Facebook and Your Marriage

Illustration of a mother on Facebook while her kids fight in the background
Laura Perez

I smiled as I read a new post from a high school friend. We joked online about the songs we'd loved, the games we'd played and the boys on whom we'd had crushes. Facebook helped us re-establish an old friendship.

Then I noticed on my friend's page that one of her "friends" was an old boyfriend of mine. I knew that with one click of my mouse I could re-establish communication. Would he be excited to hear from me? Had he thought about me over the years? The idea of reconnecting with him was tempting, but I knew that doing so would break my husband's heart.

Although Facebook can be fun, it's not always the best thing for my marriage. When I allow myself to get wrapped up in my online social life, even innocent interactions can divert my time and attention. It's essential that I guard against distractions so that my husband never has to wonder which "friend" is most important in my life.

The Time Factor

When I first began using Facebook, I was often surprised how quickly the hours passed. And sometimes the phrase "Just a minute!" was used to the detriment of the man I love. One thing that's helped me is to set limits. My time spent with online friends is now limited to 30 minutes after my husband goes to work and another 30 minutes before he comes home.

The Transparency Factor

Another goal I've set for myself is a commitment to complete transparency with my spouse. He has access to my Facebook account and is free to read my posts, comments and messages at any time. I have the same access to his account.

The Respect Factor

I strive to be positive on my Facebook page. If my husband has said or done something that frustrates me, I do not share it. Instead, I express my appreciation for him, giving him respect through my words. In this way I'm showing honor to the man I love by not participating in online gossip.

The Accountability Factor

Finally, I've asked my husband to let me know if I say or do anything to hurt or frustrate him concerning my Facebook usage. This accountability has allowed me to strengthen my marriage even as I've enjoyed the thrill of reconnecting with old friends online.

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This article first appeared in the October/November 2011 issue of Thriving Family magazine and was originally titled "Facebook and My Marriage." If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. Get it delivered to your home by subscribing for a gift of any amount.

Copyright © 2011 by Tricia Goyer. Used by permission.

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