Thursday, 28 June 2012

When your Partner is Addicted to Facebook - Dealing with Addiction to Social Networking Websites

Social networking sites have revolutionized the dynamics of inter-personal relationships. Sites like facebook not only enable users to communicate and share with friends every aspect of their lives but are also an amazing tool to reconnect with long-lost contacts. However when facebook friends take the place of real family members and updating facebook status takes priority over real-life pleasures and responsibilities, you know that you have a problem at hand. If your partner shows signs of addiction to facebook, here are a few things you can do to address the situation.
Log the hours
The first thing that your partner needs to do overcome his/her facebook addiction is to recognize that there is a problem. Most forms are Internet addiction are difficult to spot since the web is also an enormous minefield of information and a workplace for many. So how much Internet use is too much use? If you feel your partner is addicted to a particular site, he/she must be spending a major chunk of his/her internet time on that site. Start by totaling the hours your partner is spending on facebook or even online over a typical week and show him/her the results. If still in the early stages of the addiction, your partner may be able to recognize his/her obsession and successfully limit the time spent online in general and on facebook in particular.
Talk to your partner
Choose a suitable time and place and discuss with your partner the feelings of abandonment and loneliness that you feel as a result of your partner’s facebook addiction. The worst time to approach an Internet addict is when he or she is at the computer just like it makes no sense to argue with an alcoholic when he is drunk. Like any other fair confrontation on a difficult subject, set a time and place that is agreeable to both sidesDecide what you want to say
Before you confront your partner over his/her facebook addiction, go over exactly what aspect of the obsession is troubling you most. Are you worried that your partner is having an online affair with a facebook contact or do you want him/her to limit the time spent at the site? Once you are clear about how you would like your partner change his/her online behavior, express your concerns as succinctly as possible. Don’t rant or whine about him/her ignoring you or not paying you attention. Rather be concrete and specific about what is in your heart and express the hurt that comes with not being able to spend time together, an empty sex life or the psychological isolation that you are feeling.
Set specific goals
While discussing your partner’s addiction to facebook, come up with suggestions on how he/she may be able to combat it. Suggest concrete steps like limiting the time spent on facebook to certain hours on weeknights and keeping the weekend free for the two of you. Or setting an alarm some distance away from the computer so that your partner has to get up and switch it off once the stipulated time of facebook use is over. Ask your partner to contribute specific steps and how he/she may best be able to cut down on the hours spent on facebook.
Use non-judgmental language
When you express your concerns over your partner’s Internet addiction, avoid being critical and accusing. This will only make him/her more defensive and not take the discussion anywhere. Instead keep the focus on your own feelings of loneliness and rejection. Use sentences beginning with “I” like “I wish we could go out more often” or “I feel hurt when you don’t want to make love anymore”. This way you can bring up the problem without directly blaming your partner.
Be empathetic
If your partner responds to your concerns, make sure you listen fully and with respect. Try to suspend your own point of view for a few minutes and put yourself in your partner’s shoes. This does not mean that you are giving in to your partner’s obsession but only that you are open to what he/she is saying and trying to accept their reality without judging it.
Identify the trigger factor, if any
Go back to the time when your partner first started spending too many hours on facebook and see if was caused by any major changes in work or family schedules. Perhaps he/she got laid off at work and there was too much free time on his/her hands. Again a sudden illness or accident may have compelled your partner to stay indoors and he/she got hooked to the site for lack of things to do. If you think your partner’s facebook addiction was caused by such factors, try to get him/her more involved in real life situations. Hobbies, pets and enjoyable pursuits may be helpful in bringing your partner’s focus back to the real world and get more satisfaction here than from the online community.
Consider underlying problems
Online relationships, according to therapists, begin to replace real life relationships when the person is distressed or dissatisfied with his/her present emotional life. See if your partner’s addiction to facebook is a way of escaping from discord, unhappiness or even boredom in your relationship. If so, addressing the underlying issues in your relationship may be a useful starting point of combating his/her addiction to facebook.
Be prepared for a negative response
Like any other form of addiction, Internet addiction may also result in denial and defensiveness on the part of the addict. Your partner may insist that he/she does not have a problem or worse make it seem your fault. Addicts are usually good at changing the focus of the real issue by shifting the blame on to another person. So  establish and maintain healthy boundaries and remain true to your needs.
Look at other options
If you are unable to reach across to your partner the first time, try again. You could write him/her a letter expressing your concerns or even send an email, thus underlining the fact that not all use of Internet is necessarily bad. If your partner continues to shut you out, it may be better to seek the help of a marital counselor or therapist.
Experts are divided over whether addiction to social networking websites like facebook, constitute a disorder in itself or is merely the symptom of more complex problem like depression or marital conflict. However the bottom-line is that when a person begins to be so obsessed with sending posts and updating status on Facebook that daily work and real life relationships are neglected it is time to look for help

