Online Media Communication is One Cause of Divorce
Maybe you’ve heard the familiar story of a wife who caught her husband in an intimate chat with his old girlfriend on Facebook. Her husband, however, insists that he didn’t realize he shouldn’t be doing so despite the fact that he is married; he says that he thought his relationship was normal, like one between him and an old friend from school. But for the wife it was nothing like that. This incident has made his wife jealous, upset, and has ultimately disrupted their marriage.
A few months ago, another friend told me about her love story. She had a relationship with a man for 12 years when they were in the same city but because of her work, my friend had to move to another island. The boyfriend was still in the city for continuing his studies and although they supported each other, especially their respective careers, due to long distance and limited communication at that time (there were no smart phones or internet access like now) her boyfriend finally married another woman. My friend was gutted, very disappointed, and it was hard to forget him.
To make a long story short, there was another man close to her who became her listener for sharing her disappointment and feelings about the man who left her. But by the mystery of Allah, the man who helped her to go through her difficult time proposed to her to be his wife. Although they had only known each other for two months, they dared to move on to marriage.
At the beginning of their journey, there were a lot of differences. It was not easy for her to forget her ex, she sometimes compared her now husband to her old boyfriend, and moreover, she said to me that her ex’s career became a success. Having been there to support him during his studies this was significant for her and she admitted that she and her ex-boyfriend sometimes still remain in contact. She does realize, however, that she must be careful not to nourish her old love.
Online media communication can indeed help to reconnect far away friendships and relations with family members that we may not have seen for a very long time and Facebook has become one of popular media platforms for this. Matchmaking has thus evolved and even my helper in Jeddah got married after she met a man online through Facebook that she did not know before!
Facebook can, however, also lead to the divorce of married couples. As quoted from Newswise, “Facebook is one of five causes of divorce in the USA.”
IN addition, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (2011) revealed the results of a study where 66 percent of divorces in the USA were said to be caused by Facebook!
It is not surprising. One need only imagine how many hours a day we use the internet either through a smart phone, laptop, or ipad for communicating with whomever we want and the statistics do not seem too far fetched. Facebook can allow us to have thousands, even millions, of friends to get acquainted with. Friends of various nationalities, genders, social classes, and backgrounds. We can even speak directly to them or talk to them without knowing their phone numbers. Easy communication can certainly ensnare us if we do not use it wisely.
How do We Respond?
- If you are married remember that family unity could falter by a mistake of your writing, speaking, or joking with your chat friends. Think of your words. Will your spouse be upset if she/he inadvertently read your chat? If yes then avoid it.
- To maintain the trust, your partner should know your password for Facebook (or other media communications), and you as well should know your partner’s password. It seems a lot but it is better to prevent issues than to address them after they’ve occurred.
- Limit the use of online media. It is fun when we open up and hear news of our old friends, but limiting your time for chit chat with your friends is wise advice.
- If there is a friend who seeks to interfere in your life or who tries to contact you directly and you feel that it may disturb your marriage, immediately unfriend rather than creating an unwanted misunderstanding in the future.
Editor: Janette Grant