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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

What Everyone Should Know About the Dangers Facebook Poses to Your Relationships

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jan 5th 2010

Historically, people in relationships have had all kinds of ways of "checking out," "avoiding," or "ignoring" when things got overwhelming in a relationship. They might have just turned on the tube more often, found solace in their pets, spent more time at work, maybe entertained infidelity, or maybe turned to drugs and alcohol a bit more.  In my practice of seeing private clients I see a new phenomenon occurring by checking out through social networking sites.

Now let me qualify this by saying I'm on Facebook and at times love having the opportunity to see what people are up to and reconnecting with long lost friends. It gives a sense of community and belonging that could be great for our well-being.

But I think it's worthwhile to get curious about what detrimental effects these sites are having as a vehicle toward checking out in our "in-person" relationships. How often might you be turning to them immediately upon waking up or as soon as you get home? How much time is really spent on them? More than ever before people can spend countless hours on Facebook and other social networking sites.

In an earlier blog post that generated a lot of buzz I explored Past Loves and Facebook: To Connect or Not to Connect. The reason I think this received so much attention is because how Facebook affects our relationships is a hot button for people and absolutely worth looking at. If any psychology graduate student is out there, this would make an excellent dissertation topic.

If this topic touches you in any way because it seems familiar, it may be worth getting curious about. What am I avoiding in my life that drives the overuse of these sites? Is there something uncomfortable or dissatisfying about my intimate relationship or family life that drives this? Are there feelings about being alone that I'd rather avoid? What would happen if I checked it a bit less?

Again, this is not a Facebook bashing post at all, it's more a post to begin getting curious about the overuse of these sites and what might you be avoiding in your present life that may need some attention? This may also be done with our cell phones or other internet sites.

What is your experience with this? Please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

    Reader Comments
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    Wifes Online Emotional affair turned into Facebook Addiction - - Aug 18th 2014

    About a year ago I discovered my wife having an emotional affair with a man on SMEET from the UK. She would be online with him talking about running her fingers through his hair and having a child with him. I was devastated to say the least. I had no idea what to do. I was broken. Betrayed by my best friend in life.

    To the point I confronted her and to be honest my excessive TV watching was the reason given me for her turning to SMEET in the first place. I was not giving her the attention she deserved. However, I never expected that she would be spending a couple hours every day wraping herself up in another man.

    Anyhow....we have been working on getting the whole thing behind us and behold....she starts her own Facebook account where we had shared one before. She is now free to chat all she wants and does so to the tune of 4 - 6 HOURS nearly every day. If I mention anything about the time being spent or if I ask to see what she is writing and to whom in private chat she gets all defensive and discusted with me.

    Honestly....I feel the end is near for "us" because now it seems she must prefer "them". I am sickened by the thought...I just feel so abandoned and disgarded that I feel whats the use.

    Are all young men addicted to talking to girls online? - Unhappy girlfriend - Aug 4th 2014

    I'm in my early twenties and even though regular activity on Facebook and similar social sites seems to be acceptable for my age group, it is testing my patience. 

    I have dated 3 guys now that have been the same with this stupid site. One of them even had the audacity to Facebook chat to girls including his ex girlfriend right in front of me, on my own laptop!!! I consistently found him looking through provocative photos of girls with almost nothing on, girls that lived in our same halls of residence and photos of his ex girlfriend's then current exchange year in Australia. He wasn't sneaky or inconspicuous at all. Looking back I realise he didn't care not one bean about it's effect on me or my feelings, but he regularly left his account logged in by mistake. I looked through once (I felt so bad looking even though he was a total plonker) and as soon as I saw private messages between him and his ex I felt sick. Not to mention all the photos of girls he 'liked' and commented on saying how sexy they were. Then again this guy was constantly checking out girls whilst we walked into town together, and had an obsession with crushing my self esteem.

    My current boyfriend (4 years later) has sadly followed suit. Never in my life have I met someone so charming, sweet and caring. I'm astonished at how your impressions of someone can be so wrong!! At first I trusted him completely as he was so convincing; he never used to check or answer his phone whenever we were together (and pretty much stuck to doing this 98% of the time throughout the relationship) and he would always reassure me that he was a nice guy etc etc he'd never hurt me etc etc.

    After 6 months I decided to see if he was on Facebook. Wow I opened pandora's box..... as low and behold he had tagged his ex in numerous posts with lots of kisses, emoji love hearts and attaching photos/memes depicting various 'I miss you' & 'I cry when I'm not with you' & 'I get sad when you don't text me back' themes. He knew I wasn't on Facebook and so completely took me for a monkey's derrier and abused my trust. The most embarrassing part was that we worked at the same place and he is friends with almost all our work colleagues - of course they would have seen this and I looked like an utter fool (it was also embarrassing that nobody had bothered to tell me about it!).

