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The number of divorces occurring because of Facebook and other social networking sites has been on the rise since these sites have become increasingly popular, research claims. These sites are being utilized more and more by unhappy individuals to seek out and have an affair and cheat on their partner.


Facebook is being cited in almost one in five of online divorce petitions, lawyers have claimed.

People will post just about anything on social networking sites. And the information can be used against them. David Randall and Victoria Richards report.

In the judicial backwater of a New Jersey federal court, a case is being heard that nominally affects two families but should also make millions of Britons think twice about something they do every day: put highly personal information on Facebook, MySpace or Bebo.

The social networking site, which connects old friends and allows users to make new ones online, is being blamed for an increasing number of marital breakdowns.

Divorce lawyers claim the explosion in the popularity of websites such as Facebook and Bebo is tempting to people to cheat on their partners. Suspicious spouses have also used the websites to find evidence of flirting and even affairs which have led to divorce.

One law firm, which specialises in divorce, claimed almost one in five petitions they processed cited Facebook.

Mark Keenan, Managing Director of Divorce-Online said: “I had heard from my staff that there were a lot of people saying they had found out things about their partners on Facebook and I decided to see how prevalent it was I was really surprised to see 20 per cent of all the petitions containing references to Facebook.

“The most common reason seemed to be people having inappropriate sexual chats with people they were not supposed to.”

An American insurance company, in defending its refusal to pay out a claim, is seeking to call in evidence personal online postings, including the contents of any MySpace or Facebook pages the litigants may have, to see if their eating disorders might have “emotional causes”. And the case is far from a lone one. Suddenly, those saucy pictures and intimate confessions on social networking sites can be taken down and used in evidence against you in ways never dreamed of.

Flirty emails and messages found on Facebook pages are increasingly being cited as evidence of unreasonable behaviour. Computer firms have even cashed in by developing software allowing suspicious spouses to electronically spy on someone’s online activities.

One 35-year-old woman even discovered her husband was divorcing her via Facebook. Conference organiser Emma Brady was distraught to read that her marriage was over when he updated his status on the site to read: “Neil Brady has ended his marriage to Emma Brady.”

Last year a 28-year-old woman ended her marriage after discovering her husband had been having a virtual affair with someone in cyberspace he had never met. Amy Taylor 28, split from David Pollard after discovering he was sleeping with an escort in the game Second Life, a virtual world where people reinvent themselves.

Around 14 million Britons are believed to regularly use social networking sites to communicate with old friends or make new ones. The popularity of the Friends Reunited website several years ago was also blamed for a surge in divorces as bored husbands and wives used it to contact old flames and first loves.

The UK’s divorce rate has fallen in recent years, but two in five marriages are still failing according the latest statistics. Mr Keenan believes that the general divorce rate will rocket in 2010 with the recession taking the blame.

In the US, a sex assault victim seeking compensation faces the prospect of her MySpace and Facebook pages being produced in court. In Texas, a driver whose car was involved in a fatal accident found his MySpace postings (“I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a drunkaholic”) part of the prosecution’s case.

From Los Angeles to Lowestoft, thousands of social network site users have lost their jobs – or failed to clinch new ones – because of their pages’ contents. Police, colleges and schools are monitoring MySpace and Facebook pages for what they deem to be “inappropriate” content. Online security holes and users’ naivety are combining to cause privacy breaches and identity thefts. And what all this, and more, adds up to is this: online social networking can seriously damage your life.

Sources: Telegraph, The Independent.

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  On December 23, 2009(7 years, 7 months ago.)

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What Do You Think?

24 Responses

  1. Says:

    I read about an actuary who calculated that the odds of a man’s trousers falling down if he was wearing both a belt and suspenders was about 35,000 to one. What would be the odds of a man’s trousers falling down while wearing only a belt? What about only suspenders?

    Posted on January 3rd, 2010 at 7:08 AM

  2. Nestor Brathwaite Says:

    Wow did you even read my thread?

    Posted on January 17th, 2010 at 3:06 AM

  3. Facebook Developers Says:

    Fantastic post and wonderful blog, I really like this type of interesting articles keep it up.

    Posted on January 18th, 2011 at 5:52 AM

  4. ekata Says:

    Blame facebook, your laptops, your handphones etc. The main important thing is about self-control 😛

    Posted on January 25th, 2011 at 6:43 AM

  5. grdlock Says:

    It’s Facebook’s fault? Umm, no… how about it’s the lousy people cheating on their spouse’s fault.

    Don’t cheat and you won’t get busted.

