Marriage Missions International

Internet and Texting Rules for Couples

The Internet can pose a significant threat to any relationship if misused. The Internet has led to a dramatic increase in use of pornography, which can become habitual, even addictive behavior that will have a negative impact on your own relationship with your partner. In addition, the Internet allows individuals to make contact with strangers and encourages inappropriate intimacy. It can lead to both emotional and physical infidelity.

Because some people view online relationships as harmless, they engage in behavior they would never consider in a face-to-face relationship. Many marriages and relationships have broken up when one member of a couple discovers that his/her partner has been involved in a relationship online or regularly visits pornographic or other inappropriate websites.

Here are a set of rules that will help each couple avoid the trauma that comes from discovering hidden relationships and porn use on the computer:

• Share your password with your spouse

• For couples that own computers that require usernames/passwords, it may be best to have a single account/username for the couple.

• Offer to install web-tracking software to build trust. This device allows your partner to see every place you have visited on the net. This is particularly important if trust is an issue in a relationship. If trust has been violated, or one partner is prone to jealousy, then offering to install web-tracking software can help restore trust and reduce jealousy.

• Do not create additional email accounts to hide communications from your spouse.

• Make it clear to your spouse that he/she is welcome to look through your computer emails.

• Never visit pornography sites.

• Never visit personals sites. This includes sites like Craigslist Adult Services and other sites that are a cover for prostitution services.

• Do not visit open-ended chat-rooms. Only visit chat-rooms that are issue-specific on issues that you need help with, such as software problems. Most information can be found through bulletin or message boards or on sites that do not allow interaction between individuals.

Instant Messaging

• Make sure your spouse knows or is aware of everyone in your “buddy/friend” list or knows that she has access to the list at any time.

• Do not engage in IM conversations of a private or provocative nature.

• Do not search for prior boyfriends/girlfriends online.

Social Networking sites like Facebook, and MySpace are the exceptions. Former partners may contact you regardless of whether you initiate contact. In these situations it is always best to inform your partner and ask for their input/recommendation. This two-way communication and decision making process builds trust.

Social Networking

Facebook/MySpace/LinkedIn/ are all very popular and it is likely that at least one person in a relationship will have an account. Rules to follow:

    1. Make sure to set your relationship status to “Married” to alert others that you are taken and post a picture of yourself and your spouse.
    2. Have a single account for a couple, e.g. JohnAndJane Doe@facebook/myspace.
    3. If each person wants their own account, make sure to share passwords.
    4. Tell your partner when you’ve added a friend of the opposite gender.
    5. Do not carry on private conversations with friends of the opposite gender via social networking sites.
    6. Place the family computer in an open place in your home. This reduces the temptation to browse adult-themed sites and engage in provocative conversations via computer. This is especially important when there are children in the home. Children should not be allowed access to the Internet unless they are in an area where parents can freely observe their activity.
    7. Designate specific times during the day when you should and should not use the computer for personal use.

This article was written by Chris Gersten, and was posted on the Internet, Wednesday, 09 December 2009 on the web site, famlibeta.com.

— ALSO —

For a list of Do’s and Don’ts, which can help you in your relationship with your spouse as it applies to texting each other, please click onto the Growthtrac.com web site link to read:

• TEXT FIGHTING

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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