View Full Version : Boyfriend has Internet/computer addiction, please help!

04-11-2006, 04:28 PM
What can you do to help someone over come internet/computer addiction?

04-12-2006, 11:47 AM
in what way is it affecting their/your life?

04-13-2006, 10:37 PM
deny him sex would probably work for most men. what does he do on the computer might i ask. is he addicted to online games ex. world of warcraft 3 or just to the web in general.

04-20-2006, 11:34 AM
After living through a nasty gambling addiction of my spouse (now 4 years clean!) I do not minimize ANY addiction. I recently read an article about individuals with exercise addiction and the life-threatening nature of that addiction. It used to be people with eating disorders overexercised, but now it is affecting young men and women who start out trying to improve their sports performance.

Okay, back to computer addicition. This is another one of those addictions that cannot realistically be dealt with through total abstinence. Computers have become like phones, or maybe even like food. You can't NOT eat. It seems that, for most people, not using a computer at all is not practical.

Second, what stage of change is your boyfriend in? Does he sincerely believe it is not a problem at all (precontemplation), might be a problem (ambivalence), is a problem he will deal with someday (preparation), or ready to make a change (action.) Another way of saying this is: NEVER, MAYBE, SOON, NOW. Most people get stuck at soon - I'll give it up...tomorrow.

All addictions have positive and negative consequences, even for the addict. You may see negative consequences, but may not see the positive ones. All addicts do this calculation at some point. So here is my advice:

If your boyfriend is precontemplative, the best you might be able to do is raise his consciousness. Ask him to explain the benefits and costs of his computer use. Examples of benefits mights be: It keeps me well-informed, it is entertaining, I make money doing it, I find good deals for things I would buy elsewhere etc. etc. Examples of costs are: equipment, internet connection, time I could be doing other things, neglecting my home, family or friends etc.

In other words, the most effective strategy is the one that matches your boyfriends stage of change. If he is ambivalent, the possibility of change is really quite good. If he is precontemplative (this used to be called denial, but I do not believe that is an accurate description of this mental state) the strategy is different.

I hope this helps you clarify the situation and give you some objectivity. Threats, bribes and nagging have never helped anyone get over an addiction.