As the Houston marriage counselor, I try to pay attention to research and trends that I see emerging, and one of the big ones over the past few years is the way the social networks—especially Facebook—seem to be causing relationship problems.

Several of my clients have complained that their spouses are always on social networking sites and said that it really bothered them, and a few even mentioned specific issues that I’ll get into in a bit. But I was still surprised to read an article saying that one out of every five divorce petitions not only put part of the blame for the dissolution of their marriage on social networks but on Facebook specifically!

Social Networks Can Cause Many Relationship Problems, Says Houston Marriage Counselor

Ultimately, the real issue with social networks is very simple: temptation. With the ability to instantly do all kinds of things right at our fingertips, it’s hard not to get tempted. Here are just a few of the relationship problems that excessive use of social network sites can cause:

  • Cheating. Whether you physically meet up with someone or it’s just online flirting, using social networks to form romantic attachments to people outside of your relationship is cheating. The worst part is that most people aren’t even intending to cheat but they start talking to someone online and become tempted.
  • Stalking and jealousy. One of the best things about social networks is that they allow you to reconnect with people with whom you’ve lost touch. But as nice as it is to see Tommy from middle school again, cyber-stalking your exes or rebuilding relationships with them can lead to all kinds of issues in your current relationship.
  • Venting. How many times have you seen friends who vent in their status updates about something at work or at home? Chances are, it’s a lot, and I can tell you as the Houston marriage counselor that neither of these is a good idea. Sure, you might get validation from friends who “like” your status but you’re essentially airing your dirty laundry for the world and putting your significant other in the spotlight against their will. Not a good way to solve a problem.
  • Drifting. It’s pretty hard to stay connect to your significant other if you’re spending all your time on social networking sites but for some people that’s exactly what happens. They get sucked into the virtual world and lose touch with the real one.

If you need help dealing with problems in your relationship caused by social networks, please don’t hesitate to talk to the Houston marriage counselor.