October 22, 2010,
H.M. asks from Edison, NJ on March 18, 2010
Ex-boyfriend Friend Request on Facebook
My college boyfriend sent me a friend request on Facebook, which I accepted thinking it was no big deal. He's a good person and we still have a handful of friends in common that we each keep in touch with, even though we're not in touch with each other anymore. I didn't think it was an issue and never though to mention this to my husband. DH openly admits that the ex is a good guy who played a positive role at the time. However, my husband is FURIOUS that I accepted the friend request. He feels that I've humiliated him and am not being a proper wife. Even though I really feel he is being dramatic and blowing this out of proportion (no, I did not invalidate his feelings by saying this to him), at his request I immediately removed the friend connection. But it's been a few days now and he's moody and withdrawn and it's very frustrating. We have a really good relationship (been together for almost 20 years) and communicate well, and I know he needs his space to "work it out" in his head, but I'm really getting frustrated and hurt by his cold shoulder. I'm truly sorry that I hurt him (and have told him this), but it's frustrating playing the waiting game for him to decide when we get to move on from all of this.
Maybe I'm being selfish for wanting him to rush through his healing process, but I don't want to be completely annoyed and frustrated that when he comes around I'm not able to. Ugh. Have any of you been in this sort of situation? Any sort of feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for giving me the support I needed to be patient and not feel so hurt and sad. I really needed someone to hear me and give some perspective, and you did just that. As I stated in my question, I did delete the connection and DH is working though his myriad feelings that have gone along with this episode. We had some very comforting and loving moments last night and you all helped me be open and receptive rather than angry or resentful. From here it'll just be taking each day as it comes until this is all forgotten.
You ladies are continuing to send in really interesting and helpful responses... thank you! We all have our 'husband issues' and handle them as necessary for our specific circumstances. I've gained some valuable insight from your perspectives, and it seems a lot of other women have as well. Thanks for listening to me when I needed it. That's why I love this site-- you're not a bunch of fakes trying to one-up each other by bragging, etc, but instead REAL WOMEN who have real lives and real opinions. May God bless each and every one of you.
M.H. answers from Dallas on March 18, 2010
Wow, must be something more going on with him other than you friending an ex. I have several of my exes on my Facebook and so does my husband. I have talked to my other girlfriends and they do too. If you don't have feelings for them, I don't think its a big deal. I wonder if he got so upset over the ex because he thinks you still have feelings for him or something?
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J.K. answers from New York on March 27, 2010
So I know you already responded to everyone- which is actually how I caught the question. I didn't think I would have anything to add with over 25 answers to you already.... but guess what? I do! *grin*
So, some missed that you already deleted the guy and your biggest problem now is not the FB issue as much as how to get your hubby to move on and get back to normal, right?
Yup. That is right. I could be entirely wrong here- but my gut says that you are probably like most couples and actually let something like this pull you apart in the bedroom too. Be the opposite. Sex is a great healer. I think that is really why we should save it for marriage personally- but it is a way to communicate that is beyond words. Add to that: women need love to have sex; men need sex to have love. It really is true. But here, you need to use the love that you have (so deep that you did not even question and simply deleted mr. ex) and fire up the marital suite!
Put on something horribly simple, but underneath be sexy for him (whatever gets him going, lingerie, nothing, granny pants, etc you know what I mean) and then in no uncertain terms TELL him that you are dressed that way, that you are planning on using that fact tonight and that you WILL be having YOUR "O" and he WILL be having his. Then go finish making dinner. Make sure that master bedroom is ready (no laundry on the bed or floor in the way!) and that the other distractions of the evening DO NOT wear you out. Think of the romance you had when you first started out and all the amazing things he does that make you love him... that will get you going- so you can get him going- and then the dams will burst- on his wall of indifference.
