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…
- 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.).
- 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!
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Post pictures of you and your spouse on your Facebook, OR use a “couple” picture as your profile picture.
- 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!
- Think before you type. Don’t make comments on statuses and pictures of other people that come across as suggestive.
- 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.