Social media: Destroying marriages since 2015

According to a new survey of 2,000 people in the UK, one in seven say they've contemplated divorce because of their partner's activity on social media.

Nearly a quarter also say they have at least one row a week with their partner because of social media use and 17 per cent say they argue every day because of it.

Just under half of all Brits surveyed admit they have secretly checked their other half's Facebook account and one in five go on to row about what they discover.

The most common reason cited for checking a partner's social media account was to find out who they were talking to, to keep tabs on them, to check who they were out with, and to find out if they were telling the truth about their social life. 14 per cent say they specifically look for evidence of infidelity.

The research was commissioned by family law specialists Slater and Gordon who have seen an increase in the number of people citing social media use as a cause of divorce year on year.

"Social media can be a wonderful way of keeping in touch with family and friends, but it can also put added strain on a relationship," says Andrew Newbury, head of family law at Slater and Gordon. "Five years ago Facebook was rarely mentioned in the context of a marriage ending, but now it has become common place for clients to cite social media use, or something they discovered on social media, as a reason for divorce".

One in 20 say they were upset that their partner didn't post any pictures of them together. But it isn't just what partners are doing on social media that causes problems, couples argue over how much use they make of sites too.

Social media is considered dangerous to their marriage by 15 per cent of respondents, with Facebook seen as being most hazardous, followed by WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram. Yet one in ten admit they hide images and posts from their partner, while eight per cent admit to having secret social media accounts.

Whilst a third said they keep their social media log-in details a secret from their partners, 58 per cent admit to knowing their partner’s log-in details, even if their spouse wasn't aware they knew them.

Newbury concludes, "We are now actively advising our clients to be cautious when it comes to using Facebook and all forms of social media because of its potential to damage relationships".

In the interests of marital harmony therefore, if you're planning on sharing this story on social media please keep your partner informed.

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