This is a real statistic. 33% of UK divorce petitions refer to Facebook (Divorce Online).
It’s not surprising that Facebook plays a role in so many divorces today. I would not be too quick to suggest that couples ban Facebook from their lives because I am not so sure those same people won’t end up lawyering up anyway, but I would suggest that it become a topic of discussion among couples. Let’s look at the reasons Facebook is causing marital trouble and how to prevent that trouble:
1. Facebook allows us to effortlessly maintain contact with anyone we were ever in a relationship with! For those of us who are a bit older, think of it like the pile of photos of an old flame you may have stored somewhere. Some may feel they should toss those photos out. Some are happy to keep them in a box stored away in the attic. For most, they may just be a nice memory of younger days. But old photos don’t exist for today’s young couples. Their memories are all stored conveniently, at hands reach, on the Facebook timeline. THey don’t even have time to turn into memories because they keep living on. As old boyfriends update their status — a new job, pictures of a new girlfriend, a birthday celebration with a family you used to feel a part of — you are constantly reminded of what you left behind – or at least that may be how it feels to your new husband.
So what do you do? You talk about it. Even if it is awkward.
Couples should agree on a set of rules about keeping in touch with old boyfriends and girlfriends. Every situation is unique. But be honest with each other and respect each others concerns. Sometimes, it’s just better to “unfriend” someone and avoid any potential jealousy.
2. Many people feel that flirting on Facebook is harmless. But a spouse may not agree. Just like you (hopefully) would not openly flirt with a girl sitting at the table next to you while out to dinner with your wife, you may want to think twice about flirting online from the comfort of your own home. It can be insulting and even dangerous. Online relationships can become intense even if you never meet the person face to face. If you find that you are drawn to such interactions, take some time to consider why that is happening. It may be an indication of a real problem.
3. Many people report feeling actual symptoms of addiction to Facebook. Checking into Facebook constantly throughout the day, uploading photos and videos of everything, changing status multiple times through the day. It can easily interfere with real life. In general, spending too much time online is not healthy. It’s not good for your physical well-being and it can dampen a relationship. With the current smartphone revolution, it is not uncommon to see couples out on a date but spending most of their time texting to friends or playing with some new app.
So what do you do? If you are the compulsive digital type, work on reducing your screen time. Just think of it as being considerate. When you are together and talking – don’t start texting, updating your status, answering calls constantly. And certainly don’t interrupt intimate moments for Facebook! If it’s your spouse who is spending too much time on Facebook or other online activities, tell him. Explain how it makes you feel and let him know that you are interested in spending quality time together.