Shawn H. Heffernan & Associates, P.C.
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Protect your marriage from social media faux pas

Marriage can be a tricky process to navigate. But some couples make it harder than it has to be due to what they share and do on social media sites.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), one survey from 2010 indicated that more than 80 percent of family law attorneys had cases that were affected by social media postings. Below are a few ways that your social media use could adversely affect your marriage.

  • Not being honest about online activities. Facebook makes it simple to reconnect with people from the past, from friends in the neighborhood to former teachers and first loves. Hiding your online connections from your spouse can wreck your marriage.
  • Screen time tops face time. It's easy to get sucked into social media drama and neglect real-life relationships. All the energy expended maintaining an online persona, e.g., responding to, posting and "liking" status updates on Twitter and Facebook, could instead be invested in your marriage.
  • Comparing your life to others' lives. People can spend an inordinate amount of time curating their online posts to make it appear as if they are leading perfect lives. If you fall into the comparison trap, you may find yourself lacking.
  • Reconnecting with old loves. Many people look back on their first loves while wearing rose-colored shades. When you're young, your worries center around things like prom dates and SAT scores, and it's a slippery slope if you climb into the Wayback Machine with a former partner. However, doing so can put your marriage in jeopardy.
  • Oversharing personal information. If your marriage hits a rough patch, it's not necessary or helpful to share the lurid details with your 525 Facebook friends. Choose a tight-lipped friend to rant to or seek counseling.
  • Idealizing the single life. Just as there are benefits to being married, there are some to being single as well. But if social media makes you long for the days you were footloose and fancy free, you may need to unplug and devote more time to your spouse.

It can be difficult to make the decision to end a marriage. It's not something that should ever be decided in a fit of anger. If you do decide to file for divorce, it's a good idea to learn all that you can about Illinois divorce laws and how they can potentially affect the outcome of your circumstances.

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