    Posted on February 28th, 2011 at 12:05 AM

  6. koshyssssss Says:

    no sean mentirosos son sanas al contrario promueven la amistad y que los matrimonios fructifiquen y se fortalescan mutuamente

    Posted on March 11th, 2011 at 11:21 AM

  7. Gorney76 Says:

    Facebook doesn’t kill marriages, people do.

    Posted on March 15th, 2011 at 4:14 PM

  8. psyched Says:

    Hahaha so funny. We have become a nation of “blame game”. Whatever happened to FREE WILL & CHOICE?

    Posted on March 21st, 2011 at 8:27 PM

  9. Anonymous Says:

    It’s absolutely astonishing as an attorney, when I read or hear about things like this, but it’s true. This is your life you’re putting online and sometimes it can be used against you. I think those who are smart will keep certain things out of the public eye, but for the most part, some relevant evidence of unfaithfulness has come from facebook feeds. 
    Chicago Divorce Attorney |

    Posted on May 31st, 2011 at 8:34 PM

  10. Quattromarketing Says:

    Chalk up another “A” (adultery) for Facebook. 
    After 22.5 years of marriage, I warned my wife of a “friend” that appear on her Facebook page. 
    Oh, it was “all innocent” she said — he’s just a guy she knew as a kid in grade-school that wanted to invite our 2 kids and his kids to enjoy his sailboat on the lake. 
    Well, well, well … three sailing experiences later, and my wife and this “jerk” engage in quite the sexual affair that lasted 10 months.  
    Yep, I’m the one who discovered it as my wife accidentally left her email account open one night.  I wish I could convey the horrific experience this has been for me.  There simply are not enough words to adequately describe my feelings of betrayal.
    True.  Facebook did not ruin my marriage, just like a gun doesn’t kill people.  However, in my opinion, Facebook (and similiar sites) provide the bullets that can pierce thru any armor and break any heart. 
    WARNING!!! Satan has a new tool and it’s all ready primed and pre-loaded inside of your home, work and smart phone.

    Posted on July 5th, 2011 at 11:13 PM

  11. HappyAlone Says:

    No Facebook does’nt cause divorce it’s just another tool that the cheater can use to find the person he or she will cheat with. My husband of 17 years found his ex-girlfriend (or rather she found him) from highschool on a similar site and soon the two were reliving the “good ole days” of their youth.  Before this occurred our marriage (or so I thought as there were no indicators otherwise) was nothing short of blissful, then some little poptart shows up from the past and all of a sudden I never paid enough attention. Blame who you like, if you’re going to cheat then there’s nothing that can stop you. Not a more attentive spouse or even the dismantling of an online tool for your deception. All these people who have used these online social sites to cheat on their spouses would’ve done the same eventually had they been presented with the opportunity in real life. What makes people more likely to cheat online is that it’s a lot easier to find others with which to cheat. People who would never approach a stranger in public have no issues with it online, old exes who would otherwise never approached an old boyfriend in public because someone might tell her husband  (  o.O ) have no issues with it online because they THINK he would never find out. Too bad the little poptart never considdered a pissed off wife with an axe to grind….

    A) access online tool
    B) print out emails private chats etc
    C) present to poptarts hubby
    D) present own hubby with divorce papers
    E) collect large alimony for years refusing to remarry

    P.S.  poptart was done with him less than half a year later…

    Posted on August 2nd, 2011 at 10:00 AM

  12. Caligan Vass Says:

    My wife of thirteen yrs ended up cheating w almost all of her old high school friends that were male, sending pornographic pictures and even video of herself “doing things” to these men, all while I was working full time and going to school full time to build us a better life for our children. Her tool of initial contact was Facebook. Her attitude, and her personality changed, morphing into a detached and withdrawn wife and mother. She became what appeared to be entranced by it, becoming cold and acting as if her family was holding her from her true happiness “out there”. When I finally caught up to what she was doing, almost three years into her affairs, she stated ” I don’t think I want to be married anymore”, and stated that she no longer was in love with me. So I went to see my attorney and filed for divorce. She appeared actually happy about it, until a couple of days later after realizing that noone really wanted to “actually” be with her in reality-land. Her tune changed completely and she is now telling me that she has always been in love with me, etc.
    Needless to say, my wife is in survival mode at this point, getting her own dose of reality. She has to get a crummy job, and move from our nice big house into a small crackerbox of an apartment. She wants desperately to keep this from happening. If I believed that it was all Facebook’s fault, then I would probably take her back, but since I am a rational human being, I understand that the issues lie within the individual. Bottom line: she was obviously not happy. But her choice to deal with that issue by doing what she did is indicative of a personality deficiency or defect.
    My big issue is what about the collateral damage of such selfishness? My children are victims in this as well. They will now grow up with divorced parents just as I did, and was so determined to keep from happening. When a therapist asked my wife how she could reconcile this fact when committing these acts, she replied, I was just not thinking of that really. While this blew my mind, I do wonder if that is where the responsibility of social networking sites and their role lies. Is there an inherent disengagement from one’s reality when he or she is caught up in, or even just dabbling with the potential nightmares that await for the unwary?

