A local relationship counselling service has seen an increasing number of people citing their partner’s internet usage as having a damaging effect on their relationship.
The chairman of the Accord centre in Castlebar, Eugene Mellett, said demand for its services has increased annually in the past three years as the growing stress and fast pace of modern lifestyles takes its toll on couples.
Nationally, the Catholic counselling service found financial stress is a leading concern, with 65 per cent of people citing money worries as the main stress on their relationship.
“There’s no doubt whatsoever that the economic downturn has contributed greatly to difficulties in people’s relationships,” said Mr Mellett.
“Added to that, 83 per cent of couples name difficulty in communicating with each other as a problem. All of this is interlinked. There’s stress and worry and a feeling of not being able to talk about it.”
Mr Mellett said the increase in couples experiencing problems because of their other half’s internet usage is very apparent.
“Nationally, it is one of the fastest growing areas of concern,” he said. “The problem varies from someone simply spending a lot of time browsing the web, up to the use of chat rooms and social media. A person might be neglecting their family and relationship and not realise it.”
He encouraged anyone who feels they could benefit from the service, who is over 18, years of age, including those in short- or long-term relationships, engaged, married or seperated couples, can contact Accord on (094 ) 9022214 or email [email protected].