Social networking over the internet has added a whole new dimension to personal relationships. While sites like Facebook help members to make new friends and connect with like-minded people, they also bring people in touch with old flames and allow them to explore new affairs even though they might be married. Facebook cheating is now a growing phenomenon and so watch out for these signs to see if your spouse is cheating on you through Facebook?
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Your partner is spending an inordinate time on the computer
The first change which might alert you to the fact that something is wrong is a disproportionate amount of time spent on the computer in general and on Facebook in particular. He or she may take hours claiming to update his/her status, post photos or chat with old friends, often to the extent of neglecting other commitments, both personal or professional.
Your spouse seems to be on Facebook behind your back
The first symptom is actually common to those who are addicted to Facebook, or indeed to the internet in general, as well as to those who are cheating through the site. However, if you find your spouse suddenly turn the screen away or close the internet window as soon as you walk into the room, it may indicate that something was on that he/she didn’t want you to see and which may well have been a chat session with a lover.
Your spouse no longer talks about it
Your spouse may have been a longtime Facebook fan while only now you may have begun to feel that something is amiss. The secret in differentiating a mere Facebook addict from someone who is having an affair through it lies in the fact that in case of the latter, the person will be reluctant to talk about it. While your partner may have enjoyed discussing vacations photos or other milestones posted by mutual friends earlier, now they may be keeping things to themselves and hardly sharing anything with you. It is this kind of communication gap between spouses which is the strongest indicator of a marital rupture, as caused by an online affair.
Other signs of an extra marital affair
If you notice some of these signs in addition to some classic symptoms of a cheating spouse like swinging between excessive attention and complete neglect towards you, unexplained absences, disinterest in a shared social life, unnatural secretiveness and perhaps emotional extremes of joy and despair, chances are that your suspicions are right. Just like face-to-face affairs may leave a paper trail of movie tickets you never went to as well as credit card bills of phone calls you never made and dinners you never had, similarly you may also be able to pick up some electronic footprints like sites visited in your spouse’s computer or suspiciously empty browser histories. And if you want to go the whole hog, there are spy softwares which will not only give you a record of anything that has been typed like passwords and messages on Facebook but will also let you view a history of websites visited and take screenshots. Similarly spy softwares for cell phones will enable you to recover deleted phone numbers and text messages.
How to be sure that your spouse is cheating
The only way you can be sure that your spouse is having an affair through Facebook, short of using spy technology, is if you can get hold of his Facebook password. Since this is unlikely to happen, especially if your suspicions are correct, you need to be alert to other indications of an affair. While none of the above signs by themselves are proof of Facebook cheating, taken as a whole they may well indicate another point of interest for your spouse. In fact divorce lawyers are increasingly using Facebook postings as evidence to help their clients get divorced. A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found a whopping 81 per cent of its members admit that in the past five years they have seen a massive spike in the use of social-networking information as evidence of infidelity. And the most widely used cyber-evidence, including messages to lovers and incriminating photos, seemed to come from Facebook. In fact as many as sixty-six per cent of the attorneys surveyed said they would used Facebook postings as evidence as opposed to just 15 per cent from MySpace and a mere 5 per cent from Twitter.
However Facebook representatives and avid users of the social networking site argue that it is unfair to blame the site for unfaithful spouses. Andrew Noyes, spokesman for Facebook says that “it is ludicrous to suggest that Facebook leads to divorce”. Moreover he points out there are other aspects of modern technology and internet like chat sites, text messaging and emails which also offer ample opportunities for carrying out extra marital affairs. And perhaps he may have a point too. A person who is open to the idea of an extramarital affair will use anything, a drink at the pub as much as Facebook, to cheat on his/her spouse. So why lay all the blame on social networking websites and Facebook in particular? The answer perhaps lies in the ease and speed with which an ambivalent spouse is able, through such social networking sites, to access a vast network of potential partners willing to have an extra marital fling. And Facebook being the largest social networking site with 400 million registered users is naturally the site with the greatest potential for extra marital affairs. In fact results from another recent study report that Facebook finds mention in as many as 20 percent of contemporary divorce cases, according to a survey of five thousand attorneys conducted by a divorce website.
So does this mean that you should convince your partner to give up Facebook? Not at all. Facebook like other social networking websites offer an incredible way to keep up with old friends and make new ones. All that need to do is to ensure that your real-life relationship receives far greater time and emotional investment than the virtual ones.