how to survive infidelity

Infidelity must surely be one of the most difficult problems to face in a relationship or marriage. The discovery of an unfaithful partner can be devastating. And surviving infidelity is no mean task. It can often wreak untold damage on the marriage and those involved.
Ironically though, research has shown that those who survive infidelity in marriages and try and make it work, sometimes meet with extraordinary success. In fact, there have been cases where the cheating partner has been so guilty and penitent that they go out of their way to make reparation, becoming more caring partners than ever before. And they end up with stronger marriages than they had prior to the adulterous affair.
So what prompts a person deeply involved in a relationship to stray? Where do affairs begin?
It is rare that someone actively seeks an affair. They normally just happen - an old girlfriend who came back into your life by chance, somebody at work you got close to. And suddenly, before you know it, you're in over your head. It either boils down to lust or trying to meet some unfulfilled need in your existing relationship.
Very often proximity develops into sexual attraction. You must remember that all humans have this potential for being attracted to someone else, but the difference lies in what you decide to do about it. It is the commitment factor that makes a relationship/marriage special, and if you have succumbed to temptation, you have violated it.
If you have cheated on your partner and now regret it, all is not lost. You may still be able to help your marriage and survive your infidelity but you have to act fast and act right.
Firstly, end the affair, immediately if you haven't already. There is no scope for three people in a relationship or marriage. Whatever were your reasons for beginning the affair it has to die a sudden death. Don't ever give in to the temptation to call your lover again or initiate any contact, if you're serious about giving your relationship a fresh start.
Try and analyze the situation as objectively as possible and figure out why you felt the need to cheat. Was there something lacking in your existing relationship that you sought elsewhere? Or are there certain qualities you admired in your lover that your spouse didn't have? Or was it the classic case of fatal attraction?
Whatever was your reason, remember there is no excuse for cheating . If you were dissatisfied with some aspect of your relationship, you owed it to your partner to discuss it, rather than resorting to an affair. If you expect your marriage to survive your infidelity, be true to yourself and acknowledge that what you did was wrong and you were out of line.
Now comes the hard part: you have to confess. Hopefully your spouse hasn't discovered the affair already, which gives you a chance to come clean. This way, he/she will at least appreciate your honesty. Try and explain what happened without trying to justify it. Make sure you choose a time and place which gives you the chance for privacy and sorting out things without interruptions.
Be prepared for extreme reactions of anger, hurt and betrayal. Your partner may not have suspected anything at all and this may come as a rude shock. If he/she hurls a few choice insults, do not react. You will only worsen the situation. You have obviously merited it with your behavior. Stay calm and say you are truly sorry.
Recognize the pain you have inflicted on your partner. If he/she is having trouble reciprocating, understand that it will take time for them to heal. You have inflicted a deep wound, which will require time and patience to cure. Do not expect instant results.
Your partner may need time by himself to work through this. However, do not let them distance themselves too much from you. Seek help from a psychiatrist or a support group if necessary. They have experience helping others to survive infidelity. Let your spouse know that you are ready to do whatever it takes.
Once they feel ready to talk about it with you, also dwell on the good times you have enjoyed. Make sure you get through to them how much you regret your actions.
Try and make amends in any way you can think of. Go out of your way to make your partner feel special and cared for. Enhance the love in your relationship and let your partner see that your marriage matters to you.
If and when your partner decides to forgive you, realize your spouse's strength of character. He/she is willing to help you survive your infidelity and give you another chance. Do not give them any reason to doubt you ever again.