by Adrienne Laursen
When it comes to marriage and wedding planning, financial prenups are a common conversation for many. But what about a prenup specifically designed to monitor your social media usage? Adrienne Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Fox 9 Relationship Expert, and owner of The Engagement Coach, shares tips for setting social media boundaries with your partner or spouse, so you can both feel comfortable and respected.
Set expectations and limitations early on
A prenup to monitor your spouse’s social media postings and usage is just ridiculous! How are you going to enforce it? What if your partner doesn’t follow through on his/her end of the deal? Are you going to divorce them? Rather than drawing up a legal document, act like the adults you are and have a conversation about what you’re both comfortable with.
What to cover with your partner?
Discuss things like…
- Which social media sites are you both on? (make a list, transparency, trust)
- Will you each have access to one another’s accounts? (passwords)
- If you do have access, what are the boundaries for “checking up” on your partner?
- What are the rules for posting? (photos, status updates, check-ins, private information, baby announcements, fights with the in-laws, fights with each other, job complaints, etc.)
- What are the rules for friends, family members and ex’s?
What are the consequences?
Rules and boundaries are great, but can only be effective if there’s a consequence for disobeying. It’s like telling your teenager to clean his room or he’s grounded, and then not grounding him when he doesn’t clean his room. That’s why a “social media prenup” won’t be effective, unless you’re in divorce court and there was a fine attached to social media misbehavior. (And you’ve got a good lawyer!)
This idea of rules and consequences also won’t work for couples who aren’t on the same page, and aren’t respectful of each other’s concerns and wishes. These types of conversations and agreements take a really well connected couple to pull off. It all boils down to respecting the agreement you make with your partner, earning and showing trust, and having a desire to build a relationship or marriage that has a foundation of genuine concern for your partner’s feelings.
If you’re in a relationship that wants this type of agreement, make rational consequences. Example: Perhaps you’re on vacation, but you didn’t want your mom to know where you were. Your husband posts a pic of you guys in your bathing suits on the beach. 1. He broke the “let’s not tell anyone we’re on vacation pact. 2. He posted a pic of you in your bathing suit without permission! The consequence in this scenario might be getting a massage for the rest of the week, or bringing you breakfast in bed while on vacation. Make it serious, yet fun, yet attainable. And then forget about it!
For more information on Adrienne’s counseling services and free relationship tips, please visit her website at www.TheEngagementCoach.com.