10 FACEBOOK RULES FOR MARRIED COUPLES

Facebook has become hugely popular in the past few years. Lea and I both love being able to catch up with old friends and family on Facebook. But with anything that comes along, there can also be dangers and problems if not used responsibly. Sometimes Facebook and other online communities can cause problems in marriages if some rules aren’t followed.

Here are 10 guidelines for married couples that Lea and I talked about and I’d like to share…

  1. Don’t spend more time on Facebook than you should. How much time is that? It depends on what your spouse says. Communicate with your spouse and ask them, “Am I spending too much time online?” You want to make sure your spouse is your number 1 relationship, not your buddies on Facebook. Pursue your spouse more than you pursue online relationships. Don’t Facebook during “couple” time (ie. When your wife asks you to watch a movie with her, do you Facebook through it? Or don’t facebook every night instead of going to bed with your husband.).
  2. NEVER hide things from your spouse on Facebook. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a 1000 more times, openness and honestly is the glue of your marriage. When you start hiding friendships, conversations, chat sessions and comments from your spouse, THAT IS UNHEALTHY. If you’re not allowing your spouse to know what you’re doing on Facebook or online, that’s a sign that you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing. Cheating on your spouse online is JUST AS WRONG as physically cheating on your spouse. If you’re doing it … STOP IT!
  3. Share your Facebook password with your spouse. I share every password with my wife … from my Facebook account to every email address I have. Why would I want to do that? It’s called trust, and it’s also called accountability. Knowing my wife can open my laptop at anytime and read anything I’m doing, or see any place I’ve gone, keeps me accountable. Don’t hide things from your spouse. Make sure you regularly tell them, “You are welcome to see what I’m doing anytime.”
  4. NEVER befriend anyone of the opposite sex that your spouse is uncomfortable with. Befriending an old boyfriend or girlfriend should NEVER be done. Don’t search for old boyfriends and girlfriends. Simple communication with your spouse about this is best.
  5. Defriend anyone who crosses normal boundaries. If someone is saying things, doing things or asking questions online that make you uncomfortable OR would make you uncomfortable in person, then that’s not a good sign. Listen to the little voice in your head. If something tells you “this isn’t right,” then it’s probably not. Never be ashamed or afraid to defriend someone that may have ulterior motives.
  6. If you’re married, PROUDLY set your “Relationship Status” to married. I wish there was a “Happily Married” status or for that matter, an “I’m madly in love with my incredibly gorgeous wife.” I’d change my status to that in a heartbeat. :)
  7. Post pictures of you and your spouse on your Facebook, OR use a “couple” picture as your profile picture.
  8. Don’t be afraid to proclaim your love for your spouse on Facebook. Someone of the opposite sex won’t question your love for your spouse if you occasionally brag on your spouse on your Facebook status. It’s healthy to brag on your spouse, and occasionally doing it in public conveys your love for your spouse to the world. It doesn’t bother me one drop to tell the world just how much I love my wife. At the same time, I would NEVER use my status to complain about my spouse. Not smart!
  9. Think before you type. Don’t make comments on statuses and pictures of other people that come across as suggestive.
  10. No matter how many friends you have on Facebook, remember that your #1 friend should be your spouse. Strive to better that relationship on a daily basis. Work 1000 times harder to grow in your relationship than you do at finding friends on Facebook. NEVER take your relationship with your spouse for granted. THE LAST THING YOU WANT is 1000 Facebook friends, while the love between you and your best friend slowly dies out.
Can you think of any Facebook rules for married couples that I might have missed?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
30 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Amy says:

    Good stuff! One thing some of my friend do that drive me nuts is openly complain about their spouse or personal problems that they are having. I would be so hurt if my husband did that. I am sure it hurts their spouse too.

  2. TREY MORGAN says:

    Amy … that definitely should make the list.

  3. Peter P says:

    Great post, Trey!

    I agree with them all.

  4. nick gill says:

    I *almost* completely agree with this list. The ONLY potential qualifier I'd add to this list, Trey, is that I'm not sure men and women who are serving as counselors can give to their spouses full access to their communications. This is probably also true for elders — no one besides the elders needs to know everything that elders say to one another.

