21 April 2011

Protecting Your Marriage While On Facebook

American lawyers have found that Facebook has been related to 20 percent of divorces. That’s one in five.  Now, I don’t want to add to the hype conclusion that Facebook is evil and is the cause of the divorce; Facebook is more of a medium that connected two vulnerable people.

The classic scenario for these divorces is as follows.  Man is currently married. Connects with several high school friends on Facebook, including past girlfriends.  Is disgruntled one day due to stress, and expresses his feelings to a past fling via Facebook.  He feels her nonjudgmental and gentle reaction to his current stress.  Than this leads him to emotionally invest in his Facebook fling instead of his wife.  This leads to a removal of him from connecting to his wife emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. The rest, as it is said, is history.
The claim is often that these people who connect with past flings over Facebook were not completely into their marriage and therefore would have broken the marriage anyways.  While this is sometimes the case, there are those who just got caught in a weak moment and were in a vulnerable position, and as a result they connected with someone emotionally over Facebook and terminated their marriage.

Couples need to protect themselves. Again, Facebook is not the guilty party, the individual is, but there needs to be custom protective factors implemented to keep your marriage intact while you network online. Here are a couple ideas of how to stay connected to your real life partner.

Know what your spouse is doing online. Be friends on Facebook, and set your relationship status to married.  Facebook at the same time to see who each other are interacting with.  Some couples take this to an extreme where they share a Facebook account. Do what feels comfortable.

Put the computer in a high traffic area in your house.  Get the computer, and even laptop out of your room.  It’s easy to know what someone is doing when you can see them.

Hug your spouse for 20 seconds.  Research has shown that if you do a full body hug with your spouse the “love” hormone has a chance to release, therefore connecting you to your spouse.

Do not go to bed angry.  Talk to your spouse. Let them know politely what is on your mind and what is troubling you.  If it is something about your spouse that is bothering you, bring it up nicely and gently.

Have fun together. We don’t see a lot of couples going to court that are laughing. Have consistent date nights.  Do things that each of you enjoy.  Learn to laugh at yourself.  Yes, life can be difficult, and it gets more complex with children, and this is why it is so important for you to have time together.

Lastly, don’t have conversations over the internet that you wouldn’t want your spouse to read.  Once something is posted online, it is there forever, even when it gets deleted. It can be recalled. So be careful with what you are posting online.

Most of all, be smart and wise online. Keep your offline relationships in the forefront, and put online relationships to the sidelines.