More than one third of all divorces are related to what was said or done on Facebook. Facebook can’t be blamed entirely because it’s the couples who are responsible for the way they use Facebook in their intimate lives, but the fact that Facebook carries the power and influence it does in affecting marriage should make couples take note.
Learning the skills or netiquette to use Facebook in a way to strengthen your marriage instead of being a reason the marriage didn’t survive should be part of every couple’s pre-marital counseling. Suggestions below can be helpful for the couple to agree upon during their engagement period. If you haven’t thought about this or have been married for years, your chances of Facebook turmoil is even higher. Taking action now to protect your marriage before an “out of the blue” high school sweetheart begins flirting with your spouse is an opportunity to do something proactive for your marriage survival.
- Sit down together and make a plan of what’s okay to post and what’s not. If you have insecurities about photos and views that you want kept between you and your spouse this a good time to discuss it.
- Share passwords.
- Give your spouse a place of honor on your page. Have photos of your spouse and talk about your spouse in a complementary manner.
- Don’t friend ex’s and be aware that if you’re afraid or embarrassed for your spouse to see something you’ve posted, don’t post it.
- It’s okay to message your spouse on Facebook, but Facebook should never replace intimate communication with your partner.
- Arguments you have with your spouse should not be talked about or discussed on Facebook. Couples’ arguments are between the couple. They should not be discussed with friends.
- If either partner is curious about something posted on your wall, rather than getting defensive, be open, honest and talk about it. Couples know when one or the other is lying. With Facebook and all social media, transparency minimizes drama and is less complicated.
- Have a shut down time at night. Marriage problems happen when one spouse is more interested in talking on Facebook than they are to their spouse. Have an agreed rule for shut off time with all social media, and use the evenings to prioritize couple time.
Facebook has the advantage of feeling close to family and friends no matter how far away you are. Marriages can be enhanced on Facebook when couples share their passwords and enjoy their friends and family together, but Facebook is also an outlet, which can exacerbate problems because of the easy access and ability to hide information. The two most important ingredients for marital success are kindness and generosity toward one another. Facebook couples that extend those two qualities into their online presence enjoy the same success.