It’s known that social media contributes to divorce; in a 2010 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81 percent of lawyers said they’d seen an increase in the number of divorce cases using evidence found on social media.
But how exactly does that play out in lawyer’s offices? We asked divorce lawyers to share the ways they’ve seen social media interfere with clients’ marriages. See what they had to say below.
1. Screentime got in the way of face time.
“Instead of getting into bed and discussing how each other’s day was, couples instead often opt to be on social media. Instead of intimate moments and sweet or even romantic conversation (or behavior), one partner is often fully engaged with friends, acquaintances or even followers during times that they would otherwise be growing and improving their marital relationship. Yes, affairs can be ignited via Facebook and emotional attachments and relationships can occur on social media and harm marriages, but we shouldn’t overlook the obvious. Put down your device, ask your spouse how their day was and listen. It might make a world of difference.” ― Randall M. Kessler
2. Spouses weren’t honest about who they were talking to online.
“If you reconnect with long lost pals from high school or college and start having regular conversations without telling your spouse, that can create mystery and skepticism that something not kosher is going on. Be open and honest with your spouse about your social network activities.” ― Jason Levoy
If you’re spending more time on your devices than with your partner, it’s cause for concern.
3. Reconnecting with old partners led to an affair.
“Your former partners bring you back to a time when life was less complicated and your greatest challenge was a term paper. Some get so caught up in the romance that they move from posts, to emails, texts, calls and then secret rendezvous. Even if things don’t work out with the old fling, the temporary checking out from your marriage can cause irreparable harm.” ― Carla Schiff Donnelly
4. Everyone else’s marriage appeared perfect in comparison.
“Any Facebook friend can dress to impress, take a selfie with their spouse, smile and post #DinnerDateNight. As you scroll your news feed and see so many seemingly perfect marriages, there is a natural tendency to compare your own relationship to the perceived perfection of another’s. The weaknesses in your own marriage may become more obvious. Resist the urge to take what you see at face value! In reality, you know very little about the relationship that is being presented on Facebook. Rather then allowing comparisons to fuel insecurity, channel that energy into something productive to deepen your own relationship.” ― Michael Aurit
5. Too much personal information was shared online.
“Intimate details about your relationship and marriage should never be exposed on social media. Your friends and family are not interested in these details, and more importantly, it causes distrust between partners and it can backfire if you and your partner divorce.” ― Caroline Choi
“In divorce, all electronic data is discoverable and can be found even if you delete a social media post,” Choi told HuffPost. “Think twice before you press ‘enter’ and share.”
6. The single life started looking more and more attractive.
“The social media posts of your single ‘friends’ look amazing. You’ll see dates with very attractive, physically fit people dancing the night away, going on adventurous vacations, attending sporting events, concerts, restaurants with top rated chefs… it always looks so much better than your own life because many people’s posts are actually staged or orchestrated to portray their own lives in the most positive light. There is a reason the selfie stick was one of the most popular holiday gifts last year.” ― Bonnie Sockel-Stone