Recent studies indicate that the divorce rate in Canada has been declining slightly in recent years, but statisticians note that, in conjunction with the reduction in the divorce rate, there is also a higher rate of partners who live together (and then separate with no necessary formal divorce proceedings). In addition, media observers are also observing a form of “self-motivated therapy” that may be keeping some couple from divorcing by posting anonymous messages on Internet sites to vent frustrations and concerns.
Therapists point out that these postings are, in many ways, quite healthy. They allow an aggrieved spouse to express his or her frustrations in a wholesome manner that encourages a process that involves considering the problem in an organized manner. The poster can then read the ideas presented by other posters. These replies can help the original poster look at an issue from a variety of perspectives.
“When a person takes the time to express themselves in writing” notes family therapist Joyce Malone “that progress enables them to look at the problem from different angles and puzzle out possible alternative options.”
Ms. Malone also supports the concept of posting anonymously and waiting to read the thoughts of other Internet posters.”You have to have a thick skin if you’re going to put your problem on the Internet” she says “because some of the posters can be quite brash and offensive. But other posters are prepared to offer thoughtful suggestions that can really provide the kind of caring and support that the spouse needs, as well as some useful ideas about how to approach a problem in the marriage.
Not all Internet sites allow these unsigned postings but there are some which encourage married couples to express themselves directly on their site. Postings may include issues regarding problems with in-laws, differences of each spouse’s view of how to raise their children and the role of each spouse concerning household chores and each other’s home life vs. professional life.