Apr 17, 2011

Guest post by Jennifer - how Facebook ruins marriages

Yay!! I can't believe I'm here on Sierra's fabulous blog! It is so pretty over here. Well, in case you don't know me, I am Jennifer Fabulous from I Know, Right?.

My guest post regards a somber topic, I'm afraid.

You see, I am 27 years old and I already know six girls my age who are getting divorced.

Wanna know the details? I'll give you one hint: Facebook.



It happened to me five years ago.

I wasn't married, but this is my story:

I was in a serious relationship with "James." (Names changed to protect the guilty). We had been together for six months, when I started to notice a random girl, "Liz," writing on his wall. It started with friendly comments and then they got flirtatious. She also commented on his photos ("you are SO hot" was a common phrase). When I confronted him about it, James laughed and said Liz was some random girl who added him as a friend. He didn't even know her.

A month later, James broke up with me. An hour later, he was listed in a relationship with Liz.



One year later, I finally got the whole story from James. Apparently, Liz was browsing through guys in our city and came across him. She thought he was hot and added him. Not caring he was listed in a relationship with me, she started commenting on his wall and his photos. Then, the messages started. She wrote him that she was lonely and sad and didn't have anyone to turn to. The messages grew longer until they started getting romantic.



Within the next five years after my break up with James, I would encounter seven more incidents similar to mine. Some highlights: A coworker got divorced because a random college girl started messaging her husband and eventually stole him away. A high school friend got divorced because her husband met another girl in their new town using the site. A college acquaintance broke down sobbing at a Starbucks to me about her now-ex fiance secretly messaging his ex-girlfriend.



And at this moment, I know six girls in their twenties getting divorced because of a Facebook-related incident.

That's a big freaking deal.

Right now, there are dozens of churches across the United States banning Facebook from its members, citing it is a leading cause of divorce.

A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 81 percent of divorce attorneys have seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence during the past five years. More than 66 percent of those attorneys said the No. 1 site most often used as evidence is Facebook.

Another recent survey by Divorce-Online.co.uk of more than 5,000 petitions says Facebook is mentioned in about 20 percent of divorce cases.

There is even a popular website Facebook Cheating which specifically deals with this phenomenon.



I don't know about you, but this gives me chills. This is the stuff historians are going to be talking about in 100 years.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Facebook is the actual cause of cheating. It is simply a tool that makes it insanely easy. It provides people, who may not have cheated otherwise, with a temptation no other generation has had before.

Scary, isn't it?

I'm not a marriage expert by any means, but I know several happily married couples who have a system that may work. Here is my advice based on them:

Know your spouse's Facebook password and give him yours. I'm not saying you two should check each other's facebook profiles every single day, scrutinizing every detail for guilt. It just means you two have nothing to hide.

That way, you can enjoy connecting with friends and family on Facebook, without the worry.



Obviously this advice isn't for everybody. I know how uncomfortable it can be, having even innocent messages to your bff read by your significant other.

But it works for some.

What advice do you have for couples regarding Facebook? Do you know any relationships or marriages destroyed by the site?

PS. A big thanks to Sierra for letting me guest post!

28 comments :

  1. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to guest post for your fabulous blog, Sierra! Love you! xoxo

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  2. This is a fabulous post from a fabulous blogger! Wow, I never imagined facebook could case so much damage. These incidents you speak about are truly shell-shocking and I hope it never happens to me. Facebook annoys me because it's such a separate world and it doesn't feel real or like it matters at all, and yet it does. Facebook is reality too.
    http://thearcenciel.blogspot.com

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  3. WOW...this is so scary. Makes me sick to think this is becoming common. I haven't heard of that before! I'm sorry you went through that :(

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  4. wow I cannot even believe those statistics! Well, I CAN but it's crazy to see. I know facebook has done a lot of damage for me personally in past relationships and can totally relate to how it could ruin a marriage. Thank you for sharing. Facebook can be good, but it can always be very very bad.

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  5. This is a great post Jen. While I agree that Facebook doesn't actually cause cheating I have to disagree on a couple points. We know each other very well so I think you'll know where I'm coming from.

    First, you've said it provides people who may not have cheated otherwise with a temptation no other generation has had before. I think while it may set the stage it's up to the individual to perceive temptation in another's words. About 75% of my FB friends and 98% of my blogging friends are female, mostly younger than me. We've had flirtatious exchanges here and there but despite any fondness I have for some of my friends I've always known where that line should be drawn. Had I been so inclined things could have gone beyond that but that's not what I want. What I'm saying is you can be swayed that way but if you're going to succumb to it there has to be something in you that's leading you there.