    When I confronted him, he was furious and incredibly defensive saying that I was reading far too much into it (yet his account was 100% public.... so I in no way invaded his privacy). He made me feel stupid, pathetic, almost making me believe that I was paranoid and had srious self-esteem issues. He persisted with lies telling me the posts didn't mean anything and he only posted them because he thought the photos he attached looked cute. Fast forward another 2 months and I find texts on his phone to his ex girlfriend at the time he posted on FAcebook to his ex, declaring his un-ending love for her as well as arrangements to meet up on his breaks/ days off and have 'sleep-overs'.

    On top of all of this he frequently adds girls on Facebook. With almost 2k 'friends' it's just not possible he knows them all. Which means he is adding these girls to chat to online and perv on their photos. His phone is forever going off with a million different message tones and I'm certain the frequency of these social notifications on his phone has increased since we started dating. I know he uses Snapchat, Instagram and other messaging apps. Yet he barely texts me and I know when he is ignoring me, he is engaged in a more interesting conversation with a random girl on Facebook. What's more he also does what most guys seem to do now, which is add old flames and ex-lovers.

    Did they not get the memo that exes and old flames should be left in the past!! Why bother being in a relationship then in the first place if you want several virtual relationships made accessible with these social sites?

    I don't have Facebook (deleted it when I was 21 after 3 years on thing) and never will create another account. It is disgusting, pervy and only provokes drama. My worry is that I am in the minority of my generation that do not want anything to do with this site and that I'll always be with guys that have a secret life on Facebook...

    Sometimes I feel I am the only person that is concerned by how easy it is nowadays to make these informal connections with people without needing their phone number first. As long as a guy has access to Facebook, he has unlimited capability to interact and flirt with girls without his partner even knowing about it.

    dangers of facebook - - Jan 22nd 2014

    I had been married 23yrs.husband was like all the others,ignoring family problems etc.checking computer constantly and so on.to cut a long story short he left me and our 2 sons(16&20 at the time not children thank goodness)for a17yr old(!!)girl from the dom.rep.i left my homeland to be with this man and now find myself 'stuck' in a foreign country with a very badly paid job-he left his old job here with over 100,00 € in his pocket and doesn't want to give me a cent...doesn't leave you with much faith in humanity.

    Facebook addiction - Heartbroken - May 17th 2013

    I am in the process of leaving a person I love who exibits all the behaviours described by everyone here in their comments.  Facebook was a huge part of his life before I ever came along. He posts up to 10 times a day, checks it obsessively and compulsively, and has more than a thousand friends on there, a large proportion of them being young women he doesn't know. Early on in our relationship, I turned a blind eye to it, hoping the random female adds would dwindle once our relationship became more serious. And mainly I was ignorant of how utterly absorbed someone can be with Facebook, not thinking it was even humanly possible! Before I continue, I must point out here that Facebook issues aside, he really is a beautiful, kind, loving, thoughtful, fun person with a heart of gold and I love him very much (which makes leaving him very difficult for me.) Anyways, months into the relationship, nothing changed, and in fact worsened when he upgraded his phone to a smart phone. From that point onwards, he was glued to Facebook. He spent entire romantic holidays away posting and commenting, even when he promised not too, sometimes going to the toilet (or when I was in the toilet) to post. At home he spent hours hidden away in the garage on the computer. He also kept up the random female adds, saying that he was just "networking".

    Things came to a head when one evening, at a bar whist on vacation away, he saw that a girl he didn't know had sent him a friend request. He said, "I don't know her, I'm not going to add her." Days later, I found out that he had added her. When I confronted him, he said he'd "accidentally added her". But his refusal to delete her demonstrated that it was more important for him to please women online he doesn't know, rather than respect our relationship. I found it impossible to reconcile his Facebook behavior with the kind, loving person I know he is, and so I started researching "addictive behaviors". What I found suited him to a tee - the compulsive checking and posting, the secrecy, the inability to stop even though it's hurting his relationship, the underlying self esteem issues. And then there were websites like this with girlfriends, boyfriends, daughters and husbands in exactly the same boat as I am. As comforting it is to know that I'm not suffering alone, it hasn't diminished the hurt it's caused in our relationship and our lives. Dealing with his behavior as that of an "addict's" (and hence to an extent, involuntary,) has been the only logical, and bearable way as I simply cannot comprehend his behavior, as I know he would never, ever intentionally hurt anyone.

    In the end, had he tried to understand why his behavior was hurting me, and tried to communicate with me and work things out with me, or even promised to try, I would've been happy to stay with him and work on the relationship. But because he refuses to even acknowledge that I am unhappy, let alone discuss it, I see that leaving him, and the toxic relationship, would be the only solution before my own self esteem and sanity are compromised too. The saddest part is that we still love each other immensely.

