Sunday 4 December 2016

Internet porn and gambling threat to marriage

Published 13/02/2010 | 05:00

ONLINE pornography and internet gambling are increasingly causing major marital difficulties, but the recession is forcing some unhappy couples to remain together.

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With St Valentine's Day being celebrated tomorrow, Accord, the marriage counselling service, yesterday revealed a 10pc increase in demand for its services last year.

Significantly, it has also seen a 50pc jump in the number of couples experiencing marriage problems because of the internet.

"We provided more than 40,000 sessions of counselling last year," Ruth Barror, national director of the service, said yesterday. "There has been a big increase in people looking for our services. It's the usual things generally, like a breakdown in communications, but we're also finding some surprising statistics.

Increase

"In the past year there's been a 50pc increase in couples (with problems) because of the internet, because of cyber sex, pornography and gambling.

"Before, individuals would have to leave the house to get access to these things, but now they don't."

She pointed out that the other major cause of tension in marriages was, unsurprisingly, money and job worries in the recession.

"A lot of people have grown up without experiencing these problems before and, obviously, with children at the centre and not being able to do certain things, it can cause huge tension," Ms Barror said.

However, the Accord director also acknowledged that the recession may have saved some marriages by forcing couples to work through their problems.

Loveless

"It would seem to be that, with the recession, people are unable to sell their houses -- they feel completely trapped -- but in many cases are being forced to look to see if they can stay together," she said.

"Then, in many cases they have to find the best way possible to do that.

"If it is completely loveless or there is no hope they probably will find a way to end it. But what we find is that the recession also gives people the opportunity to rethink their lives, rethink their relationships.

"It's being there for each other, having fun with each other, working through difficulties."

Irish Independent

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