Facebook Will Ruin Your Marriage

by Jordan Richardson on March 8, 2011

For many people, relationships are complex enigmas of conflicting emotions. Figuring out how to successfully co-exist with another human being can be as daunting a task as figuring out why Charlie Sheen is famous (winning!?). Add a little Facebook to the mix and some relationships are crumbling faster than my dreams when it was time to leave Disneyland.

According to research by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Facebook use has been cited in one of five U.S. divorce cases. More than 80 percent of divorce lawyers in the country say that there’s a rising number of people using social media as the catalyst or the conduit for extramarital affairs.

Apparently the buzz created by getting reacquainted with old high school pals is enough of an aphrodisiac to spike a connection that leads, in some cases at least, from a harmless “poke” session to a marriage-ruining poke session of another kind.

“One spouse connects online with someone they knew from high school. The person is emotionally available and they start communicating through Facebook. Within a short amount of time, the sharing of personal stories can lead to a deepened sense of intimacy, which in turn can point the couple in the direction of physical contact,” says psychologist Steven Kimmons of Loyola University Medical Center.

Kimmons isn’t convinced that these sorts of occurrences come out of a desire or intention to cheat, however. “I don’t think these people typically set out to have affairs. A lot of it is curiosity. They see an old friend or someone they dated and decide to say ‘hello’ and catch up on where that person is and how they’re doing,” he says.

The trick is understanding how technology interacts with the psyche, I suppose. We know that video games produce different levels of skills in players. With news coming out this week that players of certain games can actually become more “helpful” people, it’s not hard to see that technology has, at the very least, some role in our social development. There are those who still relegate social networking to, say, the purview of pre-teen girls. But these ignorant dismissals aside, most people in today’s world are interacting on a deep level with the products and services of this era.

Is it fair to say that Facebook will ruin your marriage? Is it even fair to say that Mario and Luigi will make you a more cooperative individual? Absolutely not. But for those wretched malefactors of the heart, technology sure makes for a good excuse.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Who Are You Talking to on Facebook? | Dad in the Middle
October 14, 2011 at 11:54 am
Bridging the divide between technology and relationships « Tokii Blog
October 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm
Bridging the divide between technology and relationships | Tokii Lab
February 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm


the Social Media Couple March 11, 2011 at 12:12 am

Thanks for the focus on Facebook’s impact on marriages. We noticed you used the “1 in 5 divorces involve Facebook”

stat. The “stats” around this issue have gotten so loose and messy that we investigated the 14-month history of this

stat and put the findings on our blog, Techlationships.com. We encourage you to read “Debunking the 1-in-5 Divorces

Linked to Facebook Stat” at http://bit.ly/1in5FB and maybe do a story on it.

Let us know if you have any questions! K Jason and Kelli Krafsky (The Social Media Couple and Co-Authors of “Facebook and Your Marriage)

Jordan Richardson March 11, 2011 at 2:19 am

I didn’t know there was a term for it, but it turns out that I wound up getting married thanks to a “techlationship” myself.

Now obviously the statistics are a little less than convincing, which is why my article concludes itself as it does and focuses more on the impact of technology on the psyche. I think the statistic leans more towards the suggestion that technology has become such a part of our lives that it’s almost unbelievable for it not to be a factor in marriages, relationships and so forth. As I say in the above article, “most people in today’s world are interacting on a deep level with the products and services of this era.”

Or as your entry on the subject says: “Facebook is revolutionizing how we do relationships. It affects all of our relationships including: marriages, families, dating relationships, parents and their kids, grandparents and grand kids, friendships, and the list goes on. Social media is not going away anytime soon.”

That said, I’m not so sure that the statistics or even the reports on the statistics suggest that Facebook “caused” the divorces in question. The suggestion is rather that Facebook is the “conduit” for extramarital affairs. That only makes sense, as these relationship aren’t “failing due to the technology” but are failing due to infidelity “assisted” by this technology. Facebook being cited, then, is no different than the telephone being implicated in a divorce hearing in which an affair was arranged via phone.

So in a way, I think your entry is debunking a claim that isn’t being made – except by flashy media types with tongues planted firmly in cheeks. The research doesn’t say Facebook causes divorce, though.

Kristin March 16, 2011 at 12:21 am

I like this post. A lot of people want to deny the fact that social sites can play a role in adding stress to relationships. People need to be more careful with how they behave on these sites. What is seen as something normal to say to a person on facebook might not be normal to say to them over the phone or in person. People should keep such things in mind when posting or writing to friends on these sites. Like alcohol, these sites do lower people’s inhibitions (whether or not anyone wants to admit it it is true). Some people say that the sites are no different from using a telephone in the past, but how many married people were willing to call and have conversations with their exes, and how many married people would look up phone numbers of the people they used to have crushes on? That sort of behavior used to be considered stalker behavior but now that it has transferred to the internet it is deemed ok. Doesn’t make much sense to me.
Facebook does have its good points… I guess… but people do need to remember their inhibitions when logging on and making contact with others. Just remember to ask yourself some questions 1) How would my partner feel if he or she knew I was going to contact this person 2) How would I feel I feel if the tables were turned and my partner was the one doing this 3) Why am I actually contacting this person 4) Is this really and truly harmless?
Answering those questions honestly can be a good start to figuring out whether or not your online relationships are appropriate.

Thanks for the blog, people need to be more aware of the possibility of extra relationship stress due to internet relationships.

Tempa Lee Walker June 27, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I totally agree. I have never been so hurt with what has happened with the one that I loved so much.

Fred September 5, 2011 at 10:10 pm

This is a fact. My marriage is now ending thanks to my wife meeting an old high school person that she has “so much in common with”. Leaving two great kids behind too. The damage done is unmeasurable. Class action sounds like a good idea about now.

Smokey Mirror October 18, 2011 at 1:51 am

My ex said she was going to Tampa for a weekend to visit her mom, turns out she went to visit an old boyfriend from high school in Orlando. Which I found out on her fb page, not that I was spying on her page, but it showed up on my newsfeed since her ex tagged a photo of them on her page. I deleted my facebook account and moved on and now avoid romantic relationships like the plague.

Dave June 23, 2012 at 1:12 am

“and now avoid romantic relationships like the plague.”
That’s sad… But I feel the same way… Until I meet someone that is the committed type. People are monogamous because they would not want to be with anyone else and respect the one they love’s feelings, not because we are conditioned into fidelity. I certainly wont meet someone on facebook again, cause it would just be the same nightmare, knowing other guys are checking her out and vice versa…. I love technology and computers, and at one point I really appreciated the existence of facebook (despite it’s EXTREMELY annoying aspect of mind control and ties to the CIA and big brother) for allowing me to even find out about my very interesting and beautiful wife…. But now, after finding out she was communicating sexually and meeting some of them just because I, like she, had made some mistakes, I really regret giving up everything and moving to another country. It’s just too easy to start chatting someone up, especially if you’re upset with your partner. I even tried it out myself after being told that she was pregnant and ‘gonna kill it’…. – Was honest with her and even showed her all of the mere few messages, cause I felt bad… – Now I’m just a guy that told some average looking girl that she was pretty while my wife was pregnant… Am I just as guilty? No. – Because now she’s actually #@$%#^ing someone else cause she can’t remember anything positive and cannot see the light past her dark views seeded in un-fulfillment.

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