Love, Self

Facebook Status: Shattered

"I told you so” are words that I don’t like to hear and refrain from saying to others although at times it is so tempting. I just have to bite my tongue. There are times where I am pretty sure it’s coming and I cross my fingers and pray hoping that I’m dead wrong. And one of those situations is when someone attempts to reconnect with an ex who is no longer available.

According to an article from The Daily Mail, one in five American divorces involves Facebook and 80 percent of divorce attorneys claim they’ve noticed “a spike in the number of cases that use social media for evidence of cheating.” How is it that so many couples are becoming "Another Marriage Bites the Dust Due to Ignorant Social Media Behavior and Untreated Symptoms of Trouble in Paradise” FB statistic?

Is it appropriate to initiate and maintain communciation with an ex, knowing that he or she is married?

Innocently, she sends a message. “Hey, just found you on FB and wanted to say hi! I know you’re married so I’ll keep my boundaries and you keep yours.”

He replies, curiosity piqued, masculinity emblazoned by a long-lost love resurfacing, “Nice to hear from you. My wife is the love of my life and I am so grateful to have her in my life. Wishing you all the best.” End of story. No more contact. If only it were so.

Instead, they begin chatting, texting, calling and emailing each other, filling the lack of communication in their respective couples, claiming they're just friends. Have they been introduced to their spouse? His ex-girlfriend is now his escape route from having to face all the unaddressed sadness, unhappiness and frustration he’s been feeling in his own marriage. Didn't we just see the latest Your Tango Survey that determined the number one reason couples break up is lack of communication?

What would have happened if she had never shown up in his life, I wonder. How would the relationship and communciation issues have been treated? Then again, maybe the couple was already doomed and the new FB friendship was the motivator for making a decision that was just waiting to happen.

Is the cost of divorce in emotional and financial duress, plus the grief and risk that FB lovebirds may not make each others' hearts sing as much as they thought less than the cost and effort of seeking therapy or coaching to find some kind of resolution, whatever that may be? Are they jumping from the frying pan into the fire, destined to repeat the same mistakes? Only the concerned parties have the answer to that one. And certainly no one is blaming anyone when it comes to deserving to be happy.

I'm curious, though. FB isn't the culprit here. Yet, the statistics suggest that FB has become the catalyst for revealing painful relationships issues that need to be addressed and the subsequent decisions people make. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of acting too quickly on the sizzling emotions when an ex appears, we were able to take our reaction as a signal that we might want to focus on some important current relationship questions and proceed with caution? What do you think about the impact of FB on marriage?