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POLL RESULTS: UnLike any other?: (11 comments)

POLL: UnLike any other?

Friday, March 11, 2011 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: My wife and I have been married for 20 years and are mostly happy. We fight, but what couple doesn’t? Anyway, she’s discovered Facebook and has been spending an awful lot of time online. When I ask her what she’s doing, she shrugs me off or ignores me. Lately, she has been staying up all hours of the night doing this in the spare bedroom. Should I be concerned? I ask because I’ve heard of people hooking up with old flames online, and I’m wondering if my wife might be thinking of getting with someone from her past.
POLL: Should he be concerned about his wife?
 
17% (346) Nah. It's nothing to tweet about.
 
82% (1594) All night in the spare bedroom?! She's looking for a Poke.
1940 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Coanunn
Lover

Posts: 11

Registered:
Feb 2010
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - 12:15 AM (#58508)

It's really quite simple, if you are worried your wife is losing interest it doesn't matter why, only that you are worried!

20 years of marriage, you should be able to open a dialogue with her even about something she doesn't want to talk about.

Don't jump to conclusions, but I would certainly just let her know you feel neglected and that something is wrong lately and see where the conversation goes.


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TheBigJerk
Lover

Posts: 13

Registered:
Mar 2011
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - 12:25 AM (#58509)

Ah, trust issues, the thorniest of issues.

As an internet addict myself I can say it's generally unlikely that you would go from 0 to Farmville Zombie overnight without having a history of internet addiction. And shrugging people off rather than sharing and trying to drag you into the black hole of wasted time that is Facebook is also a red flag. But the kicker is, she could just be going out of her way to be nice to you, staying in the other room to avoid keeping you up and not dragging you into the hell that is facebook status updates because she truly cares about you. Of course, there's no way to be certain, and even sneak-checking her account is a breach of trust, even if she is cheating, so the doubt gnaws at you without release. The thing about facebookups is that the cheating doesn't REALLY start until at least one IRL meet, usually 3 or 4 as the cheater sidles into the idea. No meetups means no evidence besides the datatrail, and those can be deleted.

So, obviously your course of action is both simple and elegant. Romance the pants off your lady fair, treating her like the girlfriend she once was and reminding her just why she said, "yes" when you first showed her that ring. Wine and dine, woo and...renew? her. Then, after the several days of patiently working hard to remind her how important she is to you, ask her to show you the ropes on this facebook thing she spends so much time on, because if it's important to her it's important to you.

Yeah, it's a crap-lot of effort to solve a problem that could easily be short-cut or "cheated" into a solution, but if love were easy there wouldn't be any cheating in the first place.

Best of luck mate.


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NunyaBidness
Lover

Posts: 83

Registered:
Apr 2008
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - 08:34 AM (#58510)

It could also be escapism or depression. Is she avoiding you when you ask for company? My wife and I had severe issues with the Sims and other games some years ago. She was slightly depressed, unhappy, and that was her escape from the real world. A very little counseling and some mineral supplements and she was fine.

First thing is to nonconfrontationally discuss it. Then see where it goes from there.


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Theway
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Mar 2011
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - 09:43 AM (#58512)

I know of MANY close personal friends whose marriages have fallen apart due to Facebook. One was a 20+ year marriage that everyone felt would stand the test of time.

Yet, when the wife reunited with an "old flame" on Facebook, she threw away her husband, and three kids for a fling that ended in their divorce and a suicide attempt.

Now, some will point out that there had to be other underlying issues at work... and that's entirely true. She was having, in essence, a mid-life crisis. But Facebook gave her a chance to relive past glories, and more importantly... reconnect with her younger self.

In reality, the sex with her old boyfriend wasn't about a physical need, it was an expression of her own sense of loss of her own identity. For one thing, she had a masters degree in biology that she'd NEVER done anything with. She felt unfulfilled and Facebook allowed her a window into a past self that still had those dreams and capacity to reach her potential.

And I think therein lies the trap. Reconnecting through Facebook isn't reality. It's suddenly meeting people again from your past and having unfettered access to all of those bottled emotions. It's no wonder so many men (and especially women) find themselves cheating on their spouses.

