Facebook may cause divorce in one in five marriages.
When I hear a statistic like this one, it makes me want to do everything I can to protect my marriage! Which is why I have come up with these simple Facebook Rules for Marriage.
Keep in mind that you need to guard your heart, especially while you are online. It is very easy to become involved in an emotional online affair without even realizing it.
This can be very damaging to your marriage.
To avoid heartache over Facebook please consider these rules to keep your marriage strong while enjoying the benefits that Facebook has to offer such as keeping up with family or reconnecting with old friends.
*NOTE: I realize that not every single rule is needed in every single case. The point is to sit down with your partner and decide in a open discussion what boundaries you both need to ensure a happy and healthy relationship free of unnecessary stress or temptations.
- Declare your marriage publicly. Make sure your profile shows you are married, and don’t hold back in sharing your relationship by commenting, liking and linking to your partner when you can. . You never want to give anyone a reason to think you are available online, and this is the simplest way to let everyone know you aren’t.
- Don’t talk about your marriage issues on Facebook. Your relationship is between you and the person you are in it with. Don’t use Facebook to talk about your relationship problems or to insult each other publicly. Your marriage and any issues you may have are private, don’t use a public place like Facebook to share them
- Share login info. I know this one is going to be debatable with some, but I feel that it just removes the temptation of keeping secrets which is the next rule on the list.
- Don’t keep secrets. Being open with your partner all along is the best policy, especially when it comes to online friendships. If you feel the need to keep a friendship secret, you already know there is a problem with it.
- Be willing to unfriend someone. If you or your partner is unhappy about an online friend, talk about it with each other. If the reasons for concern are valid, be willing to unfriend in order to keep your real relationship strong. Remember that your real life relationships are much more valuable than any online relationship you may have.
- Don’t automatically accept every friend request. Take into consideration how accepting a friend request might make your partner feel. Think first, is it important for you to be online friends with that person? How will it reflect on your family? Would you friend them in your real life?
- Keep an open dialog about new friends or friend requests. Again this goes back to not allowing any secrets where your online relationships are concerned. If you have to keep secrets about your online friends, that is a red flag that something is wrong from the beginning.
- Don’t DM privately with anyone of the opposite sex (except family members). This is just wise in my opinion. Most affairs start off as just being someone you can talk to when you feel you can’t talk to anyone else. There really are no good reasons why you’d need to talk privately with someone of the opposite sex on Facebook. This is just setting yourself up for failure, so don’t do it.
- Don’t use Facebook to flirt no matter how innocent you may think it is. If you wouldn’t say it in person with your spouse standing beside you, then it’s not okay to do online.
- Be careful how much time you are spending in your Facebook friends worlds. Remember you have a real world of your own to participate in and that is hard to do when you are busy following someone else’s world.
Keep in mind that the past is there for a reason. Be thoughtful of your spouse when choosing who to be friends with and interact with online.
Also think twice before posting any statuses. What you do online reflects on your family and loved ones. If you wouldn’t put it on a billboard for everyone to see then it’s a good idea not to post it on Facebook either.
I am very cautious in my marriage when it comes to giving the enemy a foothold. I think that we are living in a time when having a successful marriage is against all of the odds statistically. We have to do whatever it takes to keep our marriages strong, and sometimes that means thinking of the other person first.
Never forsake your current relationships for the shallow online relationships with people who are not a part of your real world.
You may not think you need all of these rules in your relationship, and you know what works best for you. I’ve listed all of these rules to give you an idea of the kinds of guidelines you might want to discuss with your partner. Use the ones you both agree on, and forget the ones you don’t.
The main thing to keep in mind is that if your partner is uncomfortable with anything, and you value that relationship over all others, then you should come up with some rules of your own to keep things healthy and happy between you both.
Being open with each other about your Facebook can be a neat way to connect and share your lives together in a whole new way!