ILY, TTYL (I Love You, Talk to You Later)
We've all heard horror stories of how adulterous affairs that form online are a dime a dozen but not enough has been said about how couples can make social media work for their marriages too, especially if the right things are done and healthy boundaries are set in place.
Nothing beats face-to-face communication but there’s no harm in connecting with your spouse by showing a little affection online at the same time. It can keep things fun and exciting in your marriage as you Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Tweet your way to a more loving marriage.
Here are a few tips on how social networks can help you spice things up in your marriage:
Slip in appreciative comments in your status updates
Even if at times, you feel underappreciated, take the initiative to show your spouse that you've noticed the kind things he or she has done for you. Squeeze in some time to drop a comment or two such as "This week could have been a grueling one, if not for my loving wife/husband who’s my number one cheerleader!" It would be tough for any spouse to remain unmoved by such sweet gestures of affirmation.
Celebrate special days with public declarations of love
When celebrating wedding anniversaries and birthdays with your spouse, express your love for your spouse through short recollections of memories shared which you hold dear to your heart or post a treasured photo that helps the both of you reminisce your love story fondly.
Send some love through a private message
If online public displays of affection are really not something you are comfortable with, you might want to surprise your spouse with a private message every now and then. It could be a flirtatious message detailing promises of an intimate evening together at the end of the day or a request for a romantic night out. Do this on top of your public declarations of love and witness the passion you have for each other grow.
Sync your schedules with a social network calendar
By coordinating your schedules this way, there'll never be forgotten anniversaries, birthdays and missed mutual appointments with friends or other loved ones. There’ll also be less room for nasty surprises as a result of last minute notices of appointments which you hadn’t planned for, and many unnecessary conflicts can be avoided.
Start a couple's Facebook account
Maintain a Facebook account that's just for yours and your spouse's eyes only. Use it to share fond memories, pictures, encouraging quotes and stories that help strengthen your bond. It would be your very own virtual scrapbook that documents your journey as a couple. What a beautiful legacy to leave for the kids.
At the same time, steps must be taken to protect your marriage from potential threats that social media can bring.
Be transparent with your spouse
It might be beneficial for couples to build and maintain trust by offering to give each other complete access to all online social media accounts. Be willing to share your passwords with your spouse as this can make it much easier for the both of you to remain accountable to each other.
If you find yourself unwilling to give your spouse unbridled access, it might be time to examine your online behavior and sincerely question yourself if your attitude is symptomatic of a more deep-seated issue that you need to deal with in your marriage. Do consider seeking professional help to assist you in identifying the root causes of your reluctance to be completely honest with your spouse.
Set boundaries to protect the love you share with your spouse
For starters, it will be wise to "unfollow" any old flames, friends or colleagues that are likely to be a source of temptation to you. At the same time, if you find yourself having to hide from your spouse to go online, you might perhaps be displaying some signs of unhealthy attachment to certain online relationships. If you find yourself in such a situation, do make the effort to only go online in the presence of your spouse to protect the trust and love you work hard to maintain in your marriage.
So give it a shot and let social media be another mode of communication that can truly help you enhance your marital relationship and keep the flames of passion burning in your marriage.
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© 2014 Focus on the Family Singapore Ltd.
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