Facebook to blame for some marital problems - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Facebook to blame for some marital problems

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Facebook, a social networking website, is an internet phenomenon where you can connect and share with the people in your life. However, for some, that connection isn't so much about building relationships as it is about destroying them.

Marriage counselors are coming across it more and more, lawyers are using it as evidence, and for one woman, it's a tug of war between Facebook and her husband's attention.

"To me Facebook is a relationship killer. Not a relationship builder," says this young wife and mother.

We'll call her Jane. She doesn't want to reveal her identity because she's in the middle of reconstructing a two year marriage that she claims is on the rocks due to Facebook.

"I have not had any good things come from Facebook," says Jane.

She claims her husband spends too much time with other women on line.

"I'm constantly looking constantly worried that there is going to be some other girl. It's an everyday thing as soon as he comes home that's what he does," says Jane. 

His addiction consumes his life and ultimately hers. She says at first she tried to control it, but soon realized that doesn't work either.

"I've really tried to edge up on it and am trying to build more trust with him," says Jane.    

Trust among other things is what this pastor and counselor says is the real issue.

"The underlying issues were there and Facebook provided the temptation," says Don Blackmore a counseling pastor at Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro.  

But, Blackmore says, Facebook not only provides a distraction from your partner, but gives you a huge avenue to excavate the past.

"Rekindling old relationships is the problem often times," says Blackmore.

Therapist Dr. Dan Holmes says Facebook is showing it's face in all stages of marriage.

"I've heard people say they've got to check their Facebook throughout the day," says Holmes.

But, he warns not to be fooled that all Facebook relationships end in a physical relationship.

"One client never met the guy who she was having an emotional affair with," says Holmes.

Some relationships do go from Facebook to face time and send marriages to the courtroom.

"I've had it used against me, and I've also used it as a weapon too," says Melissa Richardson a lawyer with Bristow & Richardson.  

Jane says Facebook as evidence during divorce is not an option for her and even though her husband's addiction and love for Facebook is alive and well, she says it's not enough to keep her from fighting for the marriage. Even if sometimes she says she feels like the only one.

"It's just a bump in the road, and we've just go to work through it," says Jane.

She says she advises all of the other suspicious partners out there to not ignore the issue.

"If you've got those red flags and that gut feeling then there is something wrong. There has to be," says Jane. 

Jane says some ideas for preventing this from happening to your marriage are sharing a Facebook page, sharing passwords or maybe deleting the page altogether.

Check out some of the other ways to break a Facebook addiction or affair:

1) Turn a timer on before logging into your account.

2) Try to limit your Facebook "check time" to one or two times a day.

3) Remove your Facebook account from your cell phone.

4) Replace some of your normal Facebook "check times" with other healthy habits like going for a walk, hitting the gym or calling an old friend. 

5) Keep a journal of what times of the day you're most tempted to check your account and how you feel when checking it.

6) Part of the good to Facebook is getting to express ourselves through the written word. So instead try writing a blog, poem, song or book instead.

7) Consider sharing the page with your spouse so it can be a "shared hobby."

8) Many counselors say to avoid adding ex-spouses or lovers.

9) Share a password to log into the computer with your spouse.

10)  If the above ideas and suggestions don't work for breaking your habit or help to improve your marriage/relationships consider deleting the page altogether.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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