Couples blaming Facebook for their break ups, divorce

Survey finds 20% of divorce petitions contain references to Facebook

Published On: Jun 21 2012 11:25:04 AM EDT   Updated On: Jun 21 2012 11:33:29 AM EDT

Your 'relationship status' on a social networking site could affect your relationship in real life. A survey done in the UK found that about 20 percent of divorce petitions contained references to Facebook, with more couples citing what they see on their spouse's profile page as evidence.

Dr. Scott Bea, a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, offers insight into the problem.

"I think social media right now really draws on people giving too much information and until they experience the consequence of that, it may be hard for some people to really pull back," said Bea.

The most common reason for divorce appeared to be people having inappropriate chats. And it can go to extremes. For example, one woman discovered her husband planned to divorce her over Facebook.

Bea said Facebook causes problems because it is a venue for people to make private relationship issues public.

"It's hard for people, I think. Our shame and humiliation now can be publicized. One statistic says 20 percent of people think it's OK just to change your relationship status in order to created the break-up, so break-ups may be occurring in kind of cold and callous ways, but there also very public and humiliating ways as well," said Bea.

Bea said he believes people will learn from the mistakes of others and use more caution with social media.