    To everyone else out there experiencing the same thing, I want to say that it's hard because social media addiction, unlike more established forms of addiction such as gambling, is still up in the air. But I know it's very real and true. I say, in general, if your "addict" partner acknowledges their problem and is willing to work on it, then there's hope. But when they're not, walking away is the only solution.

    facebook is a curse - KRP - Sep 24th 2012

    Really it will lower the quality of relationship/family. Mate/spouses will suffer, kids, responsibilities all go down the tubes when your loved one does fakebook. If you ever plan on being in a relationship with someone and they are on fb or is interested in doing it, leave them and run the other way! They will love superficialbook more than they love you. They will want to spend more time and invest their lives in crackheadbook more then they will their own family. Trust me I know. They will always seek out old flames or old flames will seek out them. They will worry about what all the attention whores are up to more than how their mate/spouse/kids are up to.

    Encouragement, compliments, words of kindnes and comfort and the like from their spouse wont be sufficient enough to make them satisfied or happy cause fb is where all that is desired/valued from more.

    Humanity is on a downward spiral and human interaction is suffering. Lying is out of control, adultry, fornication, abuse, countless despicable behaviors with no shame, sympathy or remorse is becoming common place within our daily lives. No one wants to be held accountable for their wickedness. Vain, selfrightousness, selfcentered, selfabsorbed, selfish narcassists is what they are degrading into!

     There is no more selfless love, devotion, loyalty, compassion, truthfulness, self-restraint/self-control or pitty from this evil population of so called civilized people. Nothing is sacred no more, maybe except for shameful behavior.

    I\\\'d rather be with a smoker than with someone who is glued to their smartphone every 10 minutes worried they\\\'re gonna miss out on the world if they dont keep checking satansbook. They clutch their phones close to them and desire it and fb more than they do their own spouse and children. Its sad at what we have become. Degenerates and immoral ill minded people. How many of you are on or will go on anti-depressants like your entitled to be happy. If your not happy its probably because the quality of your life has degraded by this sick world and everyone in it. We all have contributed to the way the world is going by following it or not doing anything about it!

    So if your with someone and they\\\'re already on facebook and refuses to delete it and get off it, plan on a life without them and if you have children get custody of them and love and take care of them like they deserve cause they will only be neglected by the person who loves fakefriendbook more then they do their spouse and children. They\\\'d rather leave you before they\\\'d leave their crutch fb!    

    Goodbye world :(

    Understanding/Relating?But how to change it. - - May 9th 2012

    I have read through so many of these blogs and they hit home.  How have we gotten hear, with so many peoples lives affected by the same issues.  I have a facebook account that I use it to stay in touch with family scattered all over the world.  However like many of the other postings my spouse does not have the same uses.  Unfortunately fb is taking the heat because its the place, when really it is the people involved who are responsible for their actions.

    I believe the past is the past and that is where it should stay \\

    SHE IS ADDICTED - - Apr 8th 2012

    I am sitting here on Sunday morning after ANOTHER huge fight with my girlfriend  (we live apart and I took her back home last night). There was lots of finger pointing, blaming and reasons, but the bottomline is that I have been competing with Facebook for her attention. Even after a week apart, the first thing she does in my home is use my laptop and go on Facebook and also play facebook games.

    She has admitted addiction numerous times, but after a fight, she denies that FB had anything to do with it and finds other reasons. She has even asked me to stop her, close the laptop etc. But invariably, as soon as my attention turns to something else, even for a few minutes (literally), like getting a beverage, she will go back online. I could take the laptop away, but this is a 50-year old woman and I do not want to act like her parent.

    I don\\\'t know where the cause and effect lies, but this seems in some way tied to Attention Deficit. Unless I OVERWHELM her with attention and stimuli, she will turn to FB. I am a super energetic individual with a myriad of interests living in the heart of Manhattan. I own businesses and I am far from boring. And this very woman has told me that no one has been as affectionate or attentive as I have in her entire life and that she was blessed to meet me.

    Yet I still compete with FB and the Internet. I am at WIT\\\'S END. She is intelligent yet loses interest in our in-person conversations very quickly. We have long phone conversations daily, yet I often hear FB games in the background as she talks to me. No human can compete with Internet addiction or video games for long - the level of stimulation is just too great. It is like drugs or alcohol. To those addicted, life and people without substances are BORING.

    I love technology and computers. I have two at home and nine in my office. I was a science geek in HS. But I know when to turn it off and give my undivided attention to someone else. I will use a computer with someone if we are SHARING music, video etc. But I will not sit for hours in someone else\\\'s presence using a computer for recreation and ignore them.

    I take responsibility for my life and actions. I understand that there are likely underlying issues with her and me, and that outside forces should not be blamed. HOWEVER, there is such a thing as addiction and I believe that Facebook can facilitate or exacerbate Attention Deficit, antisocial behavior and be devisive in personal relationships when it reaches this level of ADDICTION.