    I also strongly disagree in exchanging passwords. I've been married thirteen years and I can say that one of the biggest bonding factors between a couple is trust. You need to allow each other a right to a certain amount of privacy and to me this crosses that line. Some close friends have shared very personal things with me and I wouldn't want anyone else, including my wife, to read them. They're someone's private thoughts which they've entrusted in me.

    I can understand that this is a sensitive issue for you, having lived through it. Overall I think we're on the same page but I thought I'd share my .02 here.

    x

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  6. My husband refuses to get his own Facebook page, and insists on "sharing" a profile with me. So we have one of those joint FB pages that lists us as "John N Jane Doe" and we both use it equally. This keeps exes and homewreckers away from us (at least via FB).

    We also know one another's email passwords, as well as passwords to any other accounts. We trust one another 100%, but feel that this is an even bigger level of trust, by sharing information like this. I can think of a handful of times I've logged into his email--once to obtain email addresses of his friends that I needed to plan a surprise party, and another time to search for a confirmation email for a hotel we had reserved for a trip.

    Thanks for sharing & for the excellent post :)

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  7. A most excellent and thought provoking post, Jennifer. I'm not sure it's just Facebook, though, rather the internet in general has made it easier for people to hook up and for relationships to be broken. Sorry to hear your experience. I think it's a bit more unusual for a complete stranger to stalk someone like that; rather social networking allows things to be rekindled or for people to become a lot closer to people they knew already

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  8. New follower here!!! That was a great guest post! I never thought about how Facebook can ruin marriages. That is horrible!!! My fiance and I know each others' passwords and are very honest with each other, so FB will never break us apart. And in fact, nothing will break us apart!

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  9. I'm glad to see someone as young as you writing this. I'm in my 40's and I had FB for a year. I deleted my account in January because I just the cons outweighed the pros for me. It was ALOT healthier for my generation to not have this type of communication. It's just too much info...I didn't like reading most of what people posted because it affected my heart in a way that made me feel differently about them. I have four adult/teen children and I can see how much it hinders their relationships. I think FB was one of the causes for my sons break up with his sweetheart of 2 yrs. I hope something changes. That FB will get old like Myspace did and people will meet in person and get to know each other the old fashion way.

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  10. what u have said is rt, its not FB thats leading to the split, its the easy medium that helps ppl to meet up and yur advice is quite solid too, u r in a marriage, u share everything and y not a lousy FB password with each other..... I am in a marriage and we both know each other's FB passwords, its not about spying into other person's details or anything. Its much easy for us that way 'coz either him or myself asks the other one to check whats on the wall and reply to 'em. As easy as that :D

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  11. I can't even begin to tell you how much I agree with this. Mr. A and I have access to each other's Facebooks.

    I have two similar stories -- kind of similar. Along the same lines, anyway.
    1. With my high school boyfriend - I logged onto Facebook and saw that he was listed as single before he even broke up with me. He broke up with me over AOL Instant Messenger. ASSHOLE.
    2. With my sort of ex-fiance/boyfriend - When we broke up, I shut down my Facebook for a week and a half because I didn't want to deal with all of the "what happened?" questions when my relationship status changed. Once I restarted by Facebook, I had to sprint to defriend him before he realized I was back on and defriended me first. That's a big deal, you know.

    I hate Facebook.
    But I still have one.
    FML.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  12. It absolutely is a problem and Facebook has become second nature for people to turn to others and sneak their way in. Arrrg!

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  13. That made me sit up and read it again. Didn't know FB could be this destructive

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  14. Great post Jennifer. :) And I'm sorry this happened to you and people you know/met, etc.
    I think FB alone is not the only reason. True, it may give certain people an opportunity or more to do things or say things they normally wouldn't. I've read a lot things my friends share there...it's insane. :( Makes you think twice about what you share. And some people just live there, and not outside of that so-called world.
    Though, why would anyone add random people they don't even know? And then let them write stuff on their page? I wouldn't. I have restrictions on there too...who can see what and how much. Ridiculous to some, very good for me. I feel "protected" so far. But I know people that add random people, look for ppl with similar interest and just add them as if it was nothing. They share too much and have no control over what the world knows. It's just sad. And while I believe FB has helped me reconnect with old friends, I also believe that it has become a second world to some out there...good or bad, that's then up to us or them to decide. :( People have forgotten how to meet outside that box, and how to act in real life.
    So far I'm lucky and glad that none of that has happened to any of my friends (married, or not) or to me. Fingers crossed!

    xoxo

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  15. I love Jennifer, and this is such an interesting article. My friend's bf had a random girl messaging him on fb and she was really concerned as well. I suppose fb does make it so much easier to cheat!

