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Is your spouse's internet addiction ruining your marriage?

When you married your spouse, you may have had a vision of what your life together would be like. That may have included sharing common interests, taking trips together and engaging in making plans for your future. You undoubtedly feel lonely in your marriage if those dreams have not materialized. For many in Arkansas and elsewhere, that loneliness often relates to a spouse's addiction to drugs or alcohol. For you, it may be different.

You may be among a growing number of spouses who feel technology has played a role in the destruction of their marriages. If your spouse is constantly on the computer or staring at a handheld device, you may even feel that he or she has an addiction to the internet.

Friend or foe?

More spouses are naming technology, specifically social media, as a contributing factor in their divorces. While there is not yet scientific data to prove the connection, you may see for yourself how important social media or other online activities are to your spouse and how they contribute to the detriment of your marriage.

While social media claims to unite people and keep them connected, even referring to subscribers as "friends," one researcher believes the trend has weakened many relationships, especially marriages. The research, however, is cloudy. Some who use social media regularly often feel depressed and isolated, but others find their self-image improves.

Is it a disorder?

Some researchers are fighting to include the compulsive use of the internet among the list of disorders recognized by the American Psychological Association. You may agree if your spouse prefers to be in front of the computer instead of going to work, caring for the children, spending time as a family or even exercising personal hygiene. Spouses may spend too much time engaging in any of the following online activities that many consider addictive:

  • Changing their Facebook statuses
  • Checking to see how many likes they get on a post
  • Stalking other people's profiles
  • Gaming
  • Gambling online
  • Viewing pornography

Some researchers have shown that the desire to be on the internet may be stronger in some people than the desire for alcohol, cigarettes or even food.

While no one has yet come to a consensus on the universal good or evil of social media and internet usage, you know how your spouse's habits have damaged your relationship. If you are ready to find a new life where you can seek happiness outside of cyberspace, you may wish to begin by taking your questions and concerns to a family law attorney.

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