as much as a freezing chilly home that made it onerous to get off the bed. Now we now have a programmable thermostat that turns the warmth on an hour earlier than I get up, plus a living-room heating pad I can cozy up with within the mornings.

ROB: I would like some cheerleading assist. Each time Alex claims victory over some particularly thorny tech drawback, she likes to exclaim a rhetorical, partly self-mocking “Who’s all {powerful}?!” The youngsters and I then reply, “You might be!” This by no means stopped being amusing to me, however our youngsters have far more delicate built-in cringe-o-meters. So I turned to automation, writing an Alexa ability that solutions anybody who asks “Who’s omnipotent?” with “That might be Alexandra Samuel. Jeff Bezos is a distant second.”

Dr. Samuel is a expertise researcher and co-author of “Distant, Inc.: How one can Thrive at Work…Wherever You Are.” E mail her at [email protected].

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