    I love this woman, I am alone again and very SAD. And regardless of what she says, while I write this and read about FB addiction, I know she will be on Facebook instead of with me.

     

    we've seperated - Ted - Jan 21st 2012

     She got a laptop a couple years ago. My sis in law helped her set up the FB. She first started zinga poker at the suggestion of her sis in another state. Previously I tried many times to get her to play real poker at the real money sites. Anyways, I tried the zinga poker and I immediatly noticed it kicks you off the table if you miss your turn or not paying attn. not to mention the chips are worthless and so is the quality of play. She ended up playing fishville, farmville and scores of other time hogging games. She on as much as possible up to 16 hrs a day with several short breaks. Always defensive when told about it. Never gives the password. Neglects the regular cleang of house. I wash the laundry she suppose to fold, the clothes sit in the basket for couple days. My 8 yr old wants to play catch ball in livingroom with her, she did while playng with the other hand. Basically she neglects the opportunities to do things with me and my two kids, neglects house. She says its her way to relax. Took the attitude that if I told her she's on too much she's going to stick it to me and be on even more for me saying something. She got fired from her job 5 mo. ago, I got layed up for a month or so with sciatica right after and shes seems depressed, She is 48 going thru menopause and dealing with a-fib. I veiw the FB as an escape for her where her mind is mush and doesn't have to think about things other than the electronic farms, cities , animals etc. So she hasn't omitted to being addicted, I learned that the time I am in front of this cpu its time that I could be doing something else. Whrther shes a cheat or not always very defensive when asked about who is this.  FB takes u away from each other = marriage disaster. I'm hoping for the best, I'm here w/my kids in my home and shes left blaming me for anything I've done in the last 22yrs. we been married. Fb sucks ill never have one. If you're here reading this it is prob to late for u too. but if u can it (FB) should be done in moderation fr the begining but it takes the user to realize the importantance of the other things around them and what they are missing IE board games w/the kids, playing outside, reading or just about anything

    Facebook is a very risky social experiment - Arthur - Mar 9th 2011

    First of all facebook has strong ties to the CIA, but i won't delve into that.

    Reading all these comments makes me glad to see that others are realizing there is something terribly wrong here.  

    Facebook (and myspace before it) are a HUGE social experiment being carried out on us to appeal to our deepest vanity and tear eachother away from our genuine relationships with eachother.  "They" started out with Myspace and young people all over america signed up in droves and let myspace become their dominant form of communication.  And then just a few years later we were hit with a second MASSIVE wave of indoctrination through facebook.  It is alarming that when you ask a thousand people, you can gaurantee 998 of them are going to have facebooks.  

    As if we weren't preoccupied with useless things before, but facebook has completely taken us away from normal healthy relationships.  You can make the claim that all technology and such has a good use and bad use ..and you'd be right ..but while older people only log on for short amounts of time ..younger people are on it ALL DAY.  

    Facebook is a MONSTER of self vanity because it lets you 'advertise' yourself like an attention whore and plan every detail of how you're going to be perceived by the outside world, all in the comfort of your own home. People are becoming their own publicists and agents!

    In the past the ''powers that be'' have messed with our money, our education, our sources of information, and more, but facebook HAS to be their dream come true ...to take us away from eachother.

    The hell ride - - Feb 2nd 2011

    Hello,

    let me share my story to try and save whoever this can. I am still by my doing only married. And you would say not always happy(thanks to FB).

    My wife is very addicted and i feel bad because i am the enabler or once was. These addiction shows are good to learn from and find the right things to research from.

    This is what i found.(unfortunatly thru experience)

    The day that fb found its way into my home was what i thought a great day a way for my wife to get a hold of her friends since she had lost and at the time had few to none. Being decived by this for a few months until the addiction had taken a good hold that i could not break, i had found my self angry and asking how this could happen. Warning this can and probally will happen  to you or someone close if fb is involved! Now lets fast forward and i will give you a breif run down of the almost three years till now. Less time spend together, addtic issues, arguments, loss of money, loss of friends, and a lost sex life. This is all in three years and yes this has all vanished from my life. I am speech less. And do not know where to go at times. Now things i have tried to fix this. Talking about it, counsiling, threating, leaving it alone, showing proof that it has destroyed the family we had. and after three years of constiant trying and i truly have not let up ever. I had been told everything under the sun such as im jealious,foolish,stupid, a refusal to listen, ect. the list is to big! FACEBOOK can be a tool for good but like everthing it had a evil side that can consume us all. I belive a gun to the my head by a robber would cause much less up stir then if he were to threaten her dear computer. And trust me it is real very real. Now if i have learned anything from reading this and blog and many others is the additc can be fixed but the extreme must be done as in all extreme addiction cases. Remove all computers and these people can smell one from miles away so advoid anyplace with a computer. You must show them that eveyone lived before facebook and it can be done again! this had worked for two days but i have a case of pure hell on my hands. And like my case hell is inexcapable for those who dont mind going there( cheating is a sin even if it is with an old friend from face book) I am currently cleansing myself and if she does not follow i am prepared to leave and take my children with me. Please to who ever loves their other stop them from being consumed asap because wasted time will turn into wasted breath from you and all their values go out the window.