    Now, this should also require that those people be disciplined in their communication — only doing professional/confidential communication in certain channels, none of which should include FB.

    But no one's spouse needs to open an email and read someone else's private plea for help or explanation of a dangerous situation. So there is a bit of complexity that doesn't NEGATE the general rule, but needs to be taken into account.

  5. Warren Baldwin says:

    Following this list could/would keep a lot of people out of trouble. I've heard that FB is getting mentioned more and more in divorce cases.

  6. faughnfamilyof4 says:

    Good thoughts, as usual, Trey.

    I know two people who "innocently" flirted via FB. After just a few weeks, they had an affair. Both couples remain married, but the strain on them and the local church was/is amazing.

    Facebook is a wonderful tool when used to God's glory. Thanks for that reminder.

  7. Randall says:

    This is great, Trey! I enjoy your blog and thank the Lord for your efforts.

    Regarding #5, do you think it's wise to defriend immediately, or would it be worth a try to communicate to them that we're uncomfortable with the situation? In other words, we can point out when something is inappropriate, and perhaps that would even serve as a mini-ministry to that person and create a learning experience. Then, we can defriend if they do not heed our request. Just curious about your thoughts on this.

    Thanks!

    Randall

  8. brandon price says:

    I would add, "Never slam your spouse on Facebook." I see this every now and then and it really gets to me. It's especially uncool if your spouse doesn't even have Facebook and won't see what you've "vented" to five hundred of your "closest" friends.

  9. L.C.T. says:

    I went down the route of coming off facebook altogether. Unless it's very specifically good to keep in contact with people you don't often see then I think it can be a very destructive tool…

  10. Frank Bellizzi says:

    Wise words here.

  11. Janice Garrison says:

    Well said and to each point, I say a hearty Amen!!

  12. Rodney Olsen says:

    Some great advice.

    I make sure with any of my interactions, online or offline, that people understand when I stood in front of friends and family over 17 years ago and committed to 'forsaking all others' that's exactly what I meant.

    My relationship with my incredible wife is so very precious to me and I will guard it in any way possible.

  13. That Girl says:

    I have learned that if your husband checks his FB on his iPhone, be careful about what you post on his wall. He might think it's a text and respond on your wall and well, you might just turn out to be the entertainment for all your friends…

    Of course, I didn't learn this PERSONALLY! (or maybe I did – but you've been known to send texts that went to the wrong person so I think you know what I'm TRYIN' to say!)

  14. tmarty says:

    Love this post. Personally, I think FB has been a great tool for ministry for me. I connect with other Christians, I have had "cyber fellowship" and have even started a FB bible study with some old friends. It is a great tool, but as any good thing, used wrong can be destructive.

  15. thetimehascome says:

    Great post, Trey. My wife and I have really enjoyed getting in touch with old friends staying in touch with family. We are very open with each other about our time on facebook, and your rules are spot on.

    I'll add a sub-rule to #6: When you and your spouse have just had a spat, don't put "It's complicated" as your relationship status. To me, this is as dangerous as shouting the D-Word in an argument. And unfortunately, I've already seen friends go there, and it only added to their pain, as you'd imagine.

  16. Kissie says:

    Awesome, and I'm sure, very much needed in every community.

  17. Carissa says:

    What a great list! My husband uses mine to play games instead of having his own :)

  18. wjcsydney says:

    Thanks, Trey! I just changed my photo back to one of me and C (even though C is not on fb and isn't that comfortable with reference being made to him on there by Nicky or me). I agree that I cringe when some of my friends vent and air their marital woes on fb or elsewhere online that is public. I said something to one of them once (in private) and her amazing reply was that her DH didn't mind and it helped their communication! I think not! How does belittling your spouse on fb help anything?

  19. TREY MORGAN says:

    Randall … the first thing I'd do is communicate with my spouse what's going on and why I'm feeling uncomfortable about this. Then I'd ask them, what do you think? If they're uncomfortable with me continuing in a conversation with them, I'd defriend immediately. I understand your point and yes, it'd be best if you can explain why you did, what you did. But I'm also reminded of Joseph who made the choice to simply RUN when confronted with something he knew he shouldn't do.