My point is, sometimes men don't know what they are thinking, so they just need to act. That is why they would rather go play a sport with strange men than talk and watch a chick flick. So let him act. Go where ever it needs to go- be ALL his. Remind him that YOU are HIS and HE is YOURS. 100%. He just needs reassurance and a way to reconnect. Sex is the way.
Oh- and if you have been having sex and it is still going on, let me ask (rhetorical, no need to answer me) is it the generic sex or are you being creative and giving him a way to work through this? If generic look at the ways you could give him in the bedroom to re-claim what is his. Be his victorian virgin, be his 'master', be his 'first'... I know you get the picture and I apologize if it seems brash to answer this way- but it is the honest truth and trying to be any more delicate than I have would weaken the point.
Good luck to you.
PS.... a few ladies were dead on with that whole bait and switch thought... most humans become defensive when they are wrong. If he is really still going hard at this you need to do both of you a favor and make sure he is not cheating or on the slippery slope to it himself. He may not even realize he is. If so, please, please, please, go get some counseling. 20 years is a huge investment, but trust me, it is not a guarantee for forever without constant work (which is sounds like you want to give! Hang in there!)
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L.B. answers from Santa Fe on March 27, 2010
From another perpsective, I am the ex-girlfriend who sent out a friend request on FB and was rejected by my now married-with-children highschool sweetheart. I really couldn't understand why he wouldn't accept my friendship. Afterall, it has been thirty three years since our love affair and being over 1000 miles away and long "over it", I didn't see that our FB friendship would be any threat at all. I just wanted to catch up and hear about how his life turned out. Apparently HE saw it as a threat and thought it best that we remain apart. Hurt and rejected, I walked away with my tail between my legs.
I really appreciate hearing the other side. I don't have to take it personally anymore. I didn't do it to cause any turmoil in his life, it was just selfish curiosity on my part, I guess. Thank you for your post. I feel better now with a little perspective. Good luck to you.
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D.M. answers from Albuquerque on March 27, 2010
Sorry to hear about the stress and I know this is delayed but Buddhism has a little insight that I would like to share with you. This could be you or your husband. When you are suffering (we all suffer to some degree) and you think that the suffering has been created by the person you love most in the world, it is most difficult. If it had been someone else who had said that or done that to you, without a doubt, you would be suffering less. But in this case, the person you love most in the world who said/did that to you, so you suffer more. You are deeply hurt by the fact that your suffering was caused by the person you love most. You feel like going into my room, closing the door, staying by myself, crying. You refuse to go ask them for help. Now pride is the obstacle. (I know I feel like this when I get hurt, whatever the cause of it)
According to the Buddha, there is no place for pride in true love. If you are suffering, every time you suffer, you must go ask the person in question for their help. That is true love. Do not let pride keep you apart. If you think your love for this person is true love, then you must overcome your pride. You must always go to him/her. Practice in your mind before you go to that person, "Dear one, I am suffering, please help." This sounds simple but is hard to do.
Then we must have compassion and understanding for the other. Even if we did not do anything wrong, that person is suffering and if we can help them, we should. A misconception or misperception can destroy a family. We all have insecurities. We all would really just like someone to be there for us and love us unconditionally. A smile, love, and a calm, peaceful heart can bring joy to another. We must nurture our feelings, even when they are uncomfortable so we can transform them instead of suppress them.
I hope this helps you. Good luck.
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J.F. answers from Seattle on March 27, 2010
"FB is being cited in almost one in five of online divorce petitions, lawyers have claimed." Got that from an online article - that is 20% of divorces!
I'm just saying that we all need to protect our marriages if we want them to last - which is a rare thing nowadays. Once you start thinking that you are above all that and it would never happen to you or your marriage is when you take your first step on a slippery slope.
Tread carefully - don't risk what you have!
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J.A. answers from New York on March 27, 2010
It is incredulous that we have to drop innocent relationships because one partner is insecure. My God! Are we now owned by our spouses? I am appalled that we have to feel guilty about platonic relationships and put up with hissy fits all to placate pouting partners that have no business pouting.