    Posted on September 7th, 2011 at 12:00 PM

  13. Facebook Extramarital relationships! Online Community Can cause Mental or maybe Complete Affairs - An iArticle Exchange - INIZO.COM Says:

    […] Extramarital relationships! Social Network Can bring about Over emotional or Even Full Blown AffairsFacebook is the new cause of divorce #header { background: […]

    Posted on September 19th, 2011 at 12:26 AM

  14. Digital Advertising Chennai Says:

    Facebook is good tool for those who are using in decent manner. Obviously we are not supposed to misuse the facebook. It is good entertainment tool.

    Posted on September 19th, 2011 at 4:59 PM

  15. El_arma_secreta_301 Says:

    I feel for you Caligan. Sounds like hell on Earth. Sounds like she just wasn’t thinking of any repercussions…at all. Awful. But your children will be fine as long as you keep teaching them real-world examples and how the world can be a cruel place (but intelligently tell them this of course). I don’t know your children’s ages, but do not disclose the detailed information of what their mother did.

    Posted on October 11th, 2011 at 9:11 PM

  16. God's Girl Says:

    If they know what I know, they should leave the past where it is.  It’s like, as Joel Osteen put it, digging through a pile of garbage looking for treasure…while the whole time you’re getting filthy dirty.  It’s nice to see and talk with old friends on facebook, but have some respect for their them and their lives.  Keep your dirt to yourself, you know?

    Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 4:27 PM

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Facebook doesn’t kill relationships, people do. The people that cheat via Facebook or other sites, would have done so in real life eventually Facebook just made it a little easier. The wifey would have gona out on that sail boat if she had ran into that old friend in the market as well as finding him on Facebook. I do not have a Facebook because i do not want people tracking me down.

    Posted on November 28th, 2011 at 7:09 PM

  18. Jonno Says:

    Someone put it very aptly that Facebook is the place where the scum we marry find other scum to have an affair with. Same happened to me and though she now desperately wants to safe our marriage. I’m just so disgusted at the disrespect shown that I don’t know whether I want to. Your marriage will never be the same no matter what and trust has walked out the door never to return. It doesn’t matter how you treat your spouse, if they have this type of low-life attention-seeking, character they will have an affair with or without Facebook.

    Posted on December 29th, 2011 at 1:27 PM

  19. Jonno Says:

    Someone put it very aptly that Facebook is the place where the scum we marry find other scum to have an affair with. Same happened to me and though she now desperately wants to safe our marriage. I’m just so disgusted at the disrespect shown that I don’t know whether I want to. Your marriage will never be the same no matter what and trust has walked out the door never to return. It doesn’t matter how you treat your spouse, if they have this type of low-life attention-seeking, character they will have an affair with or without Facebook.

    Posted on December 29th, 2011 at 1:27 PM

  20. Jonno Says:

    Well done Happyalone! I should do the same but have kids.

    Posted on December 29th, 2011 at 1:29 PM

  21. Jonno Says:

    Well done Happyalone! I should do the same but have kids.

    Posted on December 29th, 2011 at 1:29 PM

  22. Beautiful Bella Girl Says:

    I’m so sorry. My husband is blaming me because he doesn’t have Facebok. He has depression and feels the need to have all these people by his internet hip. I’m tired of it. All his friends bully him why don’t you get Facebook? Even his parents are addicted to it. I hate it. He is barely emotionally there and now with his “new plan” to stoke up Facebook I’m ready to call this quits. Can’t work on our family but can pour your undying energy to Facebook? I hear you about the disengagement. Boy do I know it!

    Please email me at


    Posted on January 8th, 2012 at 8:06 PM

  23. Social Media Monitoring Says:

    Hahaha, this is such a fun to read this post and strange to know that facebook is responsible for breaking relationships. Somehow this is the fact that these days cyber affairs are increasing and humans are involving so curiously. Overall nice post to read.

    Posted on April 30th, 2012 at 3:50 PM

  24. Mzaustin5 Says:

    all the counselors and social workers I’ve talked to say 9 out of 10 people that they talk to have very similar stosies to mine my wife came home after 34yrs. of a  great marrriage she spent all her waking time oln facebook the last 2yrs. no one could tal to her when she was on facebook is a big lie it’s real name is fuckbook

    Posted on May 13th, 2012 at 7:52 AM

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