“I think Facebook has had a very devastating effect on marriages,” said marriage counselor Cathy Leonard-Dressler.
It’s a way to keep in touch with friends, old and new. But now evidence shows Facebook could be hurting our closest real-world relationships.
“When people become unhappy in their marriage they become vulnerable and Facebook is an avenue for people to go down the wrong road,” said Leonard-Dressler.
A new study by the website Divorce Online says one in five divorce papers actually reference the site itself. Leonard-Dressler said Facebook has a way of bring up the past like long lost exes.
“It’s very tempting when someone from your past tries to contact you, and you’re looking for attention or validation,” she said.
“People write some pretty graphic, flirtatious things. There’s a rush in it,” said divorce attorney Barbara King, with Tully Rinckey in Albany.
Divorce attorneys say those old wall posts or Facebook messages can be used as evidence when a couple heads for divorce.
“Evidence on these computers, evidence of this communication can often be recovered, and can potentially be used against people in court,” said King.
Still, experts agree Facebook problems can be symptoms, and not the cause, of marital woes.
“I think adultery is widespread in our society. Divorce is an epidemic. I think people need to fight for their marriages,” said Leonard-Dressler.
And the best way may be through face to face communication.