Q. My wife’s computer has captured her! It’s either the Internet or Solitaire. She always “just wants to check out a couple of websites.” But after two hours I wonder, Did she marry me or the computer? How can I stop her? It’s really serious!
A.There is, with many women, as with men, an increasingly disturbing trend toward computer addiction. Some people play games for eight hours a day and get irritable and moody if they can’t have constant access to their computer. Research tells that 65% of us spend more time with the computer than with our significant other!
Obviously complaining hasn’t changed your situation. However, God has given you the privilege of leading your wife into the fullness of life, godliness and marriage. With His grace, or divine enablement, you drew her to yourself. With that same grace, lead her now into the excitement and thrill of walking with the Lord, adventure in His Word and Presence, and meaning and joy in ministering to the believers. Indeed, woo her away from that computer. You can do it; you have to!
As you seek His guidance, God will tell you when the time is right to talk to her about what the computer habit had been doing to you, her, and your marriage. Present your case sensitively; she needs to feel your compassion and not just your fear, frustration, and disappointment. Avoid complaining; she must hear your love and concern for her, your desire to be with her, and your commitment to having a great marriage.
Remind her of some of the fun things you both enjoyed doing together that you probably haven’t done in a while. Get back to those things and then go forward into new things together in the Lord.
If this action doesn’t help, meet with your elders or, if no Elders are available, a mature and godly couple in your fellowship whom you both could trust. Reviewing God’s viewpoint would be invaluable and can provide a fresh perspective, prayer support, and encouragement. These godly instruments will guide you should professional support become necessary.
Remember, people who spend excessive time on the computer are usually striving to meet needs in their lives, sometimes without even knowing it. These could be relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, a job situation, etc, all of which they seek to “medicate”, wrongly, by mindless games and senseless challenges. The computer actually tends to exacerbate the stress rather than alleviate it!
You will find great help at The Centre for Online Addiction, www.netaddiction.com . However, your real solution is found in God’s plan, revealed in His Word.