    From the Guy who never thought it could happen

    Facebook killed my marriage (well, wife did) - Mr. Lonesome now - Feb 2nd 2011

    An old boyfriend from highschool joined my wifes Myspace and made the typical sleazy "hey sweetie" remarks. I didnt like it and was told I was being silly jealous.(Dismissed). A few years later he shows up as a friend on her FB page, and posts similar things. Then one post in particular about having always loved her to one of her girlfriends. They texted hundreds of msgs a day to each other thereafter, she insisted he was "just a friend", but his among allll her other male friends was the only birthday she had listed in her IPhone calendar. About a month of this, and I see a msg from him explaining what all of this was about. They were in an affair. Secrets are not privacy issues in a marriage. Nor does any man have any character worth pursuing if he is currently involved like that with a married woman. Would she think after divorcing me that he wouldnt be doing the same thing to some other married woman?

    this destroyed our marriage, turned my wife into someone I didnt know anymore at all, destroyed our young daughters life, and I was a good man that took very good care of her.

    Facebook destroyed me, my daughter and my life.

    mindfield - - Nov 25th 2010

    when i first joined facebook i was hooked, that was few years ago, the novelty has worn off but i do dip in and out every day, i have had moments where i realise my daughter is watching telly and has been for hours alone, i get guilty and switch off, facebook is a mindfield, the arguements ive had due to it, the arguements ive witnessed on it, the paranoia.its ironic...we do it to communicate with others...all it does is make us lose touch with the outside world, really weird how we,d happily sit infront of a screen for hours yet when out and about its not so easy to say the rubbish we do on facebook, and some people we dont even talk to in the street yet will on facebook! its certainly a topic for conversation

    Same here - - Nov 21st 2010

    So Im not alone I will make this quick we went out for dinner the other night and befor I even started the car she was on fb via her phone telling her friends all about it . I work 2 weeks away and 1 week at home only to sit there at night talking to my self . She even made new friends from interstate ??? that had no conection with anyone we know . She went and visited them ???? staying with 2 men in a 1 bedroom flat went out on   tOWN and never called all week end she talks about me all the time to them and it is not good . heaps to tell but when do I finish when bought up to her she throws it back in my face . I give up any thoughts .

    Facebook destroys marriages - Ronan Kilroy - Oct 20th 2010

    My wife and me have been toghether 13 years now and up until 4 years ago everything has been fine. Since the arrival of Facebook in my house things have gone bad to worse. I work full time and attend college at night for 2 nights a week. My wife set up a fb account and was strting to enjoy chatting to friends online for an hour or so in the evenings. That hour turned into 2 and now she spends 5 hours every night on facebook and other social networking sites. I have raised this issue with her on numerous occasions only to find that i get thrown back in my face. We have 2 children who i worry about in the evenings when i'm attending College as i know my wife turns the computer on her arrival home leaving my 9 and 6 year old to entertain themselves. The weekends are worse as she sleeps till 12 mid day, gets up and turns on the computer and spends on average 10 hours of the weekend on the internet. I find my self now cleaning, washing clothes, ironing, preparing the meals, washing the dishes as she has no interest in the house or the kids due to the amount of time spent on the internet. It's not a 50/50 relationship anymore, when i ntry to speak to her and raise the issues she becomes defensive and angry which is not healthy for the kids. I have decided that i no longer want to be wife as i am both the father and mother to children. I really think deep down she's suffering from depression and finds happiness getting attention from other individuals who she does not know personally but as  facebook friend. I have had enough and believe me i have tried to resolve this issue but i have decided to leave her as it's affecting me know both mentally and physically for at least three years. My concern was the lack of interest she takes in the kids and myself but i must now do what's best for my kids before tension gets worse in the house. I am just wondering if anyone male or female is suffering also form this.

    facebook used in the wrong way destroy relationships - s marie - gso - May 29th 2010

    i just got back into the dating world after being divorced for almost 12 yrs. i met a guy (not online) in his 40's, never been married, no kids - ok - seems good.... he was a big facebook user - over 300 friends, told me he had a lot of "female" friends.... after a few dates he asked me when was I going to start facebook so we could chat?  BIG turnoff... I knew this was apparently the way he developed his relationships - through facebook!  There were other concerns I had about the guy to say the least - I did not continue seeing him after the red flags persisted.  

