Did you know that a third of all divorce filings contain the word “Facebook”?
But before you go telling all your friends that “a third of all marriages end because of Facebook,” recognize what the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers report really says.
The truth is Facebook is mentioned in one-third of divorce filings.
Several of those filing papers make reference to an online relationship. Some husbands or wives even declared their intention to break up through Facebook, email or Instagram. But a great number of the divorce papers use Facebook messages or wall posts to make a case for divorce by pointing out a spouse’s uncivil behavior or poor parenting skills.
The widespread use of electronic media today makes it almost certain that Facebook and Instagram could be used by lawyers to build a legal web to snare an uncommitted spouse. And that’s on the rise.
Consider that three years ago, 20 percent of divorce filings contained the word “Facebook.” Whatever the case, social media is definitely playing an increasing role in families and family breakups.
More important than that, the level of social media engagement in our culture today is evidence that we’re putting a lot of time into passing interactions with others and not enough time in deep relationship building with our spouse.
Recently, I saw a comment on one of FamilyLife’s Facebook pages by a husband who took a little passing snipe at his wife for everyone to see. He was probably reaching out for help in an area of frustration in his marriage. But those kinds of comments, when read by a spouse, often make the problem worse by feeding a sense of embitterment or hurt.
Here are some principles that may help keep social media interactions from becoming words in a divorce filing:
Above all else, remember these two driving principles of building and maintaining a relationship:
Don’t become a social media marriage casualty. Be intentional about strengthening your marriage and about avoiding the things that could potentially destroy it.
Copyright © 2014 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.
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Walt and Ann Bealke have been married for a long time, just not to each other. They are now 5 years into their marriage (the third for each of them), and are seeing God redeem their pasts and build a Gospel-centered marriage.
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