Does Facebook break up marriages?

I was telling my husband recently about a couple we know who recently broke up. He said without missing a beat, “Did it involve Facebook?”

I didn’t know at the time of  our conversation if it did involve Facebook but found out later, it DID. So I started searching online “Facebook and Marriage breakups” and found some interesting stats.

From The Wall Street Journal MarketWatch blog:

“More than a third of divorce filings last year contained the word Facebook, according to a U.K. survey by Divorce Online, a  legal services firm. And over 80% of U.S. divorce attorneys say they’ve seen a rise in the number of cases using social networking, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “I see Facebook issues breaking up marriages all the time,” says Gary Traystman, a divorce attorney in New London, Conn. Of the 15 cases he handles per year where computer history, texts and emails are admitted as evidence, 60% exclusively involve Facebook.”

“Affairs happen with a lightning speed on Facebook,” says K. Jason Krafsky, who authored the book “Facebook and Your Marriage” with his wife Kelli. In the real world, he says, office romances and out-of-town trysts can take months or even years to develop. “On Facebook,” he says, “they happen in just a few clicks.” The social network is different from most social networks or dating sites in that it both re-connects old flames and allows people to “friend” someone they may only met once in passing. “It puts temptation in the path of people who would never in a million years risk having an affair,” he says. Facebook declined to comment.”

So what do you think: Does Facebook make reconnecting with an old flame or meeting someone new too easy? Was Facebook involved with your break up? Was it the cause of the break up or just where you went after to find solace?

Is it fair to blame Facebook?

39 comments Add your comment

Misty

November 13th, 2013
10:02 pm

It’s my opinion that Facebook and media social sites make it easier to connect with “old flames” or someone met in passing;however, if you see someone at work daily, it makes it easier to have an affair. With Facebook the 2 actually have to work a bit harder at having an affair. Having said that, my husband sees my FB and I see his so there isn’t a temptation to have a fling.

Mother of 2

November 13th, 2013
10:25 pm

I think that bad marriages break up marriages.

Beck

November 14th, 2013
5:31 am

It’s a means for behavior.

This is similar to the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument which holds some truth.

This is just the vehicle which some people use for their behaviors which is the cause of the demise of their marriage.

catlady

November 14th, 2013
6:52 am

Why did Michael come up with this immediately?

Those I know addicted to Facebook have other addictions, so it is hard to tell . As a mate, I would be really mad if my spouse was on Facebook a lot (”fools names and fools faces, always found in public places”). I would not/did not think of meting new partners when I read this, but thought of excessive use meaning “checked out of the family.”

shaggy

November 14th, 2013
7:19 am

Nekkid people break up marriages. Instead of blaming farcebook, keep your clothes on at all times, even when in the shower.
Another important avoidance is tequila shots…everyone knows that it makes your clothes fall right off and you can’t remember how you ended up under a strange toilet, wearing a ballet tutu and nothing else.

A

November 14th, 2013
7:26 am

I guess I can add this to the long list of reasons why I’m not on FB and never will be.

Maude

November 14th, 2013
7:37 am

Facebook cannot break up marriages. Stupid actions by people CAN break up marriages. Let us put the blame where it belongs with the stupid people not Facebook.

motherjanegoose

November 14th, 2013
7:59 am

I know someone whose husband reconnected with an old flame via Facebook and they are getting a divorce. IMHO this is a good thing for her as he has not had a job for the past 4 years…plenty of time for Facebook. No interest in getting a job either. My heart breaks for her but she is prepared to move on.

I was reluctant to join Facebook but I have enjoyed catching up with old friends. Tomorrow is my HS sweetheart’s birthday. He has a nice family and a beautiful grandbaby. He rides motorcycles and plays in a band at clubs, besides his day job. . He has followed his dream and I wished him the best. Our lives could not be more different but it appears we are both happy. Another guy I dated has pictures of his amazing back yard and the Tea Room his wife owns. Beautiful. Another guy is very involved in charity projects and I enjoy seeing his updates too. It is just fun, to me, to get a glimpse of their lives and see what they are up to. No interest in fanning the flame…haha.

jct

November 14th, 2013
8:03 am

Marriages can break when you don’t put in the effort. It is easy to romanticize an old flame on FB when you and your spouse aren’t getting along, the kids are being kids and on top of all that living the roof is leaking. FB was just the method used not the cause.

