Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban apparently have it all figured out.
According to an article in Parade over the weekend, the 51-year-old actress and her husband, Keith Urban, have mastered the craft of communication, leading to 12 blissful years of marriage.
“We’ve never texted,” she said during the interview. “That is so not our relationship.”
The Big Little Lies star explained the two prefer “voice-to-voice or skin-to-skin” types of communication, adding the no-texting rule began in 2005 because both of them didn’t know how to text.
“We talk all the time and we FaceTime but we just don’t text because I feel like texting can be misrepresentative at times. And I’ve had the thing where I reread texts and I’m like, “’What does that mean?’ and then read it to somebody and go, ‘Can you interpret that?’ I don’t want that between my lover and I.”
And while this may be her one trick that works, Kidman added another secret to a happy marriage is not keeping secrets.
“We never tell anybody any advice about their relationship or think that we have a secret,” she continued.
Can this work?
And while this all sounds perfect in La-La Land, there is some truth behind making more time for your significant other on a face-to-face basis. In fact, while not texting your partner throughout the day may seem unusual, it could potentially work.
Matchmaker and relationship expert Claire AH tells Global News that while ditching texting and focusing on in-person time can theoretically work, it has to be something both people decide to try.
“And if you consider texting to be an impediment to your relationship or life,” she says. “That said, there are also people who use texts as love notes, sexy interludes, or quick reminders that they forgot to add toilet paper to the shopping list. Those people might see more problems in their relationships if they stopped texting. A lot of people really hate talking on the phone, especially younger people.”
How texting has changed relationships
And since the way we connect with each other has changed in the last few decades, technology has also influenced how we keep and maintain our relationships. Online dating is more popular than ever and many relationships — long term or casual — often start with a text.
Claire adds that at its worst, texting can be a downright intrusion into someone’s time.
“When one person has one set of expectations, like long, emotive texts being returned ASAP regardless of work or other commitments, and another prefers brief and limited communication, that’s a problem,” she continues. “Similarly, people can read too much into texts and infer meaning based on some pretty big assumptions.”
Social psychologist Theresa E DiDonato argues texting can also create a “psychological distance” when you don’t want to talk about a difficult topic — which can be both good and bad, she wrote in Psychology Today.
“The distance that texting offers may make it easier to say what one may not wish to say in person.”
“While these are all problems, texting often covers larger issues like poor communication, pushing boundaries, and even some mismatched desires,” Claire adds.
Happily ever after
And even if Kidman claims not texting has added more happiness to her relationship, it doesn’t mean other things can’t do the same. Claire said tips for a happier marriage can literally be anything.
“Talk about what you want and come to a consensus together. Anecdotes about what do and don’t work aren’t empirically proven to fit all relationships. Think of what makes you happy, have your partner[s] do the same, and find ways to make those things happen through action and compromise.”
And if you’re up for it, you should take the actress’s advice and try a no-texting challenge with your spouse yourself, but keep in mind what you’re trying to improve in the first place.
“It might be a fun experiment if you’re into that kind of thing. That said, it seems pretty low on the list of priorities unless texting is presenting big problems in your relationship already. Your energy might be better spent focusing on the areas of your relationship that are important to you.”