The internet has changed the way people communicate. Social media websites such as Facebook have opened the doors for people to stay in-touch, regardless of where they live. It has also created a new way for unhappy spouses to start new relationships, which often contributes to divorce.
A survey conducted by Divorce Online, a legal services firm, found that the word Facebook has appeared in more than one-third of divorce filings in the past few years. Attorneys across the country have seen an increase in the number of cases that submit evidence from social media as a contributing factor to the end of the marriage. Evidence such as online history searches, text messages and emails is being submitted as proof of wrongdoing by a spouse.
An online affair can start out as friends catching up, but it can quickly evolve into more. A spouse can sit within his or her own home in front of a computer and get to know somebody. Thus, the relationship can develop much quicker than if the individuals were trying to meet in person to spend time together. In fact, social media allows somebody who would otherwise never cheat be tempted because it is all too easy to do so.
Does this mean you must ban all social media websites in order to save your marriage? No, nothing that drastic is necessary, but precautions should be taken. You and your spouse must openly communicate about your online activity. You should each mark your online status as “married” and allow your spouse to have access to your login information. A spouse that is aware his or her spouse can check the account at any time is more likely to keep all communications on a “friends only” basis. Finally, you must be honest with yourself about whether or not your online activity is damaging to your marriage. If you are not sure, it is time to turn off the computer and spend more time with your spouse.