Is the Internet Destroying Your Marriage on Long Island?
Can the Internet & Technology Cause the Breakdown of Your Marriage?
”The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” is a phrase most Long Islanders have heard, and at times even understood. For our purposes, the “grass” is the temptation outside of the marriage. This is an issue as old as marriage itself, however, the pervasiveness of the Internet in our lives today, including online chat forums, online gaming and Internet dating sites, multiplies the temptation opportunities immeasurably. You don’t even have to leave your house or be anywhere near the source of the temptation. It’s on your computer or traveling with you on your phone. Today’s technology allows unhappy spouses to readily seek comfort, sympathy and reassurance outside of the marriage or relationship, which heightens the sense that the grass is in fact greener online.
Using the Internet to Seek Comfort
Between children, work and household chores, it can be easy for married couples to push their marriage aside, and eventually, drift apart. One spouse may come home from work and take the children to soccer practice, walk the dog and clean the house while the other spouse comes home from work, takes their dinner plate and locks themselves in their office in front of their computer, effectively disconnected him or herself from the marriage.
With the prevalence of online dating websites and chat forums in today’s society, it is easy for that spouse to log on, make a few inquiries and find someone to talk to, and even confide in. While one spouse is taking care of the household chores, the other spouse is receiving comfort and reassurance from an interested third party, which makes it easier for that spouse to further disconnect from the marriage. While this may not mature into a physical affair, it is certainly an emotional affair which can damage the foundation of a healthy marriage: trust. Because the Internet makes “contact” with other individuals so readily accessible, unhappy spouses often take the easy road out rather than investing the time and energy required to fix whatever is broken in their marriage.
The Overuse of Online Gaming
About a month ago, CBS News published an online story regarding the prevalence of online gaming as the cause of marriages breaking down and divorces. This article struck me as interesting because, if you really think about it, couples are not divorcing because one spouse is consistently playing internet games, but rather, couples are divorcing because the fact that one spouse is consistently playing internet games is making the other spouse feel neglected. Every hour your husband or wife is online gaming is one less hour that your husband or wife is spending quality time with you, and one less hour that is being devoted to keeping your marriage healthy and alive.
Although online gambling is illegal in New York, there is currently nothing preventing New York residents from participating in online gambling utilizing a legal “off-shore” or out-of-state, gambling website. A few decades ago, if your spouse wanted to gamble, he or she had to leave the residence, travel to a casino, usually obtain a hotel room and spend the evening away from home. A few decades ago, if your spouse was gambling, you knew about (in most instances). However, once again, the prevalence of the internet has allowed those who enjoy gambling to do so from the comforts of their home and often, undetected by their spouse. Access to internet gambling can allow a spouse to gamble away his or her family’s entire savings, or a substantial portion of it, behind closed doors and in most instances right under the nose of his or her spouse. Those who gamble on the internet often use household funds to pay their gambling debts, because, if your spouse is gambling online there is a good chance he or she is gambling “in real life” as well.
What Can I Do if the Internet Destroyed my Marriage?
If you are reading this post, you are likely doing or have done some research into obtaining a divorce in New York. You may or not may know that in New York you can seek a “No-Fault” divorce based. Prior to 2010 (when the “no-fault” divorce statute was enacted) a spouse seeking to obtain a divorce had to allege and prove specific grounds for that divorce, such as adultery, inhumane treatment, abandonment or incarceration.
The Fault statute prevented spouses who were unhappy in their marriages for reasons such as those set forth above from being able to obtain a divorce against the objection of their spouse. Prior to No Fault, the spouse seeking the divorce would be required to prove the grounds under which he or she filed; an online emotional affair, an unhealthy online gaming habit or online gambling was not sufficient to establish grounds prior to 2010.
However, with the enactment of the No-Fault divorce statute, the only thing you must now allege is that your marriage has broken down, irretrievably, for a period of at least 6 months. You do not have to say why or who is at fault or prove why or who is at fault.
Do You Have Questions About No Fault Divorce? We Can Help
If you have questions or need advice about No Fault divorce, we can help. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631-923-1910 to set up your free consultation with one of our experienced Divorce and Family Law attorneys.
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