Addicted to the Computer

Also: "He Can't Forgive Me", "We Attend Separate Churches", and "She's Too Friendly with Guys"

Q. My husband spends most of his time on our computer and stays there until late into the night, usually coming to bed between 2 and 3 A.M. I feel as if he prefers the computer to spending time with me! Am I being overly sensitive or expecting too much that he come to bed at a decent hour?

A. You aren't being too sensitive and you have some good reasons to be concerned. At best your husband has an unhealthy habit and at worst he may be involved with unhealthy "chat rooms" and/or becoming addicted to Internet pornography. Our experience has taught us that in the vast majority of cases when a man consistently stays up late with his computer he's involved in either of those two things.

Your first step is to "speak the truth in love" and directly express your concerns to him with clarity and compassion. Prayerfully consider what might be the most effective time, place, and way for you to talk with him. What are some ways you've approached him in the past that weren't effective? Do you have any communication habits that put him on the defensive? Did you start by being accusatory or critical of him? Did your frustration and fear get the best of you and cause you to come across as attacking? Did you over-generalize and use all-or-nothing statements such as "you always" or "you never"?

Begin the conversation by communicating your love for him, your desire to have a strong, healthy, and mutually satisfying marriage, and then be specific in addressing your concerns. You might tell him, "My perception is that we're moving further apart and I'm afraid for you, for me, for our marriage, and for our family." Make sure you use "I" statements to help him understand how this is a problem for you.

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May 25

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