I think it is time to stop blaming FB and put the blame squarely where it belongs – on the person who cheated; the person who decided to take the ‘easy’ way out instead of fighting for their marriage.

motherjanegoose

November 14th, 2013
8:08 am

@jct…great point: I think it is time to stop blaming FB and put the blame squarely where it belongs – on the person who cheated; the person who decided to take the ‘easy’ way out instead of fighting for their marriage.

mom2alex&max

November 14th, 2013
8:13 am

I think it’s just a means to an end. If a marriage is good, FB isn’t gonna do anything to break it up. And if it isn’t, FB is just a tool.

A reader

November 14th, 2013
8:20 am

FB is just a tool that is used by cheaters. People could argue that cell phones and texting break up marriages because they are also tools used by cheaters. Someone who feel they are entitled to betray their spouse will use whatever tool is available. The bottom line is that people cheat because they are selfish, feel entitled, and have poor boundaries.

RH

November 14th, 2013
8:30 am

People are their own worst enemies, add social media to the mix and it’s a recipe for disaster. I have even heard of former co-workers with an office romance from years gone by re-connecting on Linkedin.

Another interesting observation is these same adults have teenagers that create drama on Twitter. My son’s high school has had a few too many Snapchat problems with nude photos. Instagram has captured photos that have gotten kids in trouble for parties with drinking and pot.

Social media has created a fantasy world and there is no shame because “everybody’s doing it”.
“Haters don’t judge”. YOLO

Mayhem

November 14th, 2013
8:46 am

People must accept the consequences of the their behavior. Facebook is not to blame for people’s stupidity.

FCM

November 14th, 2013
8:48 am

People not interested in working at honoring their commitment to each other, or the binding contract they have to be married, break up marriages. All the other things are merely the excuse.

Facebook is no more the “cause” than the blonde(or burnette, or red head) up the block (or at the office, or the club)…

Marriage means work. It means every day getting up and choosing to stay committed to the vows you took. It also means getting up everyday and reminding the other why you both wanted to take the vows.

beth

November 14th, 2013
8:56 am

I have a close friend who’s marriage ended as a result of an affair that started on facebook. She was “hooking up” with the Sweedish foreign exchange student that she dated in high school. He lived in Sweeden… and was flying from Sweeden to Atlanta for bootie calls.

DB

November 14th, 2013
9:02 am

Oh, please. People have affairs because they are people without character and without honor. When you get married, it usually consists of standing up in front of your friends and family and promising to love, honor and cherish your partner. A promise. Before God, family and friends. Can’t manage to keep that promise? Well, that’s on YOU, not Facebook. If you don’t like your marriage, fix it or get out. If you do like your marriage, then don’t do stupid sh!t like sleeping with other people. This is not rocket science, folks.

Facebook is a tool. Use it for good. Use it for evil. It’s not any more of a contribution to infidelity than the telephone.

Angry Moderate

November 14th, 2013
9:34 am

60% of 15 cases per year equals 9 (and that’s just among those with computer-related evidence). Not exactly a lot of evidence there.

catlady

November 14th, 2013
9:37 am

I must be way too out of it. Of course, I have never FBed.,I thought this was about people getting on line constantly, giving too much “written diarrhea” about what is going on in their lives. I had not thought of FB as a way to connect with a different lover.

(the other) Rodney

November 14th, 2013
9:43 am

“Facebook is a tool. Use it for good. Use it for evil. It’s not any more of a contribution to infidelity than the telephone.”

+1 ;)

I’ve reconnected with many past flames via Facebook and it’s been a nice experience to see their families and lives, and to share mine with them. If it were to ever become an issue where someone tried to start something up with me, I would immediately tell them to stop and possibly “de-friend” them. So far, so good.

Real Life

November 14th, 2013
10:07 am

Couples break up their own marriages. Facebook might be a tool some people use to do it, but it is not responsible. I use Facebook but not to link up with old boyfriends from my past. I am friends with 2 of them and they are on my FB friends list, but they are also good friends with my husband. No suggestions of taking up romances from the past. If that happened they would be gone.
A good friend told me years ago that happily married people do not go looking for someone on the side. And FB will not change that. Behavior is a personal choice and should not be blamed on social media. Blaming FB, Twitter or any other social media for individual failings is wrong and a symptom of a society that believes that personal responsibility is a thing of the past.

jarvis

November 14th, 2013
10:35 am

Let me get this straight….in his 15 cases that involve computers as evidence Facebook is mentioned in 60% of them?