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J.M. answers from New York on March 27, 2010
I'm in the same situation except my husband was the with the "friend" . I was told that social network is a rising cause for divorce even above money.. There are lots of articles out there advising you to be cautious . Facebook opens the door for people who should stay in your past.
This started 2 weeks ago and we are still dealing with it. I think you are going to have to give him time and lots of love and prove that you are trust worthy
Here is the article:
I know just about everyone loves all of the social networking sites that have sprouted up within the last few years. I am not about to say that they are evil, but I recommend that people in a marriage watch their steps around such platforms. I agree that whoever created these sites must be a genius and I'm not going to mention any of these social networking names, but I am going to stress the necessity of caution for any married couple. Continue reading and you will understand why I am stressing this point.
Why would anyone say this? First, these sites can open the door to distrust among partners. Usually the social networking sites allow people to meet with friends or ex boyfriends/girlfriends from long ago. This is all fine and dandy, but it just might cause a little animosity towards your significant other. I am sure you are thinking that I am just being paranoid. Maybe I am and maybe I am not! I have heard many couples who have forbidden their significant other from allowing them to make contact with their
exes while using social networking sites. I have even heard instances where an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend has contacted a spouse via a social networking site. Often the other partner may feel betrayed and even the slightest amount of distrust can harm a marriage especially one that is already in jeopardy. In other words, I am only abducting a slight amount of caution when using social networking sites. Even the strongest level of trust can be weekend by a single incident. It could often take years to rebuild that trust. Trust is very important in any marriage. Marriages tend to fall apart when there is no trust.
Another important issue with social networking sites is that they take away what little time a married couple has together. So many people are absorbed into these sites that they lose track of time. Time is always very important in a relationship. Every couple needs a certain amount of time together to hold that relationship together and to hopefully grow that relationship. For me it can be frustrating to find my spouse glued to the computer while using a social networking site. Unfortunately, these sites tend to lower productivity at home; not to mention at work. It's always good to keep in touch with friends and family, but there are better more constructive ways to do so. There are even ways that your significant other can also be included in. Always try to include your significant other into what you are doing. In the long run this will prevent any hurt feelings toward one another. In conclusion, be careful when using social networking sites while in a relationship.
Hope that helps and you did good by "unfriending" this person right away.
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L.S. answers from Portland on March 27, 2010
I can't believe all these responses! How would you feel if one of his Ex's wanted to keep up with him? Be honest;-) You would probably feel threatened.. Why do alllll these women want to stay in contact with ex-boyfriends? Why? They were lovers not just friends.. how many marriages have been broken up by the internet? Lots. Most of these women that are saying that it's ok to keep those connections are the same women saying.
"I want my husband to listen to my feelings and my concerns". Well is it that they want both-- do what ever they want but then dis the husband when you has feeling-- right or wrong -- it is how he feels.. He should come before FB
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R.G. answers from Albuquerque on March 27, 2010
I don’t think your husband is overacting. I think being friends with exes on social networking sites can cause trouble for even stable marriages. Although we might think the interaction is harmless, it can lead us to vulnerable situations. Its one thing if we just used the networking sites as a means for “saying hello”, but it can open the door to our personal relationships and lead to future problems (i.e., insecurities by our current partner, temptations that can lead to potential infidelities, etc.). Sometimes our marriages can be weakened with societal pressures, demanding jobs and the everyday stress of raising a family. Once we bring exes into the equation we are vulnerable as human beings. When we open our lives up to exes, then we open ourselves up to temptation. The more we confide in the opposite sex, the more we jeopardize our current relationship. I say enjoy Facebook but keep it in perspective. Only accept friends that your partner is comfortable with and always take action keeping in mind how it would make your spouse feel. Also remind yourself how would you feel if it was in the reverse? It might be hard and you’ll have to swallow your pride, but reach out to your husband and give him more physical affection. Men need physical interaction to feel confident in the relationship. Just show him love and in time your relationship will heal.
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