Social media is putting a strain on relationships over lockdown, as 30% of adults believe that inappropriate messaging has gotten worse since the start of the pandemic.
But beware all those who are manifesting an online alter-ego as many partners have adopted a zero tolerance approach and relationships are being ended as fast as you can spell D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
In a survey conducted by West Midlands law firm, Wright Hassall, 44% of adults said they would contemplate ending their relationship if they found their partner to be sending or receiving inappropriate messages of images from someone else.
The data also reveals that 38% of people claim to have previously checked a partner’s phone or social media account to check for inappropriate content sent to or from someone else, while almost 1 in 4 of those respondents in relationships (24%) confessed to checking this at least once during lockdown.
This increased concern amongst adults towards their partner’s behaviour on social media follows reports from the law firm of a 31% increase in the number of divorce cases since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, with rates in January continuing to increase.
The report is also backed up by a recent statement from the Citizens advice Bureau which said views on its divorce webpage on the first September weekend were up 25% compared with the same date in 2019.
In addition, the research also suggests we could be seeing a rise in online affairs due to the mundanity of lockdown life and the strain it can place on relationships.
Indeed, the number of couples rowing during lockdown has increased significantly, with almost half of couples (46%) admitting they have had more tiffs with their spouse than usual.
When quizzed on the reasons why they might be tempted to exchange flirtatious messages on social media with someone other than their spouse, the top reason was to feel desired by someone else (43%), followed by feeling unhappy in their current relationship (40%).
Dal Heran, Family Lawyer at Wright Hassall, comments:
“Whilst social media and advances within technology are helpful to those in long-distance relationships, it also makes it easier for partners to communicate online with other people. It is not only easier for that contact to be made but for people to check what their partner is up to and who they are talking to, which could contribute to feelings of mistrust or paranoia.
“We’re currently experiencing an increase in divorce enquiries which as research suggests could be being partially driven by people being tempted to go astray by the development of online relationships and flirtations.”
Is your partner having a cyber affair. VeryWell Mind says these are the tell-tale signs:
- Your partner shows a lack of concern about your relationship. There is a lot of distancing, disconnection, and avoidance of intimacy.
- He/she is not interested in doing things with you or in celebrating birthdays or events.
- You notice that there has been a major change in their sleep pattern by them staying up later or getting up earlier than normal.
- Your mate shows very little enthusiasm when having sex with you.
- He/she has lots of excuses, rationalisations, and expresses denial for obvious changes in his/her behaviour.
- When confronted about being distant, the lack of sex, about too much spent time on the computer, and other concerns, they blame you or get very defensive.
- They seem different and moodier.
- You catch them telling lies.
- They start to ignore their parental, household, or job-related responsibilities.
- They changed the passwords on the computer.
- They move the computer to a more isolated location in your home.
- They demand privacy and is defensive about time spent on the computer.
- They refuse to talk about their computer usage.
- They will not let you use their computer.
- You notice they’re purchasing additional equipment for the computer.
- They become secretive in other ways.