A recent survey by divorce lawyers found that one in 5 divorces in the US were triggered by Facebook because a rising number of people are using social media to engage in extramarital affairs. Networking sites may be great for meeting someone, but once you’re married, maybe you should close your computer!
Men who used to surreptitiously surf porn sites are now meeting women online instead. On a social network, you can be who you want to be (a CEO instead of an office worker) and this kind of stimulus raises male testosterone levels, leading to trouble for married men.
It’s not always about meeting someone new–sometimes it’s about reconnecting with someone from the past. Marriage counselor Steven Kimmons says, "We’re coming across it more and more. One spouse connects online with someone they knew from high school. The person is emotionally available and they start communicating through Facebook. Within a short amount of time, the sharing of personal stories can lead to a deepened sense of intimacy, which in turn can point the couple in the direction of physical contact."
Although already-strained marriages are the most at risk, a couple doesn’t have to be experiencing marital difficulties in order for an online relationship to blossom from mere talk into a full-fledged affair: People enter into online relationships with the most innocent of intentions. "I don’t think these people typically set out to have affairs," says Kimmons. "A lot of it is curiosity. They see an old friend or someone they dated and decide to say ‘hello’ and catch up on where that person is and how they’re doing."
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