When working with couples in marriage counseling, one of the first questions I will ask has to do with what they perceive as interferences to their relationship.

The answer could be that one partner spends too much time at work; or that another spends too much time golfing; or perhaps extended family is too involved in the relationship.  More and more I am hearing that social media such as Facebook, Snapchat, texting and even playing games on the phone/tablet are intrusions. Here are my suggestions on how to avoid social media interferences in your relationship.

Top 4 Do’s and Don’ts from a Marriage Expert:

  1. Be an open book. Allow your partner unrestricted access to your phone, texts, personal email, Facebook page, etc.social media with broken heart  If there is something you need to hide, (short of planning a surprise party for your spouse), it is an indicator you shouldn’t be doing it.
  2. Don’t maintain connections with people who would not support your marriage. This may include old flames from the past looking to “rekindle” and others who might encourage or support activities that would harm your marriage.
  3. Put that device down! Spend time with your partner and family without your phone or tablet at your side or on your lap.  When you are in conversation or spending quality time together, give them your undivided attention.
  4. Use texting or emailing throughout the day to let your spouse know you are thinking of them. Don’t be tempted to carry on an argument all day long with texting.  Have those discussions face to face only.  Don’t read into or “freak out” when your partner doesn’t respond to a text or email immediately.

Please remember, social media in and of itself can be very useful and is not the problem.  It is how we use these tools that can be the problem.  Take responsibility for yourself and your marriage and set up logical and reasonable boundaries and rules when using social media.

Toni Larson, LISW

Individual, Couples, and Family Therapist serving Fort Dodge, Iowa


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