'Quiet Family Killer' Increasing Local Divorce, Infidelity Rates
CHARLOTTE, NC- Experts call it the "quiet family killer."
Pornography is a booming business, but the addiction is now to blame for a growing number of divorces.
Four to 16 hours a day of sexually explicit videos and pictures. That's how far porn addiction goes for many of Michael Howard's married clients.
"For the spouse or partner that feels betrayed, it's as if their partner is choosing someone or something else over them," said Howard, a marriage and family therapist at the Healing Solutions Counseling Center.
Howard says pornography breaks relationships as much or more than cheating.
"Feelings of inadequacy. Am I not good enough, am I not pretty enough, beautiful enough, sexy enough, am I not good enough in bed?" said Howard.
Divorce and child custody attorneys say those doubts lead many couples to court.
"We see over 50 percent, probably between 50 and 60 percent of every case, someone is alleging pornography excessive use," said Angela McIlveen, of Mcllveen Family Law Firm.
Years ago, viewing pornography was limited to a home desktop shared by a family. But now, more people view it at their office and the accessibility goes even further with the use of tablets and smart phones.
"You don't have to sneak around as much as you've had to in the past or try to find a private place," said Mcllveen.
Attorney Eric Meredith agrees that it's more socially accepted, but the excess use is playing a bigger role in divorce courtrooms.
"Now, they want to use it against the other person in court to try to either embarrass them, make them look, or to ultimately use it as a bargaining chip," said Meredith of Jetten & Meredith, PLLC
Divorce attorneys tell us that pornography-use often comes up in child custody cases as a way for one parent to get leverage over the other.