Hmmm……It’s an epidemic…..everybody destroy your computers!

K

November 14th, 2013
10:48 am

“a society that believes that personal responsibility is a thing of the past.”

That IS society TODAY

jmb

November 14th, 2013
10:52 am

I have never looked for an old flame on FB and none have looked for me that I know of. I also lost my last name when I got married as it was a step fathers (that I despised) so it’s a little harder for old friends to find me than most and that’s ok with me. I’m on FB to communicate with the friends I have in this day in time and to keep up with out of town family and most of all my grandchildren. There’s a reason folks from the past arn’t in my life today

Robert1959

November 14th, 2013
11:22 am

Facebook is for children not grown married couples. If you are still using Facebook you are either very immature or a child. In either case the novelty should not determine your marriage success.

Richard

November 14th, 2013
11:34 am

This is absurd. Marriages had only a 50% success rate BEFORE Facebook entered the picture. Now Facebook is responsible? Child please!

Would I connect with an old flame on facebook? Possibly. It might be interesting to find out what they are up to a decade later. Have an affair with an old girlfriend with or without the assistance of facebook? Not likely.

That being said, I’ve gotten rid of my facebook account for a completely different reason. I don’t care about anything that people are posting on it.

BlondeHoney

November 14th, 2013
11:36 am

I know someone who has cheated for years and has never been on Facebook. So much for Facebook causing cheating.

MiltonMan

November 14th, 2013
11:42 am

Facebook = so yesterday. Parents with children need to monitor social media sites like Instagram, Twitter and especially SnapChat. The things that kids posts these days is near-pornographic.

Derwin0

November 14th, 2013
1:07 pm

Facebook makes it easier to get caught when having an affair, thus leading to more marriage breakups.

Anton Chigurh

November 14th, 2013
1:30 pm

In answer to your headline: God I hope so.

Pablo

November 14th, 2013
1:53 pm

If Facebook is the only thing needed to break a marriage, it wasn’t much of a marriage to begin with. I agree with a lot of the posters in here that stupid behavior + Facebook = BUSTED! and leads to a divorce.

motherjanegoose

November 14th, 2013
2:25 pm

@Robert 1959….your comment made me laugh. I have about 600 friends on FB between my personal and business page. None of them are under 18. Some of them are on FB about 18 hours each day. Do we really care if someone is walking their dog or shopping for groceries. I also have asked repeatedly not to be invited to play games but I still get the invites. I have other things to do. To each his/her own. Some folks post the funniest things that made me laugh and sometimes I do need that too.

dc

November 14th, 2013
2:32 pm

Affairs usually happen because one spouse let the other spouse go out into the “all you can eat buffet” (otherwise known as the world we live in) hungry – either for physical intimacy or emotional intimacy. FB is a tool, and for those on the fence, it could clearly open up opptys that might increase their odds of cheating. But if you keep your spouse fed, then those odds are VERY low.

Just Me

November 14th, 2013
2:46 pm

We respect our marriage and understand that outside influences can help cause strain on a marriage, even a happy marriage so we avoid social media. Don’t invite the world into your happy home!

sherry

November 14th, 2013
8:41 pm

Kat

November 15th, 2013
8:30 am

For those complaining about the statistics provided, it is true that about 50% of first marriages end in divorce. An even higher percentage of second marriages don’t last. But, for this ONE attorney who handled 15 cases, NINE of them were the cause of Facebook. So, it’s one person, one year of study and a high number involving FB. It is relevant and useful, but it is not set in stone.

jarvis

November 15th, 2013
2:03 pm

@Kat, you didn’t read all of the detail. 15 cases where “computer history, texts and emails are admitted as evidence”.

It’s saying that 9 out of a much larger sample included Facebook. 15 was just the number that included computers.

HB

November 15th, 2013
3:12 pm

Not 9 included Facebook — 9 exclusively involved Facebook. All 16 may have included FB, but 9 included no computer activity entered as evidence other than FB. Personally, I find that interesting — no cheating texts, emails, dating site or porn-viewing histories cited as problems in those. Just Facebook.

PM

November 15th, 2013
8:52 pm

Broke up mine and the other marriage after almost 30 years, 7 kids. Shes was married with no kids 3 cats, and an old friend of ours!