Former Lovers and Facebook

Your spouse wants to Facebook 'friend' a former lover?!?

Posted Jul 31, 2010

What should I say?? 

Hell, no. Unless you'd like to have him/her over for dinner or a threesome. Then go for it. And if the former lover contacted your spouse, you can pretty much assume dinner isn't on their mind. Like Facebook, it starts with an 'F' and ends in a 'k'.
A buddy of mine was standing with his wife and told me that he'd seen his first girlfriend (lover) on Facebook and had thought about becoming her friend. His wife shrugged and said, "Sure, whatever." I looked at them both like they'd lost their minds and said, "I've heard the way you talk about that girl! Wasn't she the one, you said, whose orgasms had orgasms? I don't think it's a good idea even if your wife does." These former lovers didn't exactly exchange Christmas cards. In fact, they hadn't spoken a word since college and each of them had previously felt that was just about the right amount of contact. Too much hurt and too much heat.
Maybe your ex-lover is well-integrated into your life and he and his wife are the godparents of your kids. Fine. You're amazing and so is your husband. Or maybe she and your wife have so much in common they run marathons together. Fine. But then again you probably don't need Facebook to stay connected. And that's not the situation I'm talking about.

We've all met past lovers at school reunions or run into them by accident. No harm, no foul. In a world of strangers, a sweet poignancy occurs when you bump into a former intimate. I wouldn't deny you that. But Facebook is an active search. Somebody searched for somebody. Flattering.
It's the perpetual school reunion. Ex-lovers, like old school chums, are familiar. We've known their histories, their families, their friends and their world. That's why there are the ubiquitous jokes about getting laid at your reunion. It just feels comfortable and excitingly new all at once. We know what to expect from people we knew when. Long ago, we saw them with pimples, watched them get out of our beds, and heard them sigh contentedly. Not to mention, time helps blur our ex's memory when it comes to our flaws. We expect and often get tea and sympathy if we complain about our current situations.
Maybe I'm just not fully evolved, you may be thinking. Actually, I believe men and women can be friends but it takes some tough talking and clear boundaries.
But what's a little social contact with someone who you screwed about 17 years ago? Tantalizing, I say. To be able to see that he is online at the exact same moment you are - just a click away? Or knowing that, essentially, there will be no record of contact when you instant message her? Tempting.
Very wisely, Nancy Kalish, fellow blogger on Psychology Today says, "Facebook is not the cause of marriages breaking apart. Facebook does not book hotel rooms. " And indeed Facebook is not the problem. Neither are school reunions. Affairs begin with the heart's discontent. But good sense would dictate not to step in front of an oncoming train either.

Link for more help from Laurie Watson with Marriage Counseling  in Raleigh, Cary, Greensboro and Chapel Hill, NC. Laurie’s book Wanting Sex Again is available on Amazon!