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The number of couples citing internet misuse as a factor in their marital conflict has more than doubled in three years.

'Internet misuse' the fastest-growing cause of marital stress - Accord

The Catholic Church’s marriage counselling service says internet-related complaints are up by 20 per cent in the last year.

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S marriage counselling service says the misuse of the internet is the fastest-growing cause of marital difficulty in Ireland.

ACCORD’s annual report for 2010 showed that while the number of people listing internet usage as a factor in their difficulties only accounted for a small number of the total complaints, it was still the fastest-growing area of concern.

The number of marriages citing internet misuse as a cause for conflict increased by 20 per cent in the last year, and by 125 per cent since ACCORD began recording stats on it in 2007.

The report, being launched this lunchtime, elsewhere found that there had been a year-on-year decrease in the number of couples seeking marriage preparation courses – reflecting the reductions both in the number of marriages, and in the growing number of alternative providers.

The service’s 800 counsellors offered 43,000 hours of counselling last year, its highest figure to date. The number of couples seeking its marriage counselling service was up by 8 per cent on last year.

ACCORD president Bishop Christopher Jones said married couples should try to “invest as much time in their relationships, as they do in their home, their job or in their hobbies”.

“Relationships cannot exist as static unions, they need to be nurtured and grown in love,” he added.

Studies published in the US last week found that 45 per cent of people checked Facebook or Twitter after they got into bed, while almost a fifth of people under 25 said they would log in if they woke up in the middle of the night.

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