Social media is a wonderful tool to use for connecting with friends, family, and loved ones, who may not otherwise be able to connect. Along with that freedom comes a good deal of self-discipline to be able to use appropriately and responsibly, especially when in a committed relationship. Here are a few tips to help with staying committed in the social media age:
Everything Out in the Open.
In a healthy marriage, both parties should never feel as though they have anything to hide from each other.
To achieve this, the foundation of Love and Trust must first be built. That alone will begin to breed an atmosphere of a ‘judgement-free zone’, and will inevitably compel each other to be vulnerable with everything.
Practically speaking, a great start to a healthy, vulnerable marriage is to share your passwords to your respective social media accounts with each other.
Another is to leave your phones out in the open when you’re at home. Share your lock combination with each other if you have one (the only reason why I have one on my phone is so my kids don’t rack up thousands of dollars worth of in-app purchases!).
The respect that you have for each other is a two way street when it comes to these practices. If you feel like you have to hide anything from your spouse, especially when it comes down to messages, phone calls, and social media connections, then you need to talk about it. Regardless of if you’re participating in ill-intentioned activities or you’re not, the message you’re sending to your spouse is that you do not trust them with all your heart.
Another point that’s worth mentioning is that this is not intended to encourage ‘snooping’ or ‘spying’ on each other. That activity also indicates that there is a lack of trust.
When you leave ‘everything out in the open’, you’ll start to see additional benefits to your marriage. You’ll become less reliant on checking your phone every ten seconds, and you’ll actually be able to enjoy hanging out with each other with no distractions. This will also inevitably help build the foundation of Love and Trust.
Be Open and Clear About Boundaries and Expectations.
Clear, concise communication is a running theme here. Talk to each other.
If there are ever any red flags, or to be frank, if something just bothers you, talk about it. There’s no sense in letting something go on until you’re at a breaking point because you don’t want to offend your spouse. If your spouse loves you, truly loves you, he/she should make you feel as though you can tell him/her anything.
If you recognize you may start to have an issue, personally, or if your spouse recognizes a potential issue with social media, then it might be time to consider deleting your account. Your Facebook profile is not worth the potential threat to your marriage.
Every message I receive from the opposite sex is relayed to my wife, regardless of the content. My wife has never required me to do that, but I do that because I love her, and I have nothing to hide. She appreciates that because it isn’t required… Make sense?
You’re a team. Nobody should ever control the other. Come up with a strategy that is mutually beneficial for both of you.
Don’t Share Everything About Your Relationship to the Public.
Your marriage is simply that: Your marriage. Nobody else needs to know about every little thing that happens within your marriage, especially if you just got done arguing about something. If you feel like you need to run to social media because you can’t deal with issues as a team, then you need to consider talking to your Priest or a professional marriage consultant that you both trust together.
Constantly running to someone else, or worse, a group of people without the consent of your spouse can lead to that feeling of separation, or emotional removal from each other.
Remember, you’re in this together, for better or for worse.
Beyond the potential arguments that occur within your marriage, you should also be able to keep some of the ‘date nights’, and other special moments you share with your spouse, as ‘just between us’ moments. Before the age of social media, there were no ‘selfies’ at the movie theater, or the ‘plate of food’ photos posted for all to see. Those were intimate moments shared exclusively between husband and wife.
Having those ‘just between us’ moments can also help with deeper levels of intimacy – physically and emotionally.
All in all, you just have to find out what’s best for you as a couple. Pray about these things with each other. Consult those that you trust who have ‘been there and done that’, and appear to have a strong and healthy marriage.