In our last post, we began the discussion of how certain social media channels have been in the news lately – cited as contributing factors to divorce and legal separation. Divorce attorneys are beginning to subpoena and use private communications over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace in court proceedings to establish patterns of infidelity on behalf of clients who have been cheated on and are seeking for an advantageous divorce settlement. In this post, we continue our coverage of National Public Radio’s interview with Marriage Therapist Tara Fritsch.f
Therapist Fritsch points out that prior to the advent of social media and texting, it wasn’t nearly as easy to begin an affair. You couldn’t necessarily call up a co-worker or an old flame out of the blue without fear that the person’s spouse or children might answer the phone and start asking questions. Public flirtation at the office was always under close scrutiny of co-workers. Now it’s easy to have a completely intimate and detailed conversation over social media channels or via text with someone sitting right across the aisle from you, or even at home while in the same room as your spouse.
During these intimate conversations, it’s very easy for a person to cross a line that might have taken multiple happy hours to have crossed in the past. People who connect well over social medifa channels can find themselves in a physical or emotional affair before they know it. Often times, even purely non-physical affairs uncovered by a spouse are enough to break the bonds of trust necessary for the maintenance of marriage. Every time the offending spouse picks up their phone or is sitting on the couch with a laptop, the other may quickly become suspicious of who their spouse is communicating with and why. Such a lack of trust leads to feelings of contempt by both parties and ultimately to legal separation or divorce.
Source: NPR “Can Social Media Break Up A Marriage?” by Jennifer Ludden 11/2/10