Over the last few decades, academics from various fields have been intently studying our relationship with technology. There have always been variables that come into play that can distract us from our relationships, but nothing quite like the technology that’s offered today. More and more concerns are constantly being raised that directly connect conflict to relationships and video games. The addictive qualities that an individual can express with gaming can range from mild to severe. But how do these addictive characteristics play out in your marriage? For instance, the game Fortnite has recently been labeled as the latest craze. Is there any research that shows that Fortnite causes divorce? Is it possible to recover when your partner is constantly playing a game? Let’s explore.
Some Strong Evidence that Fortnite Causes Divorce
Recently, a lot of attention has been focused on a report that was released from a UK based divorce website that released some interesting findings. Since January of 2018, there have been 200 cases of Fortnite: Battle Royale cited in petitions for divorce. The site states that this number is “roughly 5% of the 4,665 petitions we have handled since the beginning of the year.” This statistic is clearly more than a little disconcerting. If you’re concerned that your partner may be addicted to gaming, these numbers can be unsettling. It’s not only clear that Fortnite causes divorce, but it’s obvious that Fortnite causes multiple divorces.
Addiction and Divorce
The role of addiction and divorce is not new. Addictive behaviors, such as drugs, gambling, or alcoholism has been the culprit of ruined marriages for decades. People with addictive personalities are infamous for having poor relationships. This is mainly due to the fact that the addiction always comes first. Being a spouse of an addict can be an incredibly trying experience. Now, with the onset of technology, we see an entirely new range of addiction. Addiction to social media, gaming, and online pornography are posing huge problems to marriages all over the world. Similar to drugs or gambling, online addictions like gaming offer a feeling of instant gratification.
The gratification that comes from games like Fortnite can create major obstacles in relationships. The characteristics of Fortnite that makes it so appealing is that it’s both free and constantly being upgraded. It also connects you with other players from all over the world. There are a lot of alluring components here. One, the fact that the game is free creates a sense of limitlessness. It’s an inviting quality that can make you feel like you’re not spending money, so you can play as much as you want. In addition, the constant upgrades create a sense of anticipation, excitement, and curiosity.
Lastly, you’re connected with people from all over the world under the guise of an avatar. A sense of anonymity in an action game online can be very addicting. You can enter a realm where you can play without anyone really knowing who you are. Academics call this the online disinhibition effect. This is when you feel free to “act” however you wish because you’re not faced with the same social pressures as you would when you’re face-to-face. It’s evident that these kinds of qualities can present challenges for married couples. Fortnite causes divorce because it presents these various levels of gratification which can be difficult to ignore with those who possess addictive personalities.
What You Can Do About It
If you strongly believe that Fortnite causes divorce and your spouse could be addicted to Fortnite, there are a few things you can do. First, getting your spouse to admit to a potential gaming addiction is a huge step. If your spouse can’t recognize that the game has presented a challenge to your marriage, it can be difficult to move on. However, if there is a mutual understanding that the game is a problem, steps can be taken to try to lessen their involvement with the game. There are plenty of counselors that primarily focus on addictive behaviors. More specifically, there are those that have dedicated time to studying online gaming addictions. Resources like this can be incredibly helpful in these cases.
A general marriage counselor may not have the background to focus on how the gaming addiction could be affecting your marriage. It’s important that who you choose to help in this scenario is well-versed on this specific type of addiction. Of course, if you’ve tried talking, counseling, temporary separations, group therapy or any other form of help and you still face challenges, it may be time to speak with an attorney. Feelings of helplessness in these scenarios can be overwhelming. By speaking with a divorce attorney, you can weigh your options and gain a clearer picture of what a divorce would look like for you.