A prominent divorce attorney, James J. Sexton, has said that social media is a prime factor behind broken relationships.
Sexton says the need for online sharing plays a role in more than a handful of divorces in today’s society. It’s all captured in his book, “If You’re in My Office, It’s Already Too Late,” which was released in April.
“It’s a huge factor now, and it’s getting worse every day,” he told Vox. “I can’t remember the last time I had a case where social media was not either a root cause or implicated in some way. And it’s always the same story: people maintaining affairs via social media or communicating with people they don’t have any business communicating with. Infidelity is so easy now, and it’s poisoning marriages.”
Sexton acknowledged no one wants to get divorced, but little things can add up quickly in an interview with Vox. Though there may be large, obvious issues in a marriage, it isn’t always one leading factor that leads one or both parties to want to split.
“They come in for big reasons like infidelity or financial improprieties,” Sexton said. ‘But from my perspective, these big reasons have their origins in a succession of smaller choices that people make that take them further and further away from each other, to the point where those small things no longer feel quite so small.”
Sexton explained social media sites, like Facebook, give anyone the opportunity to interact with those who could be “toxic” to their relationship, or can give one party in a relationship the feeling their own life and love isn’t living up to the standards of their peers.
“We curate carefully what we put up there,” Sexton said of social media sites. “So if I’m in a vulnerable, lonely, bored place looking at everyone else’s curated greatest hits, of course I’m going to think I’m doing worse than I’m doing. Of course I’m going to think my relationship isn’t as interesting as everyone else’s, or as happy as everyone else’s.”
As for how to keep a marriage together, Sexton said to take it seriously before you’re even married. He noted if asked what their dream car is, a person may say a Ferrari. But if you ask the person what car they’d want if they could only have one their whole life, they may choose something more practical and sustainable. He advises people use that tactic when choosing who to marry.