Social media behaviour becoming ‘common problem’ in Irish marriages

The use of social media and technology has become a “common problem” in Irish marriages, suggests new research.

Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service believes constant access to technology has removed the “cooling off” period following a domestic argument.

Research conducted in Maynooth of over 3,000 clients over two years found that both men and women agreed that social media and technology “behaviour” caused difficulties in marriages and relationships.

Accord said it is now tailoring its service to deal with the issue following feedback from couples.

Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, and president of Accord, said: “Social media is a huge issue. Pope Francis spoke about this at Croke Park and we need to be digitally conscious.

As we shape our marriage preparation courses in the future, we'll be taking this into consideration

“We’re dictated by gadgets so being clued-in is important.”

On the lack of a “cooling-off” period he added: “When you send a text, a tweet or a Whatsapp message, there’s no way of pulling it back, and it causes huge heartache for everyone involved.

“As we shape our marriage preparation courses in the future, we’ll be taking this into consideration.

“We have a low divorce rate in Ireland, and I would like to keep it low. I have no doubt people in Ireland still take marriage very seriously.”

16,048 individuals attended its marriage preparation courses in 2018, down almost 800 from 2017.

Separately, Accord counsellors provided 24,180 counselling sessions to individuals and couples during 2018 throughout Ireland, north and south. This figure is also lower than 2017, which saw 26,946 people attend counselling.

The bishop attributes some of the drop in figures to couples attending different private counselling services.

Other “common problem areas” from clients attending Accord counselling included unresolved arguments, inappropriate behaviour during arguments and satisfaction with their sexual relationship.

It said 75 per cent of clients whose data was reviewed rated their relationship as improved after counselling.

- Press Association

More on this topic

When marriage doesn’t work, be authentic

On the couch: What happens in couples counselling

20 ‘marriages of convenience’ blocked last year

People choosing to marry at later stage in life

More in this Section

Three injured, two seriously, in three-car collision in Limerick

Man, 70s, arrested in connection with 1984 murder of Marie Tierney

70% increase in number of carers diagnosed with depression in last 10 years

Dublin is still the most expensive city in the Eurozone to live in


Stereolab: The right band at the wrong time

Kaleidoscope: The festival that is Electric Picnic for families

The High Priestess of Punk on 40 years in showbusiness ahead of Irish gig

Orla O’Regan: ‘I treasure the way my life has turned out’

More From The Irish Examiner