Dear Berry: Stuck in a Marriage of Three!Dear Berry,

I stumbled upon your website and column and thought you might help us settle an argument.

My husband is driving me crazy!! I have a plain cell phone - works just fine for me. My husband is a different story..we're at dinner, he is checking his blackberry. We're with the kids, he's checking his Blackberry. We're on vacation - a romantic island finally getting away, he is checking his blackberry. We're shopping (he hates that), he's checking his Blackberry for sure. Even when his friends are over (forget about OUR friends), he is checking his Blackberry. During his favorite Major League games, he's checking his Blackberry, missing scores and doesn't even care! And yes, I swear that even during intimate moments he looks over at the nightstand to see if that light is flashing!! What do we do? He isn't about to part with his Blackberry and I feel like there is a 3rd person in our marriage. We discuss it and he compromises - tries to wait to check it but it doesn't last long..Can you help me and tell him to STOP IT?! For him now, it's fun as well as, work (mostly fun).

Stuck in a marriage of three

Dear "Stuck in a Marriage of Three",

I completely understand your frustration and can imagine how difficult it must be for you to feel so left out. Truth is, a Blackberry for users/addicts is like another person (without the compromise). It is connected to all of the people in the person's life - including the people who are with them (you know he would be sending you a BB IM if you enjoyed the Blackberry). So while I would recommend that he focus on you and the kids more, especially since you are so aggravated with the situation, how about if you try to set-up a compromise?

During intimate moments, the Blackberry goes somewhere where it can't be seen. On vacation, possibly he could check the Blackberry but take some time just for the two of you. Also, since you have a cell phone possibly you might consider getting a Blackberry and he can send you fun IMs during the day and include you in something he is passionate about (I understand you might not do this one though :>))

The issue for him will be that he might get anxious and ancy is he doesn't have access to the Blackberry for long. And truthfully, if he is a multi-tasking kind of guy, he might be more distracted without the Blackberry. I know this makes little to no sense to non-Blackberry users/addicts but each person has a different tolerance level for Blackberry withdrawal. So try to find his withdrawal level and stop just before the anxiety hits and explain to him once again that this really has an impact on you and you would appreciate more attention. Take it from me - in the end, he won't want to give up you and the kids for his Blackberry. Not if he's worth keeping!

Best of luck,