Many relationship experts believe that while the internet, texting, and social media sites can add intimacy to a relationship, if you are communicating with persons of the opposite sex, who are not your husband, it’s more likely to damage your marriage.
In fact, there was one recent report that Facebook and other social media were being cited more often in divorce cases as an issue which led to the divorce (Facebook is named in up to 20% of divorce petitions). Other relationship experts are also warning even happy couples that social media can threaten a “healthy” marriage.
Why is social media and the internet so alluring?
Why is it so easy to get drawn into the allure of the internet and other social media? It’s simple. It’s distracting, and it takes so little effort. Want to find out about an old boyfriend? You don’t have to get dressed up, shower, or even put on perfume. In one click of a button you can find him. You can see who he’s dating, whether he has any pets, where he is working, whether he has an arrest record and whether or not he has children. And the best part: no one ever has to know about it.
The search on social media may be completely innocuous and innocent. But the greater question is whether or not taking it to the next level and making contact with a man who is not your husband is appropriate and respectful to your marriage.
It’s a difficult question, especially for someone who might have enjoyed a handful of friendships with men prior to their marriage which may have felt deeper and more meaningful then some of their closet female relationships. Giving up male friendships after getting married can create a real sense of loss, almost like a death, but in the end you have to ask yourself if the bond with these men is fair to your husband. It is also useful to ask a better question: How would you feel if your spouse made contact with his past female friends?
Can men and women be friends on Social Media?
There is also the same old question about whether men and women can ever just be friends. Admittedly, male friendships may seem innocent and benign, but what are they to the men? While many women admire and enjoy their male friends because they make them laugh, they can easily talk to them and they share common interests, can you ever be sure of their motives?
While a happily married man or woman may be more inoculated from the perils of an online friendship, even in the best marriage it’s nice to get attention from others, a kind of euphoric rush when things are going good in your relationship or anesthesia when you feel misunderstood by your spouse. Not to mention if you are feeling oppressed from the mundane, anything, including playful bantering online, can provide a much needed reprieve from the doldrums.
But the real question is whether or not it’s worth it. For most couples, it’s not. But the most important thing is to talk it over with your spouse. If you are that curious about your old boyfriends or people you had relationships with in the past, you and your spouse could always do the searches together and hopefully laugh about how the two of you lucked out and found each other.
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