couples

Uh-oh. It's official. Facebook is ruining marriages.

The jury’s in. Social media messes with your relationship.

It’s the same every night. I am on the couch, phone in hand. After all, why watch boring ads when you can be reading about your real friends lives on Facebook, watching the discussion of the show on Twitter, looking at pretty pictures on Instagram, or redecorating my house with the help of Pinterest.

And my husband is sitting right next to me. On his iPad.

We usually ask each other how our day was before we glue our bottoms on the couch. After that, it’s nose-in-devices time, sprinkled with TV watching.

And this, apparently, is what is causing marriages to fail.

A news study called Social network sites, marriage well-being, and divorce looked at whether social media (Facebook in particular) is a contributing factor to divorce.

And science says yes. Yes it is.

Social media addicts are 32% more likely to want to divorce.

Apparently, if you aren't on social media you are 11.4% happier with your marriage. And social media addicts are 32% more likely to want to divorce.

Let me just say when I read that, I immediately put down my phone. That lasted a whole 10 seconds.

OnePlusOne researcher Hannah Green told the Daily Mail, "spending time together and communicating well with your partner is of great importance for building healthy and lasting relationships.  With technology now being constantly available we may need to find time to put down the computers and smartphones and to actually concentrate on each other. Even one hour a day of quality time can make a huge difference to the quality of a relationship."

So why is Facebook ruining our relationships?

1. You are more likely to cheat.

Remember back in the day, you broke up with someone and they just fell off the face of the planet. Unless you were connected through social circles, you most likely never heard from them.

Or that hottie you met while in a relationship. When they walked away you never saw them again.

Thanks to social media, you can find them. Stalk them if you feel inclined. Be "Friends" with them. And then you can see how hot they became since you broke it off or continue to perve on them, and how much fun they look like (I mean look at all those smiley photos), and then well...maybe you send them a message to catch up for coffee...

SOLUTION: Take an honest look at your Friend list and decide whether each person is actually your Friend, or whether you just think they are hot. If you think they are hot...de-friend them - out of sight, out of mind.

2. It really puts the issue of trust through the ringer.

We all like to believe that our partner never dated anyone before us. Facebook doesn't allow this belief to live - particularly if either of you are friends with your exes. So arguments can happen when you just so happen to like that photo of your ex learning to surf...in just boardies.

ADVERTISEMENT

Or when you partner is invited to their ex's 35th birthday (which you can see on his profile).

SOLUTION: Have an agreed exes policy with your partner. It doesn't mean you trust less if the policy is no friends with exes on social media. It just means you both know what makes you uncomfortable.

3. One word... FOMO.

Although you may only see happy,beautiful photos on social media, it doesn't mean that is all that people experience.

Fear of missing out. Social media is the queen of showing you how great everyone else's life is. Including their marriage. I mean...all my Facebook friends relationship are always happy. After all, they never post a photo of them fighting, or them sitting on the couch on a "date night".

SOLUTION: Think about it... do you post a photo to Instagram of you partner arguing with you? No. Nobody does. You only show the world the wonderful side. And yes, everyone at some point spends "date night" on the couch. So relax. Your relationship is just as thrilling as the rest.

4. One of you is an over-sharer.

This isn't about you or your partner posting what you both had for breakfast this morning. It is about one of you being a little bit more private than the other. And...well...not wanting the world to know that they had a chocolate bar for breakfast, or that you find them so annoying when they burp after drinking a beer. And if one of you does cross each other's privacy boundary...massive fight is an expected result.

SOLUTION: Talk to each other about what you want out there in the big world (and remember that despite the highest of privacy settings, the internet is available to the world). And then respect those decisions. If you don't want a photo of you without make up on your partner's Facebook page...there will be no photos of you without make-up there.

5. I live with another human-being?

This is the one I described above with my husband and I. Our love of social media and everything internet means that we could miss out on "quality" time actually speaking to each other more than the "yeah, my day was busy".

SOLUTION: Put down the devices. If you have to, nominate a time when devices are not to be used - for example, no internet past 9pm. This still gives you time to fuel your addiction but also time to talk and have a meaningful conversation.

How does social media affect your relationship?

Want more? Try these:

The ways your partner says ‘I love you.’ Without ever saying ‘I love you.’

My son knows more about divorce & infidelity than anyone should.

00:00 / ???