It’s normal today for couples to blame “Facebook” for the collapse of their relationship, even divorce. There are studies that suggest that heavy Facebook and social media sites play a significant role in marital dissatisfaction. So, in an effort to thwart a breakup and keep your relationship strong, one marriage therapist says that couples need to ‘unfriend’ each other and should even consider deleting Facebook if they want to stay together.
Facebook makes it easier for people to do stuff behind their partner’s back; whether it’s chatting with someone else, friending a crush or staying in touch with an ex. But it’s more than that devious, nontransparent stuff. Relationship therapist Ian Kerner, who deleted his Facebook account, says that ‘unfriending’ your partner could bring back more mystery and intrigue. “I realized for a little while with my own wife that I didn’t really want her to be my friend on Facebook. I didn’t want all of that extra information. If anything I wanted less information — I wanted more mystery and more unpredictability,” he says.
And, the constant use of mobile phones means couples are spending less time actually talking to one another, which leads to miscommunication. In fact, 25% of married or partnered adults who text, have texted their partner when they were both in the same room, according to the Pew Research Center. The same number, have felt that their partner was distracted by their mobile phone and 8% have had arguments about how much time their partner spends online.
While a lot of how one reacts to their partner’s social media usage depends on their own wants and self-esteem, often times, there is a mismatch. Some may see their Facebook use as innocent and fun, while their partner sees it as an avoidance technique or a gateway to infidelity. Kerner suggests the occasional digital detox if you can’t give up Facebook all together.
If you find that you can’t delete your partner from Facebook out of fear of what they’re doing behind your back, then you have bigger problems. A cheater is going to cheat regardless of whether you’re coupled up on Facebook or not. But if ditching the Book could better your relationship, and you value your relationship and partner, than it shouldn’t be an issue, right?