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Social media puts troubled marriages in public

The dissolution of marriage is generally a very private matter. People do not usually want everyone knowing the details of a breakdown in their marriage; let alone what is happening in the divorce proceedings. However, popular social networking sites here in Louisiana and elsewhere is giving outsiders more and more of a view inside troubled relationships. Many times, our actions online can speak volumes, even if it is unintended.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on popular social media websites. Outsiders can read into situations like when a husband and wife do not 'friend' each other on this popular social media outlet. Some couples also choose not to list themselves as 'married' in the relationship status area of their profiles. In some cases, people can read too much into this sort of activity and perceive a marital problem when there is not one. However, when there truly is an issue inside a marriage, it will reflect on social media with an individual's tone and demeanor.

Social media also gives the other spouse, or even a couple's mutual friends, an opportunity to snoop around in your personal business -- what you are up to, who you are talking to, etc. By doing this, it could deepen any rift that might be in a relationship to begin with. This problem only magnifies after couples have finalized a divorce or ended a relationship. Spouses still have the chance to spy on the other and see how they are dealing with the divorce or if they are already moving on.

Be advised before joining social networking web sites that, whether you like it or not, they serve as windows into your life -- even to the most intimate corners. The best way to deal with a failed relationship online is act civilly with your spouse (or ex-spouse) as to not draw any more attention.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Vicki Abelson: Divorce, Internet style," Vicki Abelson, Dec. 28, 2011

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