Don’t Let Social Media Ruin Your Military Marriage!

sailor-and-wife-selfie-picWhether you’re married or in a relationship, you may as well just change your status on Facebook to “It’s Complicated.” Why? Because just being on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites makes it that way. I had a chance to talk about social media and marriage with Military.com’s Ms. Vicki at yesterday’s Spouse Experience. Ms. Vicki is a therapist for military families and says that every couple who comes to her with marital problems blames social media for at least part of it.

The problems range from a lack of intimacy due to one person’s social media addiction to full-blown affairs that started from online flirtations. How can you make sure you and your husband aren’t the next victims?

“You have to set up some agreements,” says Ms. Vicki. “Don’t call them rules. They’re just agreements about how you choose to handle your social media as a married couple. Have an open and honest talk about what’s ok and what isn’t.”

But what is ok? Is it ok to be friends with your ex on Facebook? Is it ok to post pictures of yourself in your bikini on your latest girls’ weekend? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. What’s ok for one couple spells disaster for another. But there are a few agreements that Ms. Vicki says are non-negotiable.

  1. Thou Shall Not Snoop. Do you know your husband’s passwords? Does he know yours? Snooping in each other’s accounts is no way to confront a problem, but it is a way to create one. “You can’t become a checker. If you become a checker, that’s when you’re in danger. It ruins your self-esteem.”
  2. Thou Shall Not Block Your Spouse. Be “friends” with your spouse on Facebook. Allow them to follow you on Twitter and Instagram. “You’d be surprised how many people block their own husbands,” says Ms. Vicki. “You have to be open and honest. Don’t block parts of your page and give them a reason to want to snoop.”
  3. Thou Shall Not Assume You’re Immune to Social Media Problems. “It’s not just the nasty people or the bad people,” said Ms. Vicki. “It’s everybody.” And in the military community, people seem to be even more invested in social media. With frequent moves and long deployments, people depend on social media to stay connected and spend a lot of time there… which often translates to more opportunities to run into relationship trouble.
  4. Thou Shall Not Forget You’re Sexy. Take the time to nurture your relationship outside of social media. “Don’t ever stop looking at yourself as a sexual being. You’re more than just a mom,” said Ms. Vicki. “And don’t forget that your husband is sexy, too. Be open and honest with one another about your feelings and always stay connected—in the real world, not just the one on your smartphone screen.

Has social media ever gotten in the way of your relationship? How did you overcome that problem? Let us know in the comments!

Besa-PinchottiPosted by Besa Pinchotti, Communications Director

7 responses to “Don’t Let Social Media Ruin Your Military Marriage!

  1. Another “agreement” my wife and I have is to avoid becoming friends with people of the opposite sex. I say “avoid” because it can be ok in certain situations, but in general we agree it’s best to just not accept or seek friends of the other gender. Sure, you run the risk of offending some well-meaning acquaintance, but I think it’s worth preserving my relationship with my wife.

    • ha mine would never agree with me.. she’d probably say I was being untrusting or embarassing her / or as you say offending. :/

  2. Its messing with mine really bad right now :(.. I feel like im not trusting enough.. Or I could say oh Im alpha territorial male but really I end up feeling like a dumby after we argue. :(

  3. I mean currently we are both out of country in seperate locations as well so thats whats making it so hard as well. Frequent deployments and social media :(

  4. I just don’t want to push her away I love her more than anything in the world and im almost home. Only 3 months to go now. But I feel like such a dumby holding onto all this anger.. When we argue she says hurtful things and I hold onto all of it. I feel like im not normal lol. Hopefully I can just learn to be quiet and not go snooping around and just be comfortable / secure and ill be back home soon enough.

    • Social media can be a big distraction for relationships, let alone military relationships! Don’t feel embarrassed to reach out for counseling, or a trusted friend or family member to talk to. Sometimes getting an outside opinion can help you step back and look at your own actions. When in doubt or angry, it’s always safe to sleep on it, and think about it the next day!

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