Internet usage among Irish couples is causing stress in their marriage, so says Irish Catholic marriage care service ACCORD.

Figures for the first half of 2009 show that seven percent of couples believe that too much time spent online by their partner is the main problem.

ACCORD gives over 30,000 counseling sessions to couples in their 57 centers around Ireland.

Director of counseling John Farrelly said that “Internet gambling, infidelity and one partner spending too much time online rather than with their spouse and family” were major areas of concern.

The collapse of the Celtic Tiger and the ensuing financial difficulties have also caused tension between Irish couples.

In 2007, 20 percent of ACCORD clients said that money was causing stress in their unions. In the first two quarters of this year, that number has gone up to 31 percent.

"The recession continues to affect marriage and family, as people feel they are beginning to lose control of their lives," said Farrelly.