Social Media and the “D-word”

Divorce: For married couples, it’s one of the scariest words you could utter. In fact, the hubs and I banned the word completely, after we were offered some good advice from a recent divorcée, about ten years older than we are. She said, “you guys are at the age where everyone is getting married. I am at the age where everyone is getting divorced.” She then proceeded to offer her words of wisdom: “Just don’t ever say that word. If you never say it, it’s never on the table.”

It sounds simple enough, yet the divorce rate in America, and around the world for that matter, continues to climb. Now, according to an MSN article I read this morning, studies are indicating that Facebook is the culprit for one in five divorce cases. That’s 20% people!!!
Hearing that statistic, I can’t help but wonder about the depth and quality of relationships that allow something as impersonal as a social media website instigate its demise. Well, according to my sources (a.k.a. the articles linked to said MSN article), Facebook not only provides a disgruntled spouse proof of any indiscretions or cheating, but it also gives husbands and wives an outlet to connect or even reconnect with other potential love interests. Everything from flirty emails, to instant chats, even changing the relationship status has led to arguments and eventually, divorce. And while to me, the thought of changing a relationship status from married to single, without telling their husband or wife, is just insanely immature and laughable, apparently it happens. A lot.

So, if you’re concerned that social media could be the kiss of death for your relationship, you can breathe a little easier because the article also includes a link for “tips for spouses on Facebook,” via The Random Forest.

  1. Give them freedom to browse
    (I.e. Share your account passwords. According to the article “this is the easiest way to prove you are not up to any nonsense and allow your partner to trust you. By sharing your online passwords you will find the relationship to be much easier to deal with and a lot of questions the spouse may have will go away.”)
  2. Get rid of temptation
    (I.e. disable the chat feature. “The instant messenger feature on Facebook can lead to a lot of bad news if the wrong person pops up while your spouse is over your shoulder. In addition, it can lead to a lot of people making sexual advances at you as well. Do yourself and marriage a favor and just disable this function.”)
  3. Set up a system of accountability
    (I.e. forward messages. “Don’t be afraid to forward your inbox messages to email and share that email as well. This again will cut down on confusion and doubt in the relationship. It is better to share too much than too little and live a miserable life.)
  4. Discuss questionable new friends
    (I.e. should you friend an ex? “This depends on the maturity of your spouse. If they understand you have a past and are comfortable with it, then this could be fine. However, if there is any doubt in your mind that your spouse wouldn’t be 100% ok with your new found social friendship, then don’t do it. It is not worth the pain and heartache.”)

My take on it- Sure, these pointers could be beneficial for someone in a relationship that already has trust issues. To me, it all seems like WAY too much work for a mere Facebook page. Don’t get me wrong, the hubs and I are both avid social media users, mostly to network in our careers, and keep up with old friends, but we likely won’t adhere to any of these tips. Quite frankly, healthy relationships don’t have to prove they “are not up to any nonsense.” That’s just a given. And furthermore, if a relationship can be broken by a website, chances are, other, deeper factors are what made it so fragile to begin with. Opening up the lines of communication and dealing with issues of unhappiness and mistrust in the marriage, seem like much more viable and lasting solutions.

What do you guys think? Feel free to post your comments here, on Twitter (@hawlieohe), or on my Facebook page.

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1 Response to Social Media and the “D-word”

  1. Forest says:

    Thanks for linking our article 🙂

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