Portland Marriage Counselor: Set Ground Rules for Facebook

July 18, 2011 by

As a Portland Marriage Counselor, I have seen Facebook put a strain on relationships that aren’t strong to begin with. In a past blog about Facebook infidelity, I wrote about how people use the social network as an excuse for their affairs. To me, it’s similar to the false sense of privacy we have when driving a car. Often, we act more aggressively than we would otherwise. Being “hidden” in this way doesn’t always put us on our best behavior.

Our actions on Facebook may seem “hidden” from our partners in much the same way, but the truth is that sharing intimate details about your life with an ex or sending lewd photos of yourself to a stranger can hurt just as much as arranging a date with someone you meet online. These actions can also be a slippery slope if you have committed infidelity in the past or have other trust issues in your relationship. It may provide a lot of relationship help and security if you set a few ground rules and stick to them.

Help Avoid Infidelity by Setting Ground Rules

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

No chat. Unlike Facebook messaging or emails, you don’t have as much time to stop and think about your actions when chatting. The immediate nature of it can cause you to get caught up in the conversation and lose sight of what matters most to you. Turning the feature off is easy. Simply click on the “chat” box on the lower right corner, select “options,” and click “go offline.”

No friending exes. Avoid any concerns about past relationships by removing them from your Facebook friend list. Click on “Friends” in the upper left column, and then click on the button “Manage Friend List.” From here, you can simply click on the “x” next to anyone you’d like to remove.

Set a time limit for Facebook. In some relationships, Facebook can be a time drain, taking you away from your partner and family. If this is a problem you have, consider setting a specific time of day to check Facebook, set a time limit, and stick to it.

Remove potentially hurtful photos. Photos of you with an ex or someone you had an affair with can bring back a flood of memories to your current partner, not to mention the shame it may cause them if one of their family members saw the photos. Consider how you want your in-laws to view you.

Don’t air your dirty laundry. If you’re in a fight with your partner, it may be tempting to post about your feelings on your wall. This will do more damage than good. Remember, your friends and family will see this, so you’re putting them in an uncomfortable position. It may seem like a way to “get back at” your partner, but, from my experience as a Portland marriage counselor, I can tell you that it’s not productive or providing any relationship help.

Consider Seeing a Portland Marriage Counselor

If you have trouble setting ground rules, consider getting relationship help. Seek help now to prevent infidelity or trust issues later. I have helped many couples to overcome these issues in my work as a Portland marriage counselor.