A New Jersey pastor told his married church leaders that they either had to delete Facebook or they would have to resign from their leadership role in the church. Other pastors have likened Facebook to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and have urged their entire congregation to shut down their pages. The issue became more urgent when the marriage statistics came out for 2011. The report said that 33% of all divorce filings mentioned in their paperwork Facebook as a factor that led to the divorce.
We cannot blame Facebook–it’s what people do on Facebook that is the problem. The most obvious problem develops when out of curiosity, one reaches out to an old flame–“just to see how they are doing.” Or an old flame reaches out to us for the same reason. Without realizing it, we can soon be spending more time “Facebooking” with an old flame than we’re doing face-time with our spouse. And the longer we reminisce about those old feelings the more we find they become current feelings.
I don’t do Facebook. I have a Facebook page, but it is managed by the New Life Live radio/TV program people. But I’ve worked with couples whose major complaint was that their spouse was spending hours a day on Facebook, posting pictures, chatting, and checking on their “friends’” postings. It’s all too easy to get caught up in what appears to be someone else’s exciting life, especially if we feel we are merely existing.
Another step to creating a major problem in a marriage is for one partner to become too personal in what they share with a “friend.” Talking about your marital issues with someone other than your spouse creates intimacy with that person, and it is especially dangerous if they are of the opposite sex. That’s really how just about every Facebook affair begins–They say they simply just sat and talked with an attractive other about what was not working in their marriage.
In the real world, an affair can take months to develop. But on Facebook, all it takes is a couple of clicks. People are tempted, and it is so much easier to give in to that temptation on Facebook. One may be too reserved, or shy in real life, but they can become much bolder behind the screen than they would be in person. Many of those who have ended up destroying their marriage would never have even thought about having an affair without the private seduction available over Facebook.
How do you know if your marriage is in danger? The problem is already occurring if one person refuses to talk with their spouse about what is happening on their Facebook. If you are being shut out of your spouse’s activities on Facebook, your marriage is probably already in the danger zone. Safety comes with complete openness regarding who you each are talking with, and when both of you know all of each other’s passwords. That’s at least a beginning point in protecting your marriage. Be careful in this digital age–you don’t want to be one of the 33%.
How do you handle Facebook and other social media issues in your marriage? In your family?
Being male. I have only my very close friend’s, sister’s, brother nephews & niece’s in my Facebook account. I even don’t add someone to whom I know from a short time or they are not close family relatives. I expect the same from my spouse. It’s better to keep the butter away from fire as it will always melt near heat.
Yes Facebook can be a real time waster. I m one of those that uses Facebook very little but the College radio station that I am with with has a Facebook page. The key to a good marriage is communication… in our case the main computer is in the Dining Room so my wife and I do talk from time to time about our friends/contacts etc no secrets here
Wow, your post makes mine look fleebe. More power to you!
Normally I’m against killing but this artcile slaughtered my ignorance.
Well done article that. I’ll make sure to use it wisley.
Thank for very good work!
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I am living proof that this is True! My life has been destroyed! My wife who I have known for 32 years and Married 25 years ago, became obsessed with Facebook, the Iphone never left her hand, and re-kindled a relationship with an old Boyfriend from her Teenage years. He is a Biker, so she bought a Motor Cycle exactly like his, and there is alot more to the story…………….
We are now Separated, our home is Sold and I am now Homeless, left to try and piece my life together…….
Yes this is very true!!! My husband has a Facebook and many past high school friends witch he chats with frequently, to my surprise conversations that are not appropriate but he doesn’t see anything wrong with it. I don’t know how much longer we will stay married as he wont get rid of them. He also had an affair with another lady he meet on FB and always told me she was just his cousin until I really found everything by searching. And we have been Married for 16 years but togather for 24 years. SOOOOOOOO Sad
I don’t even know that I can TRUST him anymore and he doesn’t want to understand it.