Divorce: Social media addiction as powerful as alcohol or drugs

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

When does social media start to threaten a marriage? In most cases in which one spouse becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, the threat becomes real when the source of the addiction becomes that person’s primary focus. Social media has developed into a similar risk. Many marriages in New Jersey have ended in divorce because one spouse’s use of social media has gone beyond interacting with other users, exchanging messages, and sharing views and opinions.

When one spouse spends excessive time on social media, it can compromise communication. Before long, minor issues that are not discussed and resolved can become significant issues. Social media addiction can cause the other spouse to feel neglected, and all kinds of suspicions can lead to jealousy.

Meeting new people online might be exciting for one spouse, but it might make it even tougher for the other spouse who has to compete for attention. Too often, social media friendships become personal friendships, and the flirting that seemed innocent and harmless online can become much more. Even if the addicted partner meant no harm initially, the loneliness that the other spouse experiences can drive him or her to seek attention elsewhere.

When social media has damaged the marriage of anyone in New Jersey beyond repair, it may be a good idea not to overreact and rush to file for divorce. The sensible thing to do might be to discuss the matter with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can explain the client’s legal rights and the various options. Legal counsel can provide advocacy to help him or her to make informed choices about how to proceed, and invaluable support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings.

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