Whether you’re married or single, chances are you’ve experienced some kind of love trouble.
I know I’ve been there. In fact, my husband and I are in marital therapy.
Therapy is the one place where my husband and I actually talk. I mean really talk. Beyond the “here’s what I did today, not much different than yesterday” kind of talk.
There’s a certain safety about saying what’s on our mind about what’s bothering us, where we’re stuck, in the presence of a “mediator.” If the other becomes defensive, I can guarantee that the therapist will call it out and dig deeper into the why’s and wherefore’s. The situation gets defused and we’re able to move closer to understanding each other.
I get called out on talking from my head instead of my heart all the time. (I tend to be a very logical, in-the-head thinker about little in life except my relationships). My husband tends to be the defensive one. Could be the New Yorker in him. I’m anxious, he leans toward depression. He’s the ying to my yang, but our connection is more frequently like opposing magnets.
Our biggest problem tends to be lack of communication. And when we do communicate, it’s in the form of miscommunication. Then we fall into this
dance spiral of misunderstandings and anger. It’s a spot neither one of us enjoys.
We agree on one thing fo sho: if our therapist could just move in with us, we’d be in fantastic shape!
Anyway, the therapist asked both of us what would make us feel safe so that we could talk “like this” without her present. We both sat there. You could hear the temperature in the room rise. My mind went blank. And then I blurted:
Is there an app for that?
The room burst open with laughter. But as funny as a marriage or relationship app may seem, apps for that actually do exist. (For those who don’t know what the eff an app is, it’s an abbreviation for application—software designed to help the user to perform specific tasks and the term became more popular with the advent of smart phones. It could be just about anything from a game or a video editing program…to, apparently, marriage help.)
And here I thought I was so clever. Nope. Apps for that have not only been joked about before, but carefully conceived and released into the universe.
Here are just a few (I haven’t tried these yet, but if I’m going to try any, these are the ones):
1. Marriage Fight Tracker keeps track of your arguments and issues that include date, facts, description, and as many details about your fight or argument as you want. It includes 10 rules for you and your significant other to follow every day, marriage video advice, and updated marriage tips!
My take: While it may be inevitable to bring up a past argument in the heat of a new fight—adding fuel to fire—this tracking seems a bit…petty. Although it could mollify the situation by allowing you to calmly refer your mate to fight number 207.
2. MANsaver makes dating and marriage easy fo guys by auto-generating and sending notifications for all key holidays, anniversaries and milestones. It even provides sample text messages that would make Romeo jealous!
My take: I could use this one—I suck at keeping track of dates, while my husband remembers the date and time of when we first met. Sounds like a great concept for men and women
3. iKumasutra Lite Sex Positions: View over one hundred sex positions in nine categories, each “tastefully drawn and explained.” You can even track your progress from Novice to Kama Sutra Master!
My take: Never a bad idea to learn new ways to have s-e-x.
4. Love Maps has 87 questions to help couples develop a “Love Map” of their partner’s world—their history, concerns, preferences and current issues.
My take: I’ve been married 20 years come October 24th and a lot can happen in that time. You may think you know someone but maybe there’s something you missed learning along the way. Or maybe the other one acquired a new viewpoint about something or has an issue about the way you’ve been brushing your teeth with the opposite hand lately. So I like the idea of this one. Lots better than the same old, “What did you do today?” “Oh, pretty much nothing out of the ordinary. You?” “Same.”
5. Ice Breaker sends tailored suggestions specially selected to enhance your relationship—just share your response to the prompted icebreaker or moment once a day and “watch your relationship flourish.” You can keep score of your relationship and even collect date coins that you can cash in for discounts on “real life” dates.
My take: Same as above.
6. The Cheater Meter helps you stop your mate from cheating before it happens. Developed by psychiatrist Dr Ish Major, the app’s ”extremely accurate” 10 question quiz will tell you if your man is about to cheat.
My take: Well, it couldn’t hurt. But what if it’s inaccurate? Do you need a different app to provide ways to stop him from crossing the line.
Those were real apps. Now here are a few I wish were available:
Mind Reader—Take a photo of your mate and this app will tell you what they’re thinking at that very moment. Are they secretly harboring resentment from something that happened five years ago? Do they want to talk but are waiting for you to make the first move? Are they thinking about the hot woman/man on the train or how easy a stiff drink would go down followed by a stiff something-or-other going in? (Forget I said that!) Or is their mind simply a canyon of nothingness after a long day at the office, their eyes too tired to maintain eye contact for longer than three seconds?
I Need a Hug—Load it on your significant other’s phone without his/her knowledge. It’s voice activation feature recognizes variations of your heavy sigh and will automatically send a hug signal—the heavier your sigh, the longer and tighter the hug. Caution: If others are within a range of five to seven feet, the hug may be misdirected.
Fast Responder—Turn this on while a fight is in progress and the app sends fast, logical and disarming come-backs in the form of text messages. For an additional $99, upgrade to simultaneously receive text and audible messages, broadcast in the sound of your own voice. All you have to do is lip sync the words.
Louis CK—Type in a specific situation and get an auto clip of Louis CK’s perspective. Here’s an example:
The bottom line is, whatever relationship you’re in, you need to step up to the plate and be in it. Get in the game. Communicate. Ask questions. Be compassionate. Give the other person a hug even if it doesn’t appear as though they need one at that specific moment. And if you can’t do it all on your own, don’t give up. Get a therapist or try an app.
P.S. If I try any of the apps, I’ll be sure to report back here.
* Adapted from my blog, Putting It Out There.