    My heart goes out to others that have relationships and marriages destroyed by "social networking".  I  personally have friends and their marriages have been detroyed by their spouses connecting with ex lovers on facebook.   I am not a fan of facebook - in my opinion - used in the wrong way - facebook destroy relationships - marriages  - interrupts time spent with your kids.  Where is the conversation - the sincerity of getting to know your family? 

    Our values are so twisted - our need to have so many "friends"!  Grow up and get some self esteem!  Your spouse is your friend!  Get to know your family! PEOPLE ABUSING FACEBOOK ARE REALLY IMMATURE and need to work on their self esteem!  Those who say facebook is a outlet?  People are using this as an excuse to act on their own selfish desires - no self control - grow up and get a life - stay off facebook!!!

    Bless those who have been hurt by facebook abused in the wrong way!!

     

    Facebook Shows People For Who They Really Are - wind0 - May 14th 2010

    I started using Facebook this year, was amazed at the number of old friends I could quickly get in contact with, realized they weren't really friends of mine anymore, deleted almost everyone except a few close friends, and went silent.

    My wife started using the service a few months later.  She had cheated on me five years ago and our relationship has been painful and exhausting for both of us since then.  I expected her to eventually friend the guy she cheated with even though she said she wouldn't.  A few months later, sure enough, she did.  I guess all that to say that I already knew.

    It has been the same scenario that is repeated in these comments over and over.  She was mad and defensive when I found out.  I wasn't on her friends list but anyone with a Facebook account could see what she had done.  It was as if I had done something wrong by not respecting her privacy on a 100% public system.  She started justifying adding the guy since she had added "a bunch of other people" (mostly men) at the same time.  She mentioned that she had tried finding me but there were too many people with my name.  Reminding her that we live in the same house was met with a blank look.

    She deleted the one guy and I think she honestly expects me to forget everything and feel that nothing else is happening now.  Like another commenter said- there are private messages, there is chat; there are alternate accounts.

    She closes browsers when I walk into the room, deletes browsing history.  She always has some lame excuse.  Then she gets a very mean attitude and tells me I can check myself if I don't believe her excuse.  Where do these liars and cheaters get off?  Are they just that pissed that they got caught?  I feel like every time I catch more she just gets sneakier and I have to look harder.  It's a Catch-22 when one person wants more than the marriage, isn't it?  That's the simple truth I've come to realize.  Just like Facebook helps speed up reconnections, it helps speed up conclusions like this too.

    It's like people can't help but be themselves on Facebook.  Obviously, Facebook itself isn't the problem.

    It sounds like most of the relationships that are discussed in these comments have severe trust and commitment issues to begin with.  Facebook did not cause them.  I would be shocked to find ONE single struggling relationship that benefited from having Facebook introduced into it.  It's one thing for kids who will grow up with this their entire lives.  It's a completely different thing for adults who end up feeling exhilarated and renewed by it.

    For me, I'm running out of options.  Consoling is in our immediate future but I already feel that it's too late.  If Facebook was a person I would say that it has hit me with a big stick while screaming "no, you can't trust her, yes she will always lie to you, and you're a complete fool for believing anything else."

    Husband looking for ex's on Facebook - jaye - Mar 16th 2010

    My husband already had addictive behaviors (drug addiction) but now that he has found facebook he can't control himself.  He friends his ex girlfriends and makes comments like - "It's good to see your face", "you're a beautiful flower", "good morning sunshine".  I asked him if we could NOT friend our ex's and he agreed but still continues to do so.  when I make mention of how I'm not comfortable with it he gets upset like a child and says he may as well live in a cave.

    I am so frustrated - because I stayed with him through his addiction and everything that comes along with a crack addition...I don't think that I can tolerate much more. I understand that facebook is not the problem but the individual who presses the key to connect and indulge in the fantasy.

    Best of luck to all of you who have similar trials with your partner.  Remember that ultimately it is our choice to or not to deal with them

    Blast from the past - - Mar 12th 2010

    Just have to say after reading some of the posts that I am guilty of looking up a past lover on FB.  It had been 25 years since we had seen each other in person.  I am married, he is twice divorced, the last one within 6 months.  At first, it was innocent, just a couple of emails but opportunity and a desire for something lacking in my marriage allowed me to suggest a physical hookup and he of course agreed.  The first time we met again, he looked at me with a look that I truly believe I have never experienced in this lifetime.  Now I have to say that I am 55 and he is 58 so we are not young.  I am a realist and so is he so I know that our moments are only that.  We live 7 hours apart in the same state and nothing will come of our being together for short periods of time because I love my life and he has a wonderful life despite the divorces, etc but just being with someone who was a "first love" while not valued by most people morally has given us some joy that most people do not experience in our age group

