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Emotional Affairs: More Destructive Than Physical?

People today have more communication options than ever before. Text messaging, video calling, and the social media have all made it easier for two people to form a bond, whether in person or online. Friendships that develop at work, through a club or organization, or within social media circles may deepen over time due to shared interests, or, because of common problems.

Friendly relationships that grow deeper can lead to physical attraction, even when there was none in the beginning. Unhappy spouses may look outside of the home for comfort, or just to find a sympathetic ear. Innocently returned attention can lead to feelings of desire, and a spouse who may have never considered cheating could find it all too easy to stray once a friendly relationship shows any romantic prospects.

However, physical infidelity is not the only danger. Strictly platonic friendships that form strong bonds can still create difficult situations for married partners. A deepening friendship can create a safe environment where an unhappy spouse will find comfort and support. This can lead to an emotional relationship that may be viewed as an affair.

Can talking on the phone, exchanging text messages, or nurturing an online relationship be considered cheating? Most people today think so. In fact, the majority of women who were interviewed regarding the subject even believe an emotional affair is more destructive to marriage than a sexual one.

Emotional affairs have even become common reasons for divorce. According to the Today Show, a large percentage of the population believes that infidelity is no longer defined by sexual activity. The secrecy and betrayal created by emotional relationships are very often more devastating to couples than a one-night stand.

While a physical relationship is often short-lived, an emotional affair may create a more lasting connection that is harder to sever. An emotional affair can also create feelings of love between participants, while a purely physical encounter may not. Common interests, meaningful discussions, and shared difficulties form stronger bonds than sex alone.

Emotional relationships will drive a wedge between partners who are already experiencing marital difficulties. Instead of seeking ways to resolve problems at home, spouses may share their problems with an emotional friend instead. The resulting distance between married partners can grow wider when an unhappy spouse turns to someone else for support.

An emotional affair can destroy a marriage, even when there is no physical interaction. There may be signs that your partner is involved in an emotional affair, even when there is no evidence of physical interaction.

Please contact the experienced divorce attorneys at Johnsen Wikander for help or advice.

Social Media: A Leading Factor in Divorce

In the digital age, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have become a significant factor in divorce cases. It has often been cited as the direct cause of marriage problems by one or both marital partners. Any relationship can be impacted by suspicion, disconnected behavior and jealousy, but when the source of trouble is the computer in the next room, removing that source is difficult.

Grand Rapids marriages are just as likely to be affected by social media as any others. Some of the reasons behind social media driven divorces are obvious, such as interaction with old love interests. Although most connections with old girl or boyfriends may be innocent enough, there is always the chance that a spark may appear.

Old Friends, New Links

Even when a renewed friendship is completely innocent, it may not appear that way to a marital partner. Divorce lawyers may also review social media content for evidence in a divorce case. Inside jokes and old sayings can be seen as flirtatious, or can be taken out of context. Social media activity with an old flame can often lead to either physical or emotional connections and could be viewed as emotional infidelity or cheating.

Twitter, Instagram, and especially Facebook also contribute to marital instability in other ways. Social media has been shown to trigger some of the same effects in the brain as narcotics, which may lead to addictive behaviors.

Too Much Time on My Hands

The snowy West Michigan winters can drive people to look for entertainment indoors, and the Internet provides endless distraction. However, too much time spent on social media, especially Facebook, may leave a marital partner feeling less important or ignored.

Shared pictures have also been a source of trouble for many married couples. Inappropriate photos that appear in a partner’s timeline can lead to suspicion and distrust, especially when they come from an old love interest. Even if the pictures don’t appear in a husband or wife’s Facebook timeline, rumors and misconceptions can arise from the content when it appears in a mutual friend’s account.

Believe Half of What You See

Marital issues can also arise over mistrust when one spouse uses social media to monitor the other’s behavior. Fights over social media have become commonplace for many couples, often caused by use or misuse by either spouse and how that activity is interpreted by their partner.

It is easy to take what you see or read out of context and jump to conclusions that are not actually true. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have taken over as communication mediums, and even news platforms, but you must consider the source, or the situation, before buying into the story they tell.

Let us help with any questions or concerns. For more information or advice please contact Johnsen Wikander today.

 

The Power of a Kind Gesture

Going through a divorce creates a unique set of challenges. Sometimes the process can be relatively quick, and in others it is drawn out with a wide range of factors involved. Finalizing the legal portion of the divorce is only part of that which the divorce entails. Read more

Woman In Jail Asks The Internet To Help Pay For Divorce

Colorado is over a thousand miles away, but Holly Cogburn’s court case has a relationship to Michigan. She is currently in jail in Montezuma County, Colo., and awaiting trial for charges of child abuse. Cogburn has allegedly asked the Internet to help pay for a divorce from her husband, who supposedly still resides near the Michigan border.  One of the reasons she was denied bond in Colorado, however, was that she failed to appear in Michigan for a court date. Read more

social media use in divorce cases

Social Media Use in Divorce Court

There has been a recent uptick in blaming social media for failing marriages. Consequently, social media updates are being used as persuasive court evidence in divorce cases.  Read more

Be Careful on Social Media

In my last blog, the three of us take turns; I talked about how it is possible to learn a lot about opposing parties in divorce cases by using social media. It is a dilemma for us and our clients as to how much time and effort (i.e. attorney fees) to use in cases researching social media. We try to have a discussion with our clients regarding the pros and cons of investing time in that issue. The flip side of that question is what social media content says about our clients. Read more

Social Media and Other Information Sources

In a recent article in The Lawyer’s Weekly, a magazine for attorneys, talked about the terms of social media and other means to collect information. The article was not focused only on family law, but since our firm specializes in family law it is the area that our firm spent its’ time to discussing. Read more