Let me tell you a sad story of another marriage destroyed by Facebook. Of course, Facebook wasn’t the culprit, a selfish woman in mid-life crisis was, but it all started on Facebook all the same. A friend of mine got married young and her husband was younger still. They had been married 28 years when I met them five years ago……and she was crazy about Facebook and spent hours on it every day, playing games, chatting with friends, posting pictures of what she had made for dinner. The usual stuff. Her husband was a great guy, so supportive of her and very loving. They were one of those couples that seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company and seemed quite content.
Three years ago she told me that an old college beau had contacted her through Facebook and wanted to be “friends”. They had dated briefly and she had dumped him when he got too serious. All these years later he had looked her up on Facebook. They started chatting and she was curious about him so they agreed to meet. I remember well what she told me after they had met. HE WAS SO ATTRACTIVE. SHE WAS SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO HIM. SHE WAS MENTALLY ATTRACTED TO HIM. He was new and different. I warned her not to pursue a friendship with him. I had had much more dating experience than she had, since she had gotten married so young, and I knew. I KNEW how challenging it would be to keep a relationship platonic when sparks are flying. But of course she didn’t listen. Everything she told me about him screamed “player” and “loser”…..but he told her he had never forgotten her…and how romantic is that? I also knew that she didn’t put any effort into keeping romance alive in her marriage. She and her husband didn’t even exchange birthday or Christmas presents. I truly understand how flattering it would if someone came along from her past who still carried a torch for her.It was the stuff of romance novels, or the soap operas she loved to watch.
But isn’t your marriage worth fighting for? Her husband had nursed her through a long-term illness and had always been there for her. He’s one of those guys, those stalwart good men, who believe actions speak louder than words. She made him jump through hoops and each and every time he jumped. If she had been a good and loving wife, she would have stopped the friendship before it started. She would have valued her marriage enough not to take the risk, just for a little excitement.
I am sure you can guess what happened. She started feeling discontented with her husband. He was so boring. This new guy had lots to talk about and was so interesting. They had so much in common. It was an emotional affair first, and then a sexual one. She blamed her husband for creating an emotional distance that gave her room for this affair. Because in an affair, there needs to be a justification so you don’t feel like a horrible person for cheating on your partner.
Now they are separated and she has moved into an apartment, with a brand new king-size bed. You can imagine that the bed has raised a few eyebrows, since most of her friends don’t know about the affair, although some, like me, have had our suspicions. When asked why she is walking away from her marriage of 33 years her standard answer has been “my husband wasn’t willing to make the changes I needed, to make our marriage work.” That comment alone, is enough to turn my stomach.
What she can’t or isn’t willing to face is that she and she alone destroyed their marriage. She basically gave up on her marriage a couple of years ago when she entered into her affair with this Facebook guy from her past. And what really truly wrenches me, is that she was my friend when I was going through my agony with my ex when HE cheated on ME. She knows full well the pain cheating causes. She has seen it. And she turned around and did it to her husband a year later. It is something that isn’t setting well with me.
I saw her Sunday and asked her to be honest with me about what was going on. She told me. She doesn’t seem to feel the affair was wrong. She doesn’t seem to think her husband is hurt over the end of the marriage. She thinks her sons are dealing with their parent’s split just fine. She is living in this incredible bubble of denial.
The honorable thing to do? She should stop the lying. She should tell her husband and her sons the truth. The truth is that she has met someone that she would rather be with and that is why the marriage is over. She should stop blaming her husband. But she won’t do any of this. I know her very well and I know she will take the easy way out. She will never really face what a horrible thing she has done.
And that is why I think I can no longer be friends with her.