It's Complicated: 5 Ways Social Media Is Ruining Your Marriage
The widespread use of social media has radically changed so many aspects of our lives, especially how we celebrate our milestones.
You’re almost not allowed to fully embrace a special moment unless all your friends and followers are enviously witnessing it through an Instagram update.
Now, when anyone gets engaged, there is always a mandatory Facebook relationship status update, followed by the adorably perfect engagement photos.
And, 485 Pinterest wedding inspiration boards later, the actual wedding celebration will have its very own catchy hashtag that will tell guests how they can share their pictures on Twitter and Instagram.
Let’s fast forward to married life: You’re all aware that there will be insane fights, petty grudges and even some sexual dry spells.
But you’ll still be able to live happily ever after with the love of your life, right?
While everyone knows marriage isn’t a breeze, not many people realize that social media is the cause of a significant chunk of your problems.
According to several research reports, social media proves to do more harm than good for married folks.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers released a report in 2010 stating social media evidence propelled 81 percent of divorce cases.
In a similar vein, a recent survey conducted by a UK law firm, Slater and Gordon, revealed that 17 percent of the married respondents admitted to fighting with their spouses on a daily basis over social media activity.
The same survey also revealed 58 percent of respondents knew their spouse's passwords, even if their spouse wasn't aware of it.
Here are some of the reasons why social media accounts are toxic to your relationship:
1. You’re unhappy with how long your partner spends on social media.
It’s normal to see people constantly checking their phones for new notifications. Social networking sites are just as addictive as video games, or even sports.
It’s important to set limits for how much time you allocate to social media sites, just as you would for any other activity.
Honor the time you spend together, especially if you’re doing something you’ve planned together. Don’t let social media take precedence over your real life.
2. You find yourself checking up on your partner’s accounts, just in case.
What if he or she recently accepted a friend request from an annoying ex? Did any friend or family member post anything I should know about?
What if he or she posted an update that mentioned me and I wasn’t tagged in it? We just got into a fight, I hope he or she didn’t angry tweet anything about me.
The best ways to avoid this type of mentality is to be respectful and avoid posting anything in anger.
Complaining about your partner online is a terrible way to vent out your feelings.
And, if you’re worried about annoying exes or flirty friends, this isn’t the way to ease your problems.
You need to work together as a couple to address these concerns offline.
3. It upsets you when your partner doesn’t post any pictures of you two together.
One of the biggest risks of social media is your life is pretty much put on display in your profiles.
Not only does it become easy to compare your life to other people's, but you also start feeling embarrassed about certain things you do or don’t post.
When you’ve taken the time to post a cute couple picture but your partner didn’t even like it, let alone reciprocate with a similar update, you start feeling badly.
Then, you start wondering why he or she doesn’t “show you off” on his or her own accounts.
Try and be comfortable with the fact that you shouldn’t let these problems engulf you.
Just because your partner isn’t updating cute couple pictures doesn’t mean he or she is drifting away from you.
4. Your partner doesn’t tell you his or her log-in details.
While it’s important to respect each other’s boundaries, secrecy can lead to a whole different level of insecurity and trust issues.
If you repeatedly find your partner suddenly minimizing his or her Facebook screens when you walk in the room, you guys clearly need to work on some trust and transparency issues.
If you or your partner feels more comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings with online friends because you believe they understand you better, this is a red flag that raises concern about how you communicate with one another.
5. You get paranoid about what your partner is sharing online.
Maybe you’re unhappy about what your partner updates on social media.
Maybe he or she posted a silly photo of you or mentioned something inappropriate about your marriage that you’re not comfortable sharing with other people.
If this is an ongoing issue, maybe you can work out a way to check with each other before posting certain images or information.
Sure, correlation does not always equal causation. Even though Facebook is named in 30 percent of divorce filings, it may just be because social media provides easily traceable evidence of infidelity, and not because they’re actually causing people to cheat more.
Most of us are used to systematically hitting our home buttons to check for new alerts and notifications.
It’s as if we need that digital sphere to avoid feeling like we are trapped in a single place or moment.
We are constantly checking our phones and waiting for a next notification so we can be connected to someone else, with a different task.
The whole point of being married is that it’s meant to be the embodiment of your commitment to each other.
You’re supposed to feel a greater emotional investment, security and a lot more permanence with marriage.
Saving money on premium insurance rates and taxes is just an added bonus.
So it all boils down to this: Be self-aware when it comes to your marriage and try to minimize the things in your life that could potentially harm it.