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Is Facebook ruining your marriage?

Millions of Americans use social media every day. Website communities like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Instagram are readily used by members to post and share photographs, voice opinions, share news and connect and communicate with others. While some casual users of social media websites may only check their accounts sporadically, religious social media users are often tethered to their phone or computer all day and check one or more accounts multiple times per day.

Spending time on social media websites can be extremely time-consuming. It can also, according to the results of a recent study, wreck havoc on an individual's marriage. For the study researchers at two prominent universities studied "state-by-state divorce rates per-capita Facebook accounts." Study participants were questioned about their social media use as well as the state of their marriage. The results show a correlation between social media use and marital dissatisfaction.

What's more, from the results, researchers were able to deduce that individuals who aren't big social media users are about 11 percent more likely to have a happy marriage. These results aren't necessarily surprising. Social media sites are set up to be communities in which people can share, engage and connect with others. For a husband or wife whose unhappy, these types of websites provide a virtual escape from their own unfulfilling relationship.

Additionally, spouses who are unhappy in a marriage may turn to the social media websites to find support or even to reconnect with an ex from the past. In other cases, an unhappy spouse may seek to make new friends and connections to find other individuals who may have similar interests or struggles. In turn, these individuals may end up providing the love and support that a spouse does not.

Fort Worth residents, who believe a spouse may be using a social media website to carry on an affair or who find they would rather log in to their Facebook account than talk or spend time with a spouse, would be wise to speak to a divorce attorney. An attorney who handles divorce-related matters like child custody and dividing assets can answer questions, provide advice and assist in the divorce negotiation and settlement process. 

Source: CNBC, "Social networking linked to divorce, marital unhappiness," Everett Rosenfeld, July 8, 2014

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