Love in the 21st Century: Part II

By: Erin Logan Email
By: Erin Logan Email

It’s an addiction that can lead to relationship disasters and even divorce and surprisingly, we are not talking about drugs or alcohol.

According to the Internet/Computer Addition Service in Washington, six to ten percent of the approximately 189 million internet users in the United States have a dependency on technology.

Therapists say it is such a problem that technology use is not a part of the evaluation for counseling sessions.

One local couple says technology pushed their marriage to the brink of divorce.

Chris and Clarice Glick say their relationship wasn’t all smiles.

Chris explains, “when you marry someone, you want to give that person what they need and desire and I wasn’t. I was thinking very selfishly.”

Instead of talking about it, Chris became distant and Clarice found her own therapy in the form of technology. It was a move that almost tore the relationship apart and sent the Glicks to divorce court.

Experts say the technology opens the gateway to many problems that can affect a relationship in a bad way.

  • The technology becomes an addiction. The addiction ends up taking away from spending time with family.
  • It allows you to become impulsive.It’s easy to not think about words before sending a text message or e-mail. It’s also easier to send hateful messages.
  • It allows you to become someone you are not.The anonymity of the internet allows for people to be deceptive.
  • It avoids face-to-face interaction. Using technology to communicate allows for many problems to be avoided instead of dealing with them.
  • It allows you to connect with others emotionally. This is one factor that therapists say is one of the most dangerous factors technology can bring to a relationship.

The Glicks say that’s exactly what happened to them. They say when they were having issues with their marriage technology allowed Clarice to trust someone else. They said it was almost like having an emotional affair.

The Glicks realized they were in trouble and was a wake-up call. Chris and Clarice are now evaluating what went wrong and how they got to this point.

Scott Tafelski, a counselor at Intrigue, says just because the online talking did not lead to a physical relationship doesn’t absolve the issue. He says many couples believe that since they weren’t caught in bed with someone else, they are in the clear.

Chris Glick says that’s what happened to him. He realized there was something missing in the relationship and Clarice was venting in a chat room with a man she says she formed a friendship with. That’s when they decided to seek help in getting their relationship back on track.

Sometimes, temptations are not always so black and white. Therapists say boundaries are crossed all the time with a flirtatious phone call, click of the mouse, or instant message.

Experts say it is important to keep self-control. When a person finds something that arouses emotions, it raises the adrenaline and ties someone closer to the source of the change. In many cases, technology creates this addictive feeling.

For a quick check on your personal tech habits, ask yourself these questions:

  • Would my significant other feel disrespected if I sent this message?
  • Am I attracted to the person I’m sending the message to?
  • Am I spending too much time with technology?

Addressing these problems saved Chris and Clarice from divorce. Now they feel like they have a better understanding of each other and refuse to let technology break up their commitment.

It is also important to remember, technology isn’t always a negative influence. Many people use them to brighten up someone’s day with a quick message or to plan romantic outings.

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