Last night on ABC news, I got to weigh in on the impact of Facebook on marriages. Sadly, time is always limited on the air, so there is a lot that I did not get to cover– but thankfully there is always this blog for me to finish expressing all my thoughts that may not make it on the air each week!

It used to be that only the rich and famous were surrounded by temptation on a daily basis, but now thanks to modern technology and social media, we all are– and that means no one is safe from the threat of an outsider looking to explore his/her options with you or your partner. So how can you protect your marriage from these outside threats? Simple– by not ignoring the problems in your marriage or trying to avoid conflict.

Let’s be real– marriage is hard work, and it is a constant work in progress. Many seem to forget this fact– at least the 50% that I see needing my legal services with a divorce. What I’ve observed is that when you take each other for granted and ignore issues, you are setting the stage for disaster to strike. What seems to be happening much more these days is that a seemingly innocent reconnection with an old friend on Facebook slowly, yet surely develops into much more– an intense emotional connection that eventually blows up into a full blown affair. Why? Because people start to fantasize about what could have been, or what could be, and this fantasy soon becomes irresistable. Before you know it, I’ve got a major mess to clean up.

There are now over 900 million active users on Facebook, which is an amazing tool for those of us that want to try to stay connected with friends while struggling to balance work and family life in our 30’s and 40’s. Whether it is Facebook, or some other social network, I think it is safe to say that this way of connecting with others is only going to increase, and with that reality in mind, I sincerely hope that those in committed relationships will proceed with caution– temptation now surrounds us all on a daily basis. Make sure you take the time to nurture those relationships that matter most to you and work through issues as soon as they arise.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.