Most people around the world are constantly checking their social media platforms several times a day. Facebook is probably the most used as it serves several functions. While it may seem harmless to mindlessly scroll through to see what your friends or friends-of-friends are doing but, if not kept in check, it can do some serious damage to your marriage.
Now is the time to check yourself. Is Facebook coming between you and your spouse in one or more of these 5 ways?
1. Wasting time
Since smart phones have become the norm, it seems like whenever there is a down moment, we click through our apps mindlessly. It's our way to beat boredom and may seem like something small. "It's no big deal" you might think but just a few minutes can easily turn into several hours if you're not careful. It might not be all in one sitting but 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day can suck up your time, and your relationship can suffer.
Marriage takes work and good communication to keep going and even if we're sitting in the same room, nothing grows if we aren't actually talking to one another. If you aren't connecting at least daily, you're probably starting to drift apart.
Make a rule to put the phones in another room at a certain time and then enjoy the rest of the night with each other. The first few times might be a little awkward and your fingers might be itching to text or "like" a million status updates but as you start talking to one another, you can learn so many things you didn't know before, even if you claim to know everything there is about your spouse.
2. Lost art of communication
One question to ask ourselves is where do we go first to talk about something. Are we talking to our spouse first, or do we immediately go to Facebook to find comfort? There are countless posts of how we feel after certain events, whether they make us happy, sad, mad, etc. Many post such things in order to feel validated or that the number of likes and comments they get is a way to make them feel their worth.
Your spouse shouldn't have to read about how things are going in your life on Facebook. And if he/she finds out from social media, it sends the message that they are only as important in your life as everyone else in cyberspace.
Take the time to talk to your spouse about difficult things or exciting news in person before you let the world know what is going on in your life. Yes, it's nice to have other people be excited for you but no one should be more so than your spouse.
3. Connecting with the wrong people
We all have a history before we get married and sometimes we wonder "what might have been." Just looking up an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend out of curiosity might seem harmless, but it might be the beginning of a wedge in your marriage. Protecting your marriage begins with staying faithful to your spouse and infidelity doesn't always mean that you had an affair with someone. Once your thoughts start to focus on something or someone outside of your marriage, it can be difficult to get things back in order.
Don't go there. It's not worth breaking up your marriage even when it seems like such a small thing. And most of all, be open with your spouse about who you communicate with online. That way, it takes out any of the "dirty little secret" feeling.
Maybe even make a rule to avoid members of the opposite sex. It sounds extreme but safeguarding your marriage is more important than how many friends and followers you have.
4. Oversharing your relationship
We all have that friend that shares every. single. thing. about their relationship on Facebook. They seem like they are happy one minute and the next they are spewing fire about the one they love. The hardest part about that is you never know who can see that. It will do more damage than good. Sharing the good about them is nice, every once in a while.
Let's say you got into an argument with your spouse and then posted about it. People will comment that they sympathize with you and it might make you feel better, like people are on your side. But things like this can change the way people perceive your spouse. They may not be bad altogether but we all have a bad day and one small incident doesn't define them. You don't want to damage how others think of your spouse.
Talk to your spouse about what is happening or how the situation makes you feel. When you communicate with them, it leaves everyone else out of the equation and you will be closer. Don't involve your parents or your friends in your fights because you'll lose the trust of your spouse, and it can be difficult to win back.
5. Makes you want a different life
A person's online life may look starkly different than what it is in reality. Perfectly cleaned rooms and a fabulous dinner can lead to feelings of inadequacy. Resentment over lack of money or material items can make it difficult to work together in a relationship. We don't know the background behind the newest fashions, cars and homes others might have. Maybe they've worked hard for them, saving up to afford them after years. It could be that some of them buy things at a great cost to other parts of their life.
Take a moment and be grateful for what you do have. There are many that have next to nothing and others that have more than they need. That's when you take a look at your life and figure out if you're moving in the right direction. Are you accomplishing goals and becoming the person you want to become? Are you working with your spouse to create the life you want? When we put these thoughts into action, we start to realize how blessed we are and can eventually achieve them with our spouse, instead of moping in the corner.