    Excellent question.

  20. Randall says:

    I agree completely, Trey.

  21. Stoogelover says:

    More good stuff from a good man!

  22. royalrudie says:

    Another good rule: Don't break up via facebook.

  23. Mark says:

    Good stuff. Some of the problems arise between wife and husband due to social networking site. I feel you posting will be very helpful

  24. Kay says:

    I think these are excellent posts and well addressed. We were just talking about this and how FB is coming up more in divorces – I KNOW that it is involved in a lot of break-ups but don't you think that things were already going south in some way first. If you had a strong marriage in the first place, would that be the only thing that caused a split?

  25. Brenda says:

    I love this! And it's all so true! Now if you can come up with the top 10 reasons parents should monitor their kids facebook account. :o)

  26. Kelli Krafsky says:

    Great minds think alike! My husband and I have been writing and researching this past year on this very subject and we are pleased to announce "Facebook and Your Marriage" comes out the end of February! Hope you will help spread the word and would love to connect!
    http://marriagejunkie.com/2010/01/18/save-25-on-autographed-copy-of-facebook-and-your-marriage/

  27. Leigh Anne says:

    I realize this is an old post but I came over from We are THAT Family while reading through some of her old post.

    I don't have anything to add to this list but I do have a question. You mentioned giving your spouse access to all of your accounts. Password access. My question is, would you feel untrusted or insulted if your wife actually acted with those passwords by "checking up" on you?

    Also, IF you were to be insulted or felt untrusted would you be defensive and tell her not to look or is that a sign of a husband doing something he shouldn't?

  28. TREY MORGAN says:

    Leigh Anne,

    Here is how Lea and I do things. First, I don't sign out of my FB, nor does she when she's been on, SO when she sits down to the computer at the house there are all my FB messages, etc. I have no clue if she has read them or not, but she's welcome too. Besides, she has my password.

    There have been times when I sit down and she's logged on and I'll browse through her friends, not to check on her, but just to see who her friends are (and visa-versa).

    I do not erase my messages, so she's welcome to see those too. To make a long question short, I would NOT have a problem with my wife seeing, reading or checking anything.

    And yes, I think if I my spouse didn't want me to read or see her/his stuff, it's throw up red flags of "what are they hiding." Yes, I would think they were hiding something.

    Whether it's my text messages, email or FB … there should be no secrets.

    Hope this helps.

  29. Anonymous says:

    This is a wonderful list of rules, all of which serve to ensure healthy relationships are maintained.

    Due to the nature of my work, I spend a lot of time online and use FB to interact with both business colleagues and friends. I've always believed codes of conduct we apply to real life should be observed as rigidly in the online world too.

    Unfortunately I am one person who truly wishes these rules had been observed by her (now ex) husband. While I strove for transparency in regards to my own online activities, my ex completely hid his facebook activities from me, to the extent where a virtual stranger was the one to make me aware of his wholly unpleasant activities.

    All in all, your second rule (Never hide things from your spouse) is the most important rule to me. If my husband had been as transparent as I was, we could potentially have saved our marriage and avoided all the other incidents which consequently led to it's breakdown.

    Thank you for posting this enlightening and strengthening article.

    I hope that many more of your readers will help generate awareness of this page (as I indeed will) so others may benefit and understand too.

  30. Kela says:

    I found your site via a mystery blogger (can't access it, but I get their feeds). Anyway, WONDERFUL List! I agree with them all. As far as writing on my husband's wall (and vice versa), he makes me blush OFTEN. There is no doubt to our friends and family that we still have a major crush on each other!

    Concerning passwords and emails; I have a small notebook on my desk with ALL of my passwords. Mostly because I easily forget, but also that he has full access to my activity.

    One tacky thing that I saw recently was a friend (a woman) changing her "married" status to "in a relationship, but it's complicated". Really!? FB is not the place to openly "divorce" your SPOUSE! Work it out in private!

    I've rambled enough. Thanks again for this list and insight.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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