Statistics show that social media sites, such as Facebook, are being cited in an increasing number of divorce cases. Can you save your marriage and avoid becoming another divorce statistic?
Statistics in both the US and UK demonstrate that there has been an alarming rise in the number of divorce petitions which cite Facebook activity, in some form or another, as grounds for divorce. Of course, it is not Facebook’s fault per se. Nonetheless, the social networking site does enable normal relationship boundaries to be crossed with relative ease and sometimes even, with ignorance.
This led me to investigate whether or not there are any social norms and rules that married couples are adopting in order to preserve their relationships and avoid becoming another Facebook statistic. Below, I have listed 7 simple “Facebook Rules For Married Couples” that may help save your relationship from this social media curse!
Facebook Rules For Couples
1. Joint Facebook Account
I personally know of several couples who have a joint Facebook account in order to promote transparency and honesty within their relationship. I can see the benefits of this, especially for newly wed couples. However, if your relationship is relatively new, or you are an old timer, like myself, then this is not really a viable option.
At the time of writing, it is not possible to merge two Facebook accounts together. Thus, if you both already have existing Facebook accounts, then you have to decide which account you want to use or alternatively, and probably the fairest option, create a brand new account. Of course, you then have the added aggravation of having to add the two sets of friends to this new account.
However, as noble as having a joint account may be, spare a thought for your Facebook friends! Being on the receiving end of a “couple” Facebook feed can be rather confusing and irritating at times, as I know from personal experience! Initially, I thought my old school friend had been brainwashed until the penny finally dropped and I realised that it was her husband who was sending sports updates via his cell phone!
I am really not interested in receiving minute by minute, blow by blow, updates of the latest scores or player injuries. Of course, I can ‘unfollow’ them, but then I also take the chance that I may miss out on something that I would genuinely be happy to read.
Personally, having a joint Facebook account would not suit me as I would view it as an invasion of my own privacy and independence. By the same token, I would have difficulty sharing account passwords with my partner. This implies that there is little trust in the relationship. Nonetheless, these methods clearly work for some couples.
2. Couple Profile Photograph
Many couples agree to use a photograph of themselves with their partner and set it as their profile pic.
Again, I don’t particularly view this as being essential, especially as there are some people who like to change their profile photograph on a regular basis. However, I would definitely recommend that you include photographs of you and your partner in your photo albums.
3. Set Your Relationship Status To Married
You would be surprised at how many married people leave this blank or hide it from public view. If you’re married, you should be proud of your spouse and happy to tell the world about him or her.
4. Never Argue On Facebook
Ok, this seems pretty obvious…doesn’t it? Well, you would be amazed at the lengths some people will go to in the heat of the moment. Never, ever, post any derogatory comments about your partner on Facebook. That would be so disrespectful and hurtful. Also, don’t air your dirty laundry in public…you’ll only regret it!
If you and your partner have something to say to each other, then make sure it is said behind closed doors.
5. Limit Your Time On Facebook
It never ceases to amaze me how many people seem to live their lives through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Now, don’t get me wrong, these sites are great tools for keeping in touch and sharing information with loved ones and friends. But please, do you really need to post that latest status update letting everyone know that you have just popped out of a concert to go to the toilet?!
Don’t become obsessed with sites such as Facebook. Don’t neglect your partner by sitting at the computer all evening interacting with everyone and anyone, except that one special person in your life. Life is for living. Agree to limit the amount of time you dedicate to Facebook and spend some real quality time with your partner instead.
6. Be Careful Who You Friend
Think carefully before friending someone of the opposite sex whom your partner may feel uncomfortable with. Also, be prepared to unfriend these contacts if your partner asks you to. Furthermore, if someone starts posting flirty messages or photo’s on your wall, then it would be wise to act, rather than react, to a request from your partner to delete that person.
It is your life NOW that matters.
Former spouses and partners are exactly that. Former. In the past. If you do receive a request from an ex that you want to accept then I would first be inclined to ask yourself why you want to accept. Is it merely nostalgia, or do still carry a torch for them?
Once you are satisfied that your feelings are innocent, then speak to your partner about it. Tell them about the request and ask them if they have any problems with you accepting. Ensure that you stress that you would never want to do anything that would make them feel uncomfortable and/or be disrespectful.
Also, it is never a wise idea to search for your exes on Facebook. Why invite trouble into your life?
7. Never Hide Anything On Facebook From Your Partner
You should never conceal anything on your Facebook profile from your partner. If you ever feel the need to hide something, then you must first ask yourself why and secondly, consider the effect that your secrecy will have on your partner.
Also, although not publicly visible, you should consider how your partner would feel if they were able to read any private messages between you and a member of the opposite sex. Imagine being called away suddenly and leaving these messages on your screen. Would you be worried or wouldn’t you be bothered?
Finally, if you find that any social media sites are having an adverse effect on your relationship, then there is a very simple answer…delete all of your accounts! If you want to keep in touch with family and friends then pick up the phone, give them a call or arrange to meet up. I guarantee that it’s far more enjoyable than simply liking a photograph on their profile page!