Facebook mentioned on 33 percent of divorce filingsNow there's one more reason not to go online to check up on your old boyfriend or girlfriend. According to a recent report, what may seem like a casual and harmless action may also increase your chances of divorce. How big is the problem? According to a recent ABC News story, in 2011, up to 33 percent of divorce filings listed Facebook in the divorce petition, up from 20% in 2008.
Why all the complaints about Facebook?
According to divorce complaints one of the most common issues is a spouse using Facebook to "make inappropriate messages to friends of the opposite sex." Now some of the messages may be innocuous, but too often what started out as a friendly message morphs into something much more nefarious like hooking up for casual sex.
But is Facebook destructive just for the hookup? No, in fact spouses are also complaining that Facebook is used to make nasty comments about spouses online to other friends or to document bad behavior by each spouse. What used to be confined to idle gossip in the local coffee house is now blasted to every friend across the internet.
Facebook and child custody battles
If Facebook didn't help you hook up with your old high school flame it may help your spouse build a case against you in family court while battling it out for custody of your children. Divorce experts also have noticed an increase in parents and children using information posted on Facebook during their child custody battles.
It's not just high school boys and girls that need to learn the lesson that everything posted should be considered public; parents also should guard what they post, including derisive comments about their spouse or sexual or irresponsible "selfies" which can be used to prove they may be an unfit parent.
Should your spouse be able to access your Facebook account
If you want to have a successful marriage the key word should be transparency. While your spouse may never want or need to view your Facebook account, the fact they know your password and can read your posts if they want can increase trust in the relationship.
Should your spouse audit you like a top CIA official? No, but if you are hesitant to give your spouse your password or if you do not want them reading posts you and your friends exchange, it might be time to review whether you are behaving inappropriately.
While I've always argued that cheating is only a symptom of a problem that already exists in a relationship and a happy, satisfied spouse doesn't go looking for someone else to meet their needs, it is also important to guard your heart and your marriage. Some people do get better looking with age, and marriage is difficult. It's not hard for your hot high school boyfriend to look more appealing in print than your husband. You and your spouse deal in the nitty-gritty of life. Facebook offers a snap shot of fantasy, but the hype never lives up to the dream.