5 seemingly harmless things that can wreck your marriage

Infidelity comes in physical, mental and emotion forms and can take a toll on even the strongest of marriages.

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  • This article is brought to you by Bloom, an online resource of support and education for women working to recover from betrayal and broken relationships. Get answers from experts, connect with women like you, and begin the healing process today. Click here to watch the video.

  • The good news is most millennials are hopeful about marriage. A 2012 study by Clark University found 86 percent of people between the ages of 18 to 29 expect their marriages to last a lifetime. Perhaps that's why it's so devastating to a woman when someone, or something, comes between her and her husband.

  • Sometimes "the other woman" is another woman, but often infidelity starts with an attachment to things, rather than a person.

  • Craig Nakken author of "The Addictive Personality: Understanding the Addictive Process and Compulsive Behavior" defines addiction as, "A pathological love and trust relationship with an object (person) or event … the out-of-control and aimless searching for wholeness, happiness and peace through a relationship with an object or event."

  • Here are a few addictions — some that even seem innocent — that might be taking a toll on your marriage.

  • Work

  • Marriage coach Mort Fertel told theglobeandmail.com, "99.7 percent of the people I see were not sensitive to work-life balance and as a result got themselves into a crisis situation." A man may think he's providing for his family when he is really neglecting it.

  • Video games

  • A study at Brigham Young University found online video gaming hurt marriage satisfaction. The study found "75 percent of spouses of sword-carrying, avatar-loving gamers wish they would put less effort into their guilds and more effort into their marriage" — especially when it came to bedtime routines. And it's not just games that spouses need to unplug from.

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  • Social media

  • Technology is changing the way people see each other — literally. The University of Missouri found as many as 1 in 5 divorce filings cite problems on Facebook or other social networking websites. "Cutting back to moderate, healthy levels of Facebook usage could help reduce conflict, particularly for newer couples who are still learning about each other," said surveyor Russell Clayton.

  • 'Just a friend'

  • Licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Athena Staik says today's workplace has become the new danger zone of opportunities for emotional affairs, surpassed only by the Internet. "A relationship without sex can be just as intense, or more so than a sexual one," she said. And it doesn't take much to cross over the line to physical intimacy

  • Pornography

  • Other problems on the Internet involve the all-too-easy-to access pornography. There is a lot of information on the proven harmful effects of pornography on a marriage. Research has shown that after men are exposed to pornography, they rate themselves as less in love with their partner than men who didn't see any porn. As with any addiction, recovery is difficult but possible.

  • If you find yourself in the more serious of these situations, there is hope. Dr. Kevin Skinner says "betrayal trauma (the aftermath of having been betrayed in your marriage) looks an awful lot like post-traumatic stress disorder" and through support and online classes, women can heal from the trauma and, in some cases, reclaim and strengthen their marriages.

  • Providing an online support community for women, Bloom is a resource of support and education for women working to recover from betrayal and broken relationships. Get answers from experts, connect with women like you, and begin the healing process today. Click here to watch the video.

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Shelly Norman has worked as a journalist for 25 years, both on the editing and writing side. She has a bachelor's degree in communication.

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