A recent survey found that two-thirds of divorce attorneys turn to Facebook to collect evidence for their cases. The finding, which was released by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, illustrates the powerful and pervasive impact that technology can have on real-life romances. In fact, the recent advent of “Facebook” affairs has many people wondering if this Web site could be the death knell for fidelity.
Fears such as these might be somewhat warranted. While infidelity is often related to existing problems in a relationship, Facebook can serve to exacerbate troublesome issues and derail communication even further. Of course, the Web site itself isn’t inherently negative. It can serve as a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, and it can help you reconnect with old friends.
However, it can also serve as a nonstop, never-ending social barometer to what the Joneses are up to. And, as you get all this up-to-the-minute news about your neighbor’s new promotion or your high school sweetheart’s new baby, you might start to sit back and wonder: Where’s my promotion? Or, when am I going to have my own child?
Any of these comparisons can lead to deep feelings of dissatisfaction, and suddenly you start looking for ways to fill that emptiness inside of you. At the root of infidelity is often dissatisfaction and insecurity. People rarely cheat just for the sex itself; instead they are seeking validation, attention, and self-worth. So while Facebook isn’t the ultimate reason for infidelity, it can uncover and magnify existing issues.
Another reason why Facebook is so packed with temptation is because it offers people the fantasy of a relationship free of the mundane problems they encounter at home. For example, in a long-term relationship, it is common for couples to become complacent and even a little snarky with one another, particularly at the end of a long, stressful day. However, on Facebook, you have the opportunity to reconnect with that cute ex-classmate from high school in a completely fun and stress-free way. You don’t have to talk about the kids or the bills or deal with any baggage. Instead, it’s all fun, lighthearted, and sexy. No wonder so many people can’t resist the lure of an online dalliance. Sadly, these innocent exchanges soon become not-so-innocent and you might have a real-life affair on your hands. Even if you don’t indulge in physical contact, an emotional affair can detract from your marriage and greatly harm your bond with your real-life partner.
My advice? Log off and stop putting your energy and romantic desire into the cyber abyss. Take that flirtation and attraction and channel it back into your real relationship. If you want more attention and affection, take steps to make that happen in your relationship and work on the real issues that are behind your low self-esteem. Happiness isn’t next door or in someone else’s bed. It’s right in your grasp, waiting to be felt and enjoyed... all you have to do is reach out and take it!