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  16. Wow!!! Lovely post. Very interesting and informative too. You have expressed yourself very well in this article. Thanks for sharing.

    I have come across an online relationship test which I found to be very interesting. Take the test Cheating Partner and find out whether or not you have something to worry about.

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  17. How crazy!! I'm sorry that incident happened to you! My husband and I know each others passwords, too. I think it's a good idea to share those! :0) Thanks for the post! Great job!!!

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  18. Totally scary!
    Fab post, darling!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  19. Thought provoking for sure, but I agree with Barry when he says, "you can be swayed that way but if you're going to succumb to it there has to be something in you that's leading you there." Facebook "cheating" is a symptom not a cause. I know you clairfied that in your post, but I think it goes even further. If someone cheats on facebook they probably would've found a way to do so without it too.

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  20. Oh - and my hubs and I do have each others passwords, etc. I rarely check his anyway and when I do it's not to "check up on him" but to mostly stalk his friends that I'm not friends with... hahaha.

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  21. wow! i had no idea FB was such a dominant factor in causing divorces. i know that it can really influence relationships but didn't know people were getting divorced (partially) because of it.

    that's pretty sad--i would like FB to stay out of my relationship!

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  22. I love these posts because they are so REAL. My husband and I do NOT do facebook. I blog for family and I leave the rest to true encounters, where mystery still exists.

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  23. oh my gosh, that is horrible! i've read an article about this, but i never thought it was this serious. :/

    <3, Mimi
    http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

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  24. So interesting, and so sad! I've never really jumped into facebook. I only have about 30 friends, all people I actually know. I only check my page once a week or so. I have nothing to hide...but I could see how Facebook could get out of control for some people. I was kind of shocked at how many people you know who are having issues with this! Crazy!

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  25. i loved your post!!
    i had heard the term before that facebook ends marriages, but hadn't really delved further to hear/read true life stories about it. that's so horrible what happened to you and your serious bf :(

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  26. I liked your post however, I need to add a few things. I'm 34 and divorced and can't believe several of your friends 27 are getting divorced - that's not good for several reasons. Divorce is hard and it sucks (on several levels). I don't think Facebook is the cause of the divorce and/or break-up it is the "other" person meaning the "men" and the other "woman" too. But, the men need to "remember" the vows and their commitment to each of us or in this case your friends. And there is something to be said about "that" girl that hunts down other men that are in a relationship - this IS a big NO-NO! Also, I think the guys didn't have a full commitment to begin with...? I'm not saying this to upset you but, just state a fact. I think they must have "forgot" they were married or in a current relationship!? Either way, its B.S. and I don't like it, period. If you make a process to be in a relationship and/or marriage you need to keep it and HONOR it, period. I hope that you and each of your friends find an absolutely fabulous man that treats you wonderfully and honors their commitment to you. I truly wish you the best - you'll find that wonderful man, one day, when you least expect it. I swear! And I know from personal experience.

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  27. great post jen!
    i am not at all shocked about the fb stories in the article . i know last year when i broke up with my bf a lot of his cheating and evidence was found on his gmail and fb.
    he was basically fb stalking all sorts of girls he found through his friends friends pages.
    i was pretty pissed about it . and he would always try to keep me from his laptop and desktop. i found out why. it wasnt because of his "privacy". it was because he had something to hide.

    so im glad i looked through it or else who knows how long i wouldve wasted my time with him. i caught him and it was over . He still tries to get me back.

    I dont have my current bf's pw for fb. but i do trust him. I dont know that i can ever fully let my guard down but i think thats ok . If i ever felt like i had to check to make sure there was nothing weird going on with his fb. i would to hesitate to check it myself.
    i wouldnt care if he checked my stuff as long as he wasnt obsessing because i know i have nothing to hide.


    and also i want to comment about the guy that left you for some girl .. i think it was pretty outrageous for her to disregard the fact that he was taken but of course he was also such a scumbag for doing that to you .

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  28. I was so oblivious to this, but unfortunately this has been happening with my friends. Fights breaking out on facebook that carry to my school. It's ridiculous.

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