Q: How can I tell if Facebook and social media are negatively impacting my marriage? I don’t think this is the case at present, but I don’t want to be taken by surprise either.
A: Even the best marriages can fall prey to subtle threats posed by social media, so you’re wise to be on guard. If you’re spending more time on Facebook than you are interacting with your spouse, or if online “relationships” are more satisfying than your marriage, this is a definite sign that something isn’t right.
Secrecy in any form is another danger signal. Do you log off or minimise the Facebook window when your spouse walks into the room? If so, you need to ask yourself why. Transparency is the foundation of trust, and trust is essential to every successful marriage.
In connection with this last point, there are several other questions to ask yourself about your interactions with online friends, especially those of the opposite sex. Do your conversations include things that should be kept between you and your spouse? Do you find yourself daydreaming about any of these people? Do you look for excuses to visit them online? Do you share thoughts, feelings, or problems with them that you don’t reveal to your mate? Are you convinced that they understand you better than your spouse does? If so, there’s a danger that these relationships may be crossing the line between the platonic and the romantic.
If you’re seeing any of these red flags, we’d urge you to sit down with your spouse and take a very close look at your situation. It might be a good idea to do this with the assistance of a counsellor. You can call our Family Support Services at 03-7954 7920 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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