    Trying Very Hard - - Mar 4th 2010

    My wife joined FB in the Spring of 2009. She is now spending as much time as possible on it. First thing in the morning, while we are together she checks the mobile and every evening until late in the night. We have had many past issues, most caused by me, but I have been trying to improve myself by doing individual counseling, but her FB addiction continues. She has reconnected with old flames via FB, which created the biggest blowup we have ever had. We are friends on the network, but she now only messages to avoid giving me any insight into her life. The cloke of secrecy only grows larger, we have a rocky relationship at best and if I am the one who is to improve only, I guess I don't understand how she wants to make our marriage work, as she tells me when I ask. I am going to keep improving myself, hopefully this FB thing takes a backseat with improvement in our relationship, if it doesn't at least I tried!!!

    very worried - Bart C. - Feb 18th 2010

    Wow. I can so relate to this blog.  My spouse wanted a laptop for her birthday last year and then she discovered facebook.  We have three young boys so we're constantly going, but she spends every spare moment on facebook.  I finally said something about it and she got very defensive and and angry saying that I was being a little dramatic.  On top of that she's started going out to bars with her so called girlfriends and then I find out some guys end up showing up.  I don't go because I don't drink, but now I find out one of her new male facebook friends goes out sometimes, but she just accuses me of smothering her and not allowing her to be independent.  We've fought about it and now we hardly talk.  I'm very worried about our future if facebook continues to remain a priority over our marriage.  In a twisted way I've gained some satisfaction from this blog knowing I'm not crazy and it's not just me with this issue.

    Facebook is Dangerous - - Feb 11th 2010

    I have had my facebook page for nearly a year.  I didn't go on it that much, and found it somewhat strange.  That was until some men from my past looked me up.  I felt a fear and thrill rush through me when I accepted them as friends. 

    I started talking to them, and one of them contacted me a couple of times at work.  Even though we lived 800 miles apart, I found myself happier. 

    To be honest...it feels really good..the attention, the connection.  I look at my husband who gives me the cold shoulder, and our main topic of conversation always seems to be about him.  It feels good to see nice things being said about you.  

    It really should be called crack book.  Tonight, some cold water was thrown in my face.  My friend from the past no longer has an account on facebook.  I am scared and nervous.  I hope for one thing.....I hope that he has realised that facebook connections are a fantasy...and the most important thing in his life is his family.  I hope that his wife didn't find anything that could hurt her, and if she did...I pray that she forgives me.  In a way, I almost want her to connect with some of her old boyfriends.  Because I am sure that "my fantasy" is giving her the cold shoulder too.

     

    My wife blocks me - - Feb 3rd 2010

    I have a face book account ,I leave it so anybody can see it and also use it for business contacts ,but my wife has one and blocks me from seeing it the one time I di she has 76 male friends she spends hours talking to and just says oh there just frieds from work but then i notice she says single and looking for men ,mine says married for 20 years and show he picture ,wonder if that really is fair ,and she wonders why i have trust issues

    wife won't be friend on facebook - dave - Jan 28th 2010

    my wife won't accept me as a friend on her facebook because she thinks i will read all her posts and what ever else thay do on there and make a big deal about it. just that i asked to be her friend she thinks i dont trust her. i have no way of knowing what she does on there or who she talks to.but she also texts facebook on her phone alot to other people including men.we have had issues in the past with her talking to another man on the internet and i forgave her for that and i trust her now. but her not accepting me as a friend just so i cant see her page or wall or what ever you call it makes me extremely jelous. not quite sure how to confront the situation without making things worse between us or making her think i dont trust her.

    Way too familiar - Jim Wisniewski - Jan 19th 2010

    As I was laying in bed last night with my girlfriend chatting away on facebook I began to wonder about where our relationship was going. Was there a brick wall in front of us that we would eventually crash into? That brick wall being Facebook/Messenger/Texting.

    For the record, we "share" a facebook site in that I know the password and am listed as an alternate name. Our status is "engaged" and photos of the two of us abound.

    Anyway, there was an eerie quietness last night except for the constant clicking of the keys and the incessant norification of a new incoming message. I guess I am that boring that the two of us can be in the same room for an hour or more and you not utter a word.

    I don't mind her having "space". After all, there are some things that I enjoy that she doesn't (some TV shows mostly) so I am not expecting us to be in non-stop chat mode with each other. But does that fact really need to be posted on facebook? (I was watching 24 last night and she went into our bedroom to catch a "tear jerker on Lifetime" which made her so...."satisfied". as she posted.) She's "just not into it" as she commented on my choice of crime drama.

    I read some blogs about jealousy regarding facebook and how it negatively effects relationships. Let me say that I do trust her but it's the rest of the male world that I don't trust. But still there is some jealousy regard male "friends" because, regardless of the openness we have regardling the account, there are plenty of ways for "private" comments can be made. The major jealousy comes from Facebook itself. That it is driving a wedge between us. She says that she is trying to expand our "circle of friends" but yet I don't know these people and really don't need to have friends for friends sake (like the more the better).

