Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Facebook Killing Aussie Marriages

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Facebook Killing Aussie Marriages

Article excerpt

AUSSIE couples are increasingly buckling under the pressure of Facebook.

More and more the F-factor is sucking the life out of love as social media becomes the anthesis of social.

Counsellors are reporting treating couples for insecurity, breakdowns in communication and infIdelity directly linked to the network.

Overseas studies show Facebook has become a leading cause in divorce cases.

While there is no hard data in Australia, there is an anecdotal connection to support the trend. Relationships Australia CEO Elisabeth Shaw says the organisation is increasingly seeing Facebook raised as an issue in counselling sessions.

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"Social media and Facebook are mentioned a lot, in a variety of ways. I have seen couples who battle over Facebook posts: who is argued to be showing greater investment in the relationship and who is not, as a result of posts," she says.

"This sort of example is one enactment of broader issues about insecurity, the individual (sometimes couple) need for external validation."

Ms Shaw, a clinical and counselling psychologist, says there are also battles about Facebook as a bigger argument about computer versus couple time.

"I have had couples say 'you communicate more on Facebook with your friends than you do with me ...', so the focus being outside the relationship rather than in it," she says.

There is the issue of privacy versus publicity with "couples disagreeing about these levels of comfort".

And she's had "many examples" where an infidelity is exposed on Facebook to shame and humiliate another in public.

Australian Family Lawyers Melbourne head lawyer Melissa Muir says the firm has clients who have found out about their partner's affairs via Facebook.

"People have found love letters via Messenger."

She says Facebook is also a useful tool in obtaining evidence against individuals in family law proceedings. …

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