Social media platforms generally play a vital role in relationships in terms of communication and providing couples with an opportunity to share their life and love with loved ones who might be far away.
Knowing your partner’s well-being is crucial in improving the connection in the relationship and keeping your partner at peace. However, social media platforms have also proved to be a source of conflict among couples when misused. People use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Whatsapp, to get in touch with friends and family, including their partners.
But what if you are constantly fighting over how one of these Social Media platforms are used?
Then there is also phubbing. Phubbing is the act of ignoring the people you’re hanging out with or your significant other and instead giving that attention to a mobile phone. For some, the fear is that Phubbing can can lead to a digital affair or may be worried that one is already happening. If you are not familiar with the term “phubbing,” I invite you to check my blog “Feeling like Your Spouse is Married to the phone lately?”
What are Digital Affairs?
Digital affairs happen when people already in committed relationships use social media and other websites to have inappropriate relationships outside of their marriage. The affairs could start as an innocent chat, which can later lead to being emotionally as well as romantically attracted to another person other than your spouse. Due to the physical distance, some may not view this as real infidelity, and they may feel that chatting and flirting on Facebook is okay. However, this definition is not the same for everyone. A digital affair can be as emotionally harmful as a full blown physical one. Digital relations can lead to relationship break-ups or divorces when the other partner comes to get wind of it. The offending partner can also get emotionally attached to the online partner, and as a result, end up falling out of love with their spouse.
How to make social media work in your relationship
- Be open with your partner on how you want to handle social media and let them understand what is acceptable to you and what is not. If you are not comfortable with your partner posting your pictures or announcing your relationship online, let them know. On the other hand, you should also listen to your partner on their plans for using these sites and consider it. It may require a compromise exercise to get to an understanding.
- When you find something offending or disturbing online, be honest with your partner. It is best to talk without judging your partner, but by coming from a place of expressing how you feel and what you need. Don’t wait on the issue to disturb you for too long; discussion helps in understanding each other and settling disputes faster.
- In social media, a small gesture such as liking or commenting on a photo can easily be miss-interpreted by others. Although the gesture could be innocent, your partner might suspect you of having a digital affair. The best thing is to clear things by having an honest conversation with your partner to clarify everything.
- Be mindful of who you interact with on social media. Think of how you would like to protect your relationship, just like how you may act at a bar now that you are married may be different from when you were single.
- Minimize the time you spend on social media and instead create more time to interact and reconnect with your partner. Spending too much of your time on your phone chatting with friends widens a gap between you and your partner and could bring more problems. One way to go about this can be to create phone free times to foster quality time in the relationship. Also, you may want to consider places that are phone free times. For many, this is their such as your bedroom
Couples should engage carefully when using social media. Excessive phone use can make one of the partners feel neglected and left out in the relationship. Having open and honest communication about how to use social media should be the golden rule for modern couples.
Your therapy friend,
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SOFIA M. ROBIROSA
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining.