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Social media: is it a threat to your marriage?

5th May 2015 - John Oxley

Ayesha Vardag wrote for The Huffington Post on the effect social media can have on marriages. Looking back, she reflected on her youth, writing letters to a friend – I neglected my studies to write. I fell in love by post – and about her after her divorce I wrote daily anecdotes about my various romantic disasters to a community of friends by email. Id sit down with a glass of wine in the evening, get out my computer and chit-chat. It made it all so much better.

Ayesha went on to observe that social media has created a permanent access to this sort of community which, although fantastic for many, can create trouble for marriages. They may be new people. They may be old friends or flames. I recently connected with the first boy I ever had a crush on, in primary school. Still a thoroughly nice bloke. These connections can just be interesting, fun, entertaining. But sometimes they set off a spark.

Speaking from her experience fighting high value divorce cases, she added Sometimes these marriages break up through another kind of discovery - we see a lot of cases where an infidelity was busted by random photo downloads to the spouse or Facebook messaging on the family computer. Other times, people choose to leave because theyve found what feels more right for them.

Ayesha, billed in the article as Britains top divorce lawyer, went on to comment on another aspect of social media and family relationships. If things break down, social media become the outlet for revenge; vindictive, embarrassing, cruel words and images are spilled onto the web by rejected lovers looking for a very public outlet for their pain. In divorces, Ive seen people threaten posting public humiliation as leverage for a settlement. People can go crazy when their hearts are broken, she said, saying that some divorces and prenups now contain social media clauses.

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