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Divorce needn’t be caused by Facebook

Since its emergence around a decade ago, Facebook has been accused of being one of the major causes of divorce in the UK. For some time, people believed that this was because spouses were using the site to connect with old flames, flirt with new ones and, in short, engage in extra-marital relationships. Now, though, a much more feasible suggestion has been put forward: Facebook use give spouses unreasonable expectations. When we use Facebook to inform our friends of what we’ve been doing, where we’ve been and so on, we provide little more than a snapshot of our lives; an idealised account of events designed to present ourselves and the lives we lead in the best possible light. Such posts can lead others to conclude that their marriages are significantly less happy and therefore less satisfying. This then leads to deeper dissatisfaction which causes rancour and, ultimately, divorce. The good news here is that, by remaining mindful of this, you can avoid such pitfalls; by merely remembering that you are viewing an edited, idealised snapshot of a friend’s marriage and that it is highly unlikely that their relationship is as perfect or trouble-free as you perceive it to be. Marriage is often difficult and neither I nor any of my married friends can hand-on-heart claim that there have never been times were we have felt dissatisfied. Similarly, there will have been times when we have left our spouses feeling hurt, let down or worse. Clichéd it may be, but the claim that marriage is hard is undeniably true! Others will, irrespective of how much we may love them, let us down from time to time. It is for this reason this is vital that we are as forgiving as we possibly can be with our spouses. There are, of course, valid reasons for ending marriages and this should not be forgotten, but feeling that you are less happy than another married couple – particularly when we cannot know how their relationship functions behind closed doors – is simply not one of them!

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