Imagine, for instance, suddenly getting the chance to talk to an old crush you had in High School... and being able to reveal your affections for them only to discover they felt the same way? Or you find out that someone who turned you down now regrets that decision?

I personally had an ex reveal that she felt I was "too good for her" to keep me waiting on a long distance relationship and that was why she dumped me... and she regretted it ever since. I admit, it did stir up old buried emotions I thought had long ago gone away. But having seen what happens, I was armed with the knowledge and able to quickly be polite about the situation and wish her the best in her life. I had moved on, am married with kids, and she was married now as well.

These kinds of revelations are BOUND to be heady. In the past they were far less likely to ever happen. You'd maybe meet someone at a Class Reunion for instance, but it would be awkward to ever say something like this in person. So instead, you simply make polite conversation, relive your glory days, and move on. Now thanks to technology removing that awkward face-to-face, people can connect, and explore fantasies that end in disaster in the real world instead.

I'd say be VERY concerned. Talk to her and let her know you're NOT comfortable with the secrecy, and then do your level best to explore her past WITH her. Find out if she has any unfulfilled longings that you can help her achieve. And ask her to politely unfriend any past boyfriends. After all, would she like YOU having past girlfriends on your Facebook account? I quietly unfriended my ex as well... It's for the best.


Locked profile
Archwright
Lover

Posts: 19

Registered:
Oct 2010
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - 10:20 AM (#58513)

You could always get on Facebook too, you know.


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vorlonagent
Lover

Posts: 55

Registered:
Oct 2009
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - 04:30 PM (#58516)

The simple fact that you feel the need to mention that you two fight is a warning sign.

If you're feeling neglected, you may find out that *she* is feeling the same way (neglected by you).

So when you talk to her, be prepared to hear some stuff about you, so bring your best attitude. If she's hostile or defensive, DO NOT take the bait. You two will slip into the "fighting" behavior pattern and get nothing done.

If you're lucky, it'll just be farmville and her old (girl) friends from school.


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LonesomeLoser
Lover

Posts: 25

Registered:
Mar 2011
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - 07:42 PM (#58517)

A friend of mine is going through a very messy divorce because his ex-wife reconnected with an old flame.
They had been high school sweethearts and his heart has been shattered because he discovered he did not know her at all
You may already have lost in a race you were not aware you were running


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LittleCrow
Lover

Posts: 5

Registered:
Feb 2011
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 11, 2011 - 08:14 PM (#58518)

I agree with the escapism explanation above. When things aren't going well in the real world, the internet provides a great distraction, especially if you're just now discovering it. Old flames and new flames don't really burn and hold attraction unless the existing flame has burned pretty low...


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TheBigJerk
Lover

Posts: 13

Registered:
Mar 2011
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, March 12, 2011 - 01:52 PM (#58524)

I have a problem with the "facebook ruins marriages" bit. Statistically speaking, marriages are still holding at steady rates, and while tons of personal accounts have, "Facebook ruined my/friends' marriage," the numbers just don't support it. Facebook isn't the cause, it's just the expression. If the subject hadn't used facebook to hookup with an old flame or remember all the things s/he failed to do in life they would have found ANOTHER way to ruin it for themselves.

Hittin' the bottle, going to parties, whatever form of self-destructive escapism lets the man or woman ignore the fact that they are married to a repugnant and unlikable spouse in a dilapidated and mortgaged house with zero career prospects and no chance of living the life they always wanted to live as a rocket surgeon sports start driving a van across the nation as a vigilante for hire before going to Mars and finding the cure for cancer.

Facebook doesn't change that, it just makes for a recognizable symptom.


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spzeidler
Lover

Posts: 35

Registered:
Jan 2010
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Monday, March 14, 2011 - 04:20 PM (#58530)

you should be concerned, but not about her fidelity, but about her addiction getting out of hand. Even if she just plays Farmville, what you describe is too much to be healthy.


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Darkness
Lover

Posts: 13

Registered:
Mar 2010
Re: UnLike any other? (Score: 0)
posted Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 02:27 PM (#58539)

Install a keylogger.


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Discussion: POLL: UnLike any other? | Login/Create an Account | 11 comments
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