Facebook: Friend or Foe
By: Christy Aloisio
December 6, 2010

Recently it seems as if Facebook comes up non-stop in my sessions. I have recently joked with clients that if I had a dollar for everytime I heard the word Facebook, I would be in the Caribbean somewhere sipping a fruity drink on the beach. I hear about it on a daily basis for the most part.I would love to say what I hear about Facebook is mostly positive, but it is definitely not. Most of what I hear is negative. Many affairs I see in my office start from people that spouses meet on Facebook. I am in no way trying to freak you out. In most of these situations, the spouse would have likely had an affair anyway, the marriage was set up for the affair to happen, but Facebook creates an easy outlet to meet and reconnect with people of the opposite sex. It starts as innocent reconnecting with a friend we have not seen since high school, we could not be more disconnected from our spouse, and the next thing you know lunch or dinner follows and the rest is history.

Another issue I have seen Facebook cause is spousal stalking. What is this you ask? If one spouse has abandonment issues, they may have constant jealousy of their spouse whether real or perceived. Facebook can be a dangerous entity for clients with abandonment issues. Imagine a client who is seperated from their spouse, but still has access to see their spouses Facebook status, whether it be through being friends with their spouse or sometimes they even remain friends with their spouses friends or family. They are set up to “Facebook stalk” their spouse. So, here is a woman that is suppose to be focusing on her own recovery, dealing with her abandonment, and focusing on her own issues. On nights when she gets lonely and her abandonment kicks in, instead of feeling her pain she quickly grabs her self medication (her computer) and before she knows it she has spent several hours cyber stalking her husband. Not only is this a huge waste of energy, she will probably take things she sees on updates the wrong way and before you know it she is in “crazy town.” I hear about “I cannot believe he is just able to go out with his friends and have a good time, while I am sitting at home crying and just a wreck.” Also, couples in the midst of a divorce can create the same results. It makes it harder to let go when you are able to constantly see what your soon to be ex-spouse is doing.

A third issue I see with clients regarding Facebook is airing dirty laundry. A wife may start posting personal information about her and her husbands relationship on the computer and the next thing you know her mother-in-law is posting drama postings in return. Her husband is not going to be happy about this so he “defriends” her, and then all hell breaks loose because now the wife is angry about being defriended. Posting issues on the computer has actually created more drama in the relationship then was already there, and may damage extended family relationships as well.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Facebooking with the rest of them. It is fun to catch up with old friends and to learn about what people are up to in their lives that you would never know any other way. But, for a couple in crisis, or a couple that is seperated, or especially a couple that is in emotional cutout, Facebook must be used carefully or not at all. I have had several clients that it just causes to much drama and have gotten rid of Facebook all togther. You have decide what is best for you and your spouse! Facebookers Beware!