Friday, November 19, 2010

Marriage and Facebook

Okay...here is my thoughts/opinions/rats of the day.  Please feel free to weigh in, I love discussions.

A New Jersey pastor "ordered" 50 married church leaders to delete their facebook accounts or resign their position.  He reasoning...to save their marriage.  Ultimatum on Facebook

I have a facebook.  My hubby does not.  He loathes social networking. 
I only have one ex and he is not on my facebook (however, if he sent me a friend request I'd have no issue in accepting since we WERE good friends and my intent would NOT be to "hook up" or any such thing, and my hubby would have full knowledge of him being on there, but he hates me b/c I told him he was controlling and stuff so thats neither here nor there.)
My hubby does not have my facebook password, yet I dont necessarily HIDE it from him.  Can't tell you the number of times I've left it logged in, or we've used it jointly to research people he knows/knew.

My thoughts on this is that it is not facebook that is destroying marriages, but something underlying that facebook enables to happen.  And that being the case, blaming it on facebook is hiding your head in the sand.  If you are so vulnerable that you cheat on your spouse just because you came back in contact with an ex on facebook, then you would have been vulnerable to the first attack that came your way.  Whether you knew it or not you were looking for an opportunity.

If you are so untrusting of your spouse that just the worry of facebook has you accusing them and tearing your marriage apart, then there are other issues involved.

Here is a quote from the article:
"I know he feels very strongly about this," she said. "It can be a useful tool, but it also can cause great problems in a relationship. If your spouse won't give you his or her password, you've got a problem."

Yes, if your spouse is hiding it, you might have a problem.  But it is not a facebook problem...if it wasn't their facebook it might be their email, their text messages, their job.  I'm all for openness and honesty in a marriage, I tell hubs everything (more than he really even CARES to know).  He doesn't tell me every breath he takes during the day but he DOES tell me what matters.  If the hospital (where he works IT) sends him to the home of a transcriptionist (usually female) he'll call and tell me on his way.  Because it's tempting? No  But because he wants me to know, for one that way if anything DID happen or if anyone SUGGESTING something ("I saw your hubby at a woman's house!") I would already know and he would have been honest with me.  He's had ex-gfs call him several times about computer issues, he was always quick to tell me about the call.  Not that I dont trust him, but how would I have felt if I borrowed his phone and saw an hour long call from an ex that he never mentioned?  Once an ex even asked him to stop by her house and look at a computer, before he told her he would he asked me if it was ok and if I wanted to go along.  I told him I trusted him and no need for me to go, but he ASKED.  I KNEW. 

"The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used or been faced with evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites in divorce cases over the last five years."
This stat is misleading in my opinion.  Again, I think facebook is just a tool to achieve something that inevitably would have happened anyway.  Taking away the tools that are used to achieve something is NOT solving the root problem.


I personally think this church would do a much better job at preserving marriages in their congregation by having sermons and studies on marriage.  Having couple's retreats and things like that, rather than attacking facebook.  By demanding that their leaders delete their accounts and strongly suggestion the congregation do the same, they are actually making the problem worse.  Say a spouse innocently has a facebook, and since he/she is not doing anything nor plans to do anything inappropriate they chose not to delete it.  Now Pastor stand up on Sunday morning and declares it a "danger to your marriage" what does other spouse think?  Now do that start to worry that their spouse is cheating, looking up old girlfriend/boyfriends?  There a strife has been caused in a marriage that had no call for it. 

Trust.  Its all about trust.  Work on your marriage, grow your marriage, don't get caught up in petty things and hide your head in the sand if there is a real issue and place the blame on something/someone else. 

9 comments:

TammyIsBlessed said...

Good rant Erin!

I do think that technology makes it easier to give in to temptation, everything is so accessible and available with just the touch of a button and it doesn't require as much "planning", if you will.

But you are totally right that the underlying issues are the real problem. And that ultimatum just seems ridiculous to me.

Jen said...

It's hard for me to judge, since I've only been married 4 years AND I'm a huge over-sharer. But I am easily creeped out when preachers stop shepherding flocks and start giving out commands. Cody doesn't even remember his password to his account, so sometimes he'll ask to use my account to keep up with someone. Granted, we don't even have Internet in our home.

It's not that we're scared the other person will sneak out of bed in the middle of the night to look at dirty pictures or carry on an email affair, but it is an extra expense and something that would distract us from the time we have together if we had it available. Anything can hurt your relationships if you let it. It would have been simpler if he'd just said "Put your marriage first."

PS: Nice picture!

DebbieLynne said...

You couldn't have said it better!

Janine said...

I understand why this pastor has made this stand. You know me. I am an avid sharer. I love fb and I like the connections it gives me. However, I also know the danger of emotional and physical affairs. I was in an emotional affair 4 yrs ago that could have destroyed my marriage. Thankfully, I chose right. I reconnected with him through a social network. He was an ex boyfriend/first love thing from middle/high school. It was pure at first, but it quickly went south due to all the problems my marriage was having.

Just my two cents... I think it's a bad idea to have an ex as a friend. Maybe it's a good idea if you have mutual kids you need to shepherd. You can also look at my friend list and see very few men. I did that to protect myself and assure Jason that I am trustworthy.

The internet can be a wonderful tool, but also a very destructive one. Do I think he should have ALL leaders delete their accts - No, because they may know their boundaries, but if it is an issue it SHOULD be deleted.

Janine said...

Ah, and one more thing... I don't think there should be Any secrets in a marriage. Including private passwords.

Erin said...

I don't totally disagree with you, Jae. But...you kinda went hand in hand with what I was saying. It wasn't FACEBOOK that caused the problem, it was the fact that you were having other issues and stuff in your marriage. JUST having a social networking site didnt almost ruin your marriage, there were other things at play, and that could have happened anywhere, the grocery store, the laundromat, church, etc. Social networking sites might make it easier, but had you not had a MySpace/Facebook/Whatever that doesnt mean the issues y'all had (and had to and did properly deal with) would not have happened. Make sense?

Janine said...

Yup! But I do think fb (or other sites) do hold potential dangers and some people should refrain.

My kids will hate me when they get older because the Internet is a privilege. I will know certain passwords and will screen their texts, pics, etc... but thats another topic. lol

Erin said...

Oh I agree 100%. However, all I am saying is, that for some people yes, it can provide too much temptation and should be avoided, BUT that is not Facebooks fault, that is an issue with the particular person. I think taking away Facebook doesnt address the problem. This pastor was making a broad generalization, IMO, that really wouldnt solve the issue he was addressing.

And yes, it also does hold dangers, my kids will be very tightly monitored on the internet...and their Daddy can do more than they can ever imagine...mwuhahaha...the joys of being married to an IT guy.

Janine said...

I agree with you.

You need to teach me the IT stuff when it comes time!