Oh, the things people say…
An Oklahoma news station has a recent story about how online social networking sites (case in point: Facebook) can be “hazardous to marriages”:
“We see about 40 percent of the couples coming in, there is a link to Facebook or to MySpace that has caused a breach in their marriage,” said licensed marriage and family therapist Tara Fritsch.
So, out of all possible other reasons why a marriage would fall apart, Facebook or MySpace seem to be a primary culprit. How so?
The Edmond therapist said most connections start off innocently enough.
“An ex-love, an old flame — there’s a nostalgia there. There’s memory of the simple days or maybe excitement of new romance,” she said.
Your significant other on Facebook is a threat to your relationship. What if your partner’s Facebook friends are people s/he went to high school, college, or grad school with? What if your partner realizes from looking at one of their friend’s pictures that so-and-so from way back when is attractive now and decide to ditch you to pursue him/her instead?
Fritsch says that couples should establish guidelines to monitor their use of online social networking sites:
“If it’s not something you want your spouse to know about, don’t do it. Have open communication with your spouse. Share your Facebook or MySpace sites. Have one another’s passwords. Talk regularly about who you are chatting with,” Fritsch said.
Come on now, is this really necessary? Have each other’s passwords? Talk regularly about who you are chatting with? Adults, especially ones in relationships, do not need to be monitored like they are children. People are entitled to privacy and if the relationship is founded on trust and open communication then there is no need to be paranoid about whether or not your partner is going to cheat on you with a Facebook friend. You can’t wall off your partner’s exposure to and communication with other people, you shouldn’t have access to his/her Facebook (just like you shouldn’t have access to his/her email or text messages), and you shouldn’t be policing who your partner communicates with on or off-line. That’s just ridiculous and controlling.
Of course it’s easier and much more of an oversimplification to blame social networking sites for cheating and failed marriages. And also, I love how the article seems to put marriage on a pedestal – it’s so crucial that people remain married at all costs, even if their relationship is already on the rocks. So, if you want to save your relationship (or if it doesn’t quite need saving yet, just make sure it lasts), get rid of your Facebook or Myspace account if you haven’t already!