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Beware social media health hazards

Warning. Social media may be hazardous to your health.

The health of your marriage that is.

Start with what Facebook does so well. Connecting you to old friends. When those old friends are ex-girlfriends or boyfriends, high school sweethearts or college heart throbs – reconnecting may be the first step toward a marital crisis. Ditto for texting, e-mails and phone calls.

It all seems so innocent. What could be the harm?

If you are feeling bored or frustrated in your marriage, or life in general has become ho-hum, it’s just so easy to begin to count on an outside connection to add some spice to your life.

And it’s all so private. No one will ever know. If your spouse does find out – so what? You can explain. NOTHING happened. Right?

Not so, based on the anecdotal evidence in my counseling practice. Sooner or later your husband or wife will discover your Facebook posts, e-mails, texts or phone calls. The discovery will likely trigger a tsunami of questions, pain and regret.

“If it didn’t mean anything, why were you hiding it?  What else are you hiding? How can I ever trust you again?”  Anger morphs into feelings of betrayal and rejection.

Sometimes it serves as a valuable wake up call.  Sometimes it adds to a growing list of betrayals.

In some cases media-only indiscretions cause as much damage as a full-blown affair. Years of marriage suddenly seem a charade, shared trust – a mirage.

So stop and think before you engage in “harmless flirtation” via social media, e-mail, phone calls or texting.

Better yet – don’t even think about it.

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