September 23, 2021
There have been numerous studies on why married people get divorced. Most causes are intertwined and linked together. Money, infidelity, and substance abuse are common reasons for a divorce. However, a new study suggests that social media plays a massive role in the end of many marital relations.
A study published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that people who use Facebook are more likely to encounter Facebook-related conflicts with their romantic partners. The conflict then leads to a possibility of a breakup or a divorce.
Researchers backed the claim by surveying 205 Facebook users aged 18 to 82. 79 percent of the respondents reported being in a romantic relationship. But why is Facebook, a seemingly harmless social media platform, a reason for divorce?
1. Commitment Issues
85 percent of people state lack of commitment as their primary reason for a divorce. However, it is a reason that is challenging to prove. The outward signs point to extramarital affairs, such as not being communicative or not working towards a shared financial goal. Therefore, people might state lack of commitment as the primary issue as it is an underlying cause of more obvious problems.
2. Growing Apart
Next to lack of commitment, people who divorced stated that “we grew apart” or “we drifted apart” as the primary reason for their decision. The concept of incompatibility could conclude other reasons that may come up, such as lack of shared values, marrying too young, sexual difficulties, and religious differences. Although many couples can work through their differences, some differences might not be reconcilable.
3. Extramarital Affairs
Surprisingly, infidelity or adultery is not the top reason for divorce. Although it’s an answer that always came up during surveys, it’s not as often as lack of commitment or growing apart. More often than not, extramarital affairs happen because there were already problems in the marriage. It could be an unconscious way of provoking the other spouse to call an end to the union.
4. Financial Incompatibility
In several studies, 40 percent of people stated financial problems—complaints about how their ex-spouse handled money—were primary reasons they divorced. Any serious excuse to fight over money can be referred to as “financial incompatibility.” Most studies show that financial incompatibility is a primary reason for divorce among couples with lower incomes. When there is less to go around, there are more fights on how people handle money.
Russell B. Clayton, the researcher, hypothesized that more frequent social media use and monitoring of one’s partner could lead to misunderstandings and feelings of jealousy. The study has proved that hypothesis by noting a strong correlation between Facebook use and relationship stability.
The correlation is a result of jealousy and arguments about past partners related to social media snooping. Although social media aims to connect people wherever they may be, reconnecting with past lovers may lead to emotional and physical cheating.
We’ve seen the usual reasons why married couples file for divorce. However, as social media grows as part of our culture, it might soon be part of why people choose to end their marriage. But if you want to save the relationship from failing, it’s best to communicate with your partners and set boundaries of what they can control on your social media accounts. After all, being in a relationship is all about trust and commitment to the person you are with.
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