Time to Log Off? Facebook Is Destroying More Marriages Than Ever

If you're getting divorced, there's a pretty good chance Facebook had something to do with it. According to the latest research, one in seven people say their divorce was sparked by something they found on Facebook or other social media -- and one in five couples say they argue about it daily! Ah, Facebook: Destroying our relationships since 2004.

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Facebook's appeal has always been voyeuristic and that voyeurism is bound to lead to trouble with couples, especially those that migh be a bit shaky to begin with. Lawyer Andrew Newbery told the Daily Mail Online:

Five years ago Facebook was rarely mentioned in the context of a marriage ending, but now it has become commonplace. Social media is the new marriage minefield. Social media, specifically pictures and posts on Facebook, are now being routinely raised in divorces.

Once was a time you really had to put some elbow grease in to figure out if your spouse was stepping out -- whether it was digging through the laundry looking for lipstick stains, following your lover in a car, or staking out his/her place of business, detective work wasn't so easy. So it's no surprise that most people didn't bother unless something fishy smacked them in the face.

Nowadays, people are searching for evidence of bad behavior before there's even any reason to believe there is any. I have friends who routinely scour their significant others' Facebook walls looking for, well, anything. One particularly suspicious friend of mine got upset when a female friend of her boyfriend "liked" something he said at a different time than she normally "liked" his posts -- yes, my friend had her potential rival's "like" schedule memorized.

This is, of course, the kind of thing that can kill a good relationship, let alone one just getting started. A few years back, I became immersed in Facebook drama with a guy I was dating who routinely added new "friends" on nights he was out alone -- they were always attractive females. He'd also do things like put up vacation photos that conveniently left me -- his vacation partner -- out.

I do agree that shady social media behavior like this can be a sign that something is wrong -- but there is also too much danger of reading ill intentions into something innocuous.

And then there's the stuff that might be not so innocuous -- perhaps looking up an ex or writing a flirty comment to a member of the opposite sex -- that, if you didn't happen to know about it, wouldn't have affected your marriage at all. Back in the day, a spouse could think, "I wonder whatever happened to Susie?" and do nothing about it. Today, that spouse finds her online and trolls through all her photos. That doesn't mean he's going to leave you for Susie -- but it does set off all your anxiety alarm bells.

More from The Stir: 11 Ways Technology Can Kill Your Relationship

My advice? If you're anything but completely solid with your partner, don't snoop around in his social media. While that "like" might mean utter betrayal to you, it most likely meant nothing to him or her. Instead, ask yourself why you're so upset. Chances are, your anxiety is coming from somewhere other than Facebook -- and you need to pinpoint where and then either discuss with your spouse, see a therapist, or both.

Maybe disable Facebook altogether.

Do you know anyone who has divorced because of Facebook? Have you ever found anything shady?

Image via Peter Bernik/shutterstock

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