Divorce Online: 15 Percent of Divorces Due to Game Addiction

Divorce Online, a website dedicated to getting rid of that dead weight in your marriage, claims that 15 percent of the divorces it has handled can be attributed to spouses that are addicted to online games such as world of Warcraft and Call of Duty.

According to a press release issued by Divorce Online, an examination of 200 unreasonable behavior petitions filed by women using its service between January – April of this year found that 15 percent complained that their husbands were happier playing video games than they were paying attention to them. They called their "gaming addiction" an unreasonable behavior that lead to the divorce they were seeking.

The release also offers comments from one disgruntled 21-year-old wife from London named Jessica Ellis, 24, who married husband Michael in 2008.

"He was addicted to World of Warcraft but played other games now and then," said Jessica. "When it became serious he was playing up to eight hours a day and I threatened to leave. He then stopped playing World of Warcraft for a while and started playing Call of Duty instead but the amount he was playing just gradually increased until I could not take it anymore. It got so bad that he even organised to play on the day of our second wedding anniversary as we had decided to go out at the weekend instead. I was constantly trying to get him to cut back but he didn’t think he had a problem or was doing anything wrong until I told him I wanted to leave but by that time it was too late.”

They also tap professional game addict Ryan G. Van Cleave, who you may know from his book "Unplugged: My Journey Into The Dark World Of Video Game Addiction." The book is about how Ryan lost everything to his extreme addiction to World of Warcraft.

“A lot of the problem spouses encounter with video game addiction is that the non-gamer doesn’t appreciate that it’s an addiction," said Van Cleave. "This means it’s not a choice to spend so much time in a virtual environment versus time with the spouse and family. It’s a compulsion. Trying to explain video game addiction to a non-addict is a lot like trying to explain to a fish what it’s like to drive a car. It’s no surprise that ‘gamer widows’ feel so insulted and disrespected that the most common advice given in gamer widow chat sites and websites is ‘Run for your life.’ The reality is that with the proper professional support, a video game addict, like any other type of addict, can overcome the addiction."

"The increase in the number of video game addiction cases could be a consequence of the recession, or it might be being used by men in particular as a means of escape from an already unhappy relationship," Mark Keenan, Managing Director of Divorce Online.

Divorce Online is a do-it-yourself uncontested divorce website in the UK and has helped more than 68,000 couples file their own divorce proceedings without needing lawyers. For more information on Divorce Online, visit www.divorce-online.co.uk.

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  1. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Giving how often we see "experts" trying to prove addiction andh ow many would consider someone who plays for more than half an hour addicted, yeah, I wouldn’t be shocked too.

  2. 0
    Cavalier says:

    I would be incredibly shocked if this were -not- the case, to be honest.  It’s a nice, safe, loaded phrase that’s very hard to argue against.

    If they said "always out barhopping with his buddies" or the like, it would have exactly the same practical value. "He’s not paying enough attention to -me-."

    I’ve seen a lot of relationships where this is the chief complaint of a woman whose real problem is "I don’t have any hobbies outside the relationship," lately.  I’m not going to say "I suspect this statistic is more of the same," but I do suspect that there’s some definite inflation of the reality here. 15% seems way too high.

  3. 0
    Neeneko says:

    It would not surprise me if it happens.

    I am on several boards that deal with relationship issues… and it is VERY common for people to build narratives around the idea that they did nothing wrong…

  4. 0
    Kajex says:

    You’re suggesting that spouses are using the words "video game addiction" to legitamize their position in a divorce?

    Yeah. But then, that’s the entire point in divorces- legitamizing ones position in order to gain a substantial amount (or to prevent from losing at all).

  5. 0
    Neeneko says:

    This is why ‘addiction’ is a dangerous and loaded word to use.

    There is a huge diference between "were happier playing video games than they were paying attention to them" and "game addiction".  If nothing else it speaks to a bit of an entitlement attitude the complaining spouce has, which might just be a cause of such behavior in the first place….

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