New research suggests that Facebook could be detrimental to your relationship status.

The study, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, found that people who use Facebook excessively (interpreted by the researchers as checking it more than hourly) are more likely to “experience Facebook–related conflict with their romantic partners, which then may cause negative relationship outcomes including emotional and physical cheating, breakup and divorce,”

Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and his colleagues at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and St.

Mary’s University in San Antonio surveyed 205 Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 82 — 79 percent of whom reported being in a romantic relationship — about their use of the social media site and whether or not it had instigated conflict with their current or former partners.

“Previous research has shown that the more a person in a romantic relationship uses Facebook, the more likely they are to monitor their partner’s Facebook activity more stringently, which can lead to feelings of jealousy,” Clayton said. “Facebook-induced jealousy may lead to arguments concerning past partners.

Also, our study found that excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including previous partners, which may lead to emotional and physical cheating.”

The correlation was strongest among newer relationships; Clayton told Huffington Post Divorce via e-mail that “high levels of Facebook use is associated with negative relationship outcomes for newer couples (three years or less).”

He recommends limiting Facebook usage in order to achieve a healthy, lasting relationship.

Of course Divorce Online carried out the first such study of it’s kind in 2012 which showed that Facebook was mentioned in a third of  behaviour petitions. Although this was of course, a rough study, the publicity generated has led to further research being carried out, which highlights that excessive use of Facebook can be detrimental to your relationship health. 

This post was written by Mark Keenan. Editor of the Divorce Online Blog and Managing Director of Online Legal Service Ltd. Mark has been writing about divorce and related subjects for over 20+ years and is an expert in legal marketing.

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