ASK THE EXPERT: QI have been married 10 years and we have four children aged 9, 7, 6 and 4.
Recently, I discovered that my husband has been using adult chat rooms online and seems to have been communicating in sexually explicit ways with other people.
A second issue for a marriage is that one partner turns to the internet for flirting and sexual excitement rather than to their partner.
When this happens frequently, it can lead to a reduction in their sex-life together, a growing sense of disconnection and an erosion of the marital bond.
Such intimacy is built on communication and friendship and leads to deep affection and a satisfying sex life.
However, creating this intimacy is hard work and much harder than the easy escapism of the internet or watching TV or even over-working or domestic chores.
There is a big difference between a person occasionally viewing pornography with the knowledge and even involvement of their partner to a full-blown betrayal and using adult websites to start affairs with other people.
Like many problems, it can start innocently at first, with a person visiting sexually titillating sites perhaps out of boredom or a seeking escapism but then it can escalate to other behaviours, such as directly communicating with other people online and over time can become addictive and harmful.
In addition, try to have at least one special evening a week when you get a baby-sitter when you can do some new things together. The biggest prize of a successful marriage is closeness and intimacy – which allow a couple to accept and support one another on a deep level.
To continue with this process you may wish to seek marriage counselling ( relationshipsireland.com, accord.ie).
There is a good chance of success for the two of you, if your husband accepts responsibility for what he has done and if the two of you are willing to work hard on improving your marriage.
Up until this, I thought things were okay in our marriage, though of course we haven’t had much couple time with the demands of four children but this discovery has come as a bolt out of the blue.
It wouldn’t have been as bad if he was just accessing porn, as I know men do this, but the fact that he was talking to other people has really disgusted me.