Can a video game addiction lead to divorce?
An online company that provides assistance to couples seeking a divorce got curious after it noticed that customers were referencing the multiplayer video game Fortnite — which is currently among the top shooter-style games in the world — as a reason they were unhappy in their marriages. The company did a little digging into its own data and discovered the game was actually mentioned in around 200 of the applications it processed.
While that only represents a small segment of the population, it’s a sign of the times. The definition of what constitutes an addiction has broadened in recent years to include video games and other digital distractions.
The devastation that an addiction can wreck on a marriage, however, hasn’t changed in the least.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently declared an addiction to video games a legitimate mental health issue. Fortnite has been cited in more than one example of video game addiction, affecting players of many ages — even forcing some into rehab. However, addictions of many kinds can negatively affect a marriage and eventually lead to a total breakdown in communication. Some of the other addictions that have driven spouses to an attorney’s office in the past include alcohol, drugs, pornography and shopping.
The ready availability of video games and other technological distractions that can feed a digital addiction may make these problems even more pervasive — and more destructive — than other addictions. Someone seeking to fill an emotional void in themselves doesn’t have to risk jail or damaged health the way they might with drugs or alcohol. That may make it easier for addicts to convince themselves that they don’t really have a problem.
If you’re the spouse of someone that is suffering from an addiction to video games, it’s important to recognize the disease for what it is — otherwise, you probably won’t be able to overcome it. If your spouse is unwilling to seek help, it may be time to seek a divorce.