    I feel like these one-to-many communication mediums (of which I am not one of the many) do nothing but steer us apart where our commonality becomes less and less visible. Will that wedge at some point break the bond we have? Who knows.

     

    A Brave New World - Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. - Jan 18th 2010

    Thank you everyone for your comments. It's certainly difficult to live with someone with an addictive behavior or find ourselves caught in one. 

    Social networks are not "bad" in their own right, they have a lot to offer us. However, when it gets to a point where we're feeling neglected or wanting more time with our partners, that is important to communicate. 

    If you do communicate this, know that you may get resistance if the person is becoming dependent on whatever their avoidance tactic is (e.g., internet, work, drugs/alcohol). 

    If you don't know where else to turn, know that it is ok to get outside professional support for the sake of yourself or your relationship. 

     

    Social network Victim !! - sandra - Jan 15th 2010

    Well, I'm part of the people that lost a marriage because social networks and the "easy" way to show to cheat on your spouse.  My husband expend more time with the computer than with me.  It was more important check all the comments in facebook, my space and Hi5 than ask to me how was my day?  Expend 3 , 4 , 5 hours after work on it and focus in find each single girlfriend before we got marry.  It was impossible to believe.  No need to say that I went for divorce.  I always told him that was pretty weird we was so focus in keep "his virtual life working" while his marriage was failing apart.  I do not have a profile in any social network , and my feelings about a couple that is focus on those are deeply negative.  About my bad experience.  Off course my husband never accept he had a problem with it.

    Facebook addiction - - Jan 14th 2010

    I've been concerned about my husband. He seems to spend more and more time on facebook, constantly looking for new friends and spending time in different applications. There have been some days where the first thing he has done was turn on the computer (usually a weekend), but he often does it when he gets home from work too. I've recently found out that I was pregnant and I am sleepy alot. He claims he is on the computer because I'm sleeping anyways, but when I'm awake he's still on the computer. He stays up really late after being on the computer for 2 to 3 hours, if not longer. I don't know how to deal with it because when I do mention it he says "I'll just get rid of it". It's not that I don't want him to talk to friends or have it- it's that I feel like he'd rather spend his time with Facebook and not me. We've been married several years and do not have any children. I'm not sure what I did or if he's trying to avoid me. I feel like he's simply addicted. I don't think he's chatting with people inappropriately, but how would I know?

    Facebook addiction - - Jan 8th 2010

    Hi-my wife recently (last 3 months) made a new friend at work, got introduced to Facebook and now spends most of the time we used to spend together on it, mainly using the chat feature. So now, when I get home we have tea together, then I (not her) play with the kids, put them to bed, make their lunches for the next day, hoover, wash up etc until about 9.30, have a shower then sit alone until 10.30/11.00 whilst my wife's on Facebook in another room then go to bed. At weekends she spends 5+hours a day on it  so again I hardly see her once you add in shopping trips/visits to friends etc and dshe oesn't seem interested in doing anything with the family, let alone me.


    Have spoken to her about this and she admits she spends too much time on it and has now tsarted to stop using it at about 10.00, but I do feel she does this begrudgingly.

    I feel alone now in our marriage and tbh can't see a future for us after the kids have gone and have started to think about planning for a life alone in a few years if this carries on. She knows how I feel. I don't think it's Facebook to blame but it's an outlet for her to be with her friends as obviously she's bored with me/the family, although she denies this I can't see any other reason.

    Also she spend less time with the kidds and gets ratty with them when they ask her to play/do something.

    Am I the one being unreasonable here!

     

    social networking - Sue S - Jan 5th 2010

    I confess I currently spend far too much time on facebook and similar sites.  In the past this would have been an avoidance tactic.  I was an expert in that field!

    I feel now however that I do it mainly for enjoyment, and the amount I'm online has more to do with the fact I have lots of spare time.  In a similar way, for over a year I played for hours every day on my Nintendo DS.  I was avoiding having to think about anything, avoiding having to interact with the real world.  Without making a deliberate decision, I haven't picked up my DS for several weeks now.  I put this down to the fact that following an extremely helpful course of CBT, I now practise mindfulness meditation daily; I no longer feel the need to escape from reality.

    I am soon to start a new job, one which will build up to fulltime hours. I haven't worked fulltime since 1988! I am looking forward to it, and I'm sure that I won't miss all those extra hours online, just as I don't miss playing on my DS.

    I think social networking is definitely a mixed blessing.  For some it's a lifeline, for others it's entertainment.  But for yet others, it's an obsession that encourages isolation from the 'real world'.  (Not to mention the ease with which infidelity can be nurtured for those so tempted!)

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