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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
Facebook Cheating
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Anon_181484 posted:
Im a 27 year old male who a week after my second anniversary with my wife found out that her and a guy from work were engaged in a facebook and text messaging flirting relationship. I discovered the facebook relationship by accident when I wanted to message a friend on her facebook (i dont have a fb) and discovered the messages. They were mostly about kissing and how they would begin the kissing but some of the threads were obviouly erased (assuming too graphic or what). I confronted the situation and she applogized but I feel destroyed inside. No matter what I do or say, i cant get past it. Ive expressed my feelings (which is difficult). I have a difficult time trusting people and she was the only person I trusted without a doubt. Now I dont know what to think or even do. We will talk one night and Ill feel better and the next day Im back to the same gut wrenching feelings. I havnt been able to eat or sleep well for a week now. I feel like less of a man, deflated, incapable and inadequite. I dont know how to get past this. I have no friend where we live cause we just moved far from all my friends and family and even if I were around them I dont think I could tell them. I feel alone and vulnerable. Can anyone give any advice or relate to me?what I should do or think or expect?.
thanks for your time
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stephs_3_kidz responded:
I'm sorry. It sounds like her actions really hurt you.

How do your conversations go? Is she genuinely remorseful? If she works with this guy, how can you be sure it didn't go beyond Facebook/texting?

Is she still texting/contacting him via FB? If so, that needs to stop ASAP.

I guess it all depends on how violated you feel. Myself--I consider that cheating and I'm not sure I could get past it. If you can't seem to move forward and you DO want to fix things with her, maybe you should seek marriage counseling, that way you would have a mediator. I sort of dislike the term "marriage counselor" but what I feel you might need is just someone with a neutral view of the situation who can help the two of you sort out your feelings, together at the same time.

Maybe you should not feel so embarrassed, and talk to your friends even if you have to call them. You have nothing to be ashamed of, and talking to an actual person might even help you relieve some of the emotions you're having trouble expressing right now. I know I would be terribly upset, I'm not faulting you for that. But assuming it didn't get physical and she doesn't have direct contact with him @ work or outside of work, do you have the desire to stay in your marriage?
 
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ryanisthemod replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
She has (as far as I know) stopped texting him and removed him from her facebook. I try to tell her my feelings but they are so jumbled and so many things come out that i feel that I didnt say anything. She was really upset with herself and I believe she was honest in that it didnt go farther that facebook, she did say he grabbed her but at work once and she smacked his hand away. Im going to ask her to delete her facebook account for now. I feel violated to the point that it could have been physical betrayal, I got to a point where I was really angy at her the other day for doing this. I want to move forward but i dont know how. cause when we talk it out I feel better but I decline back to how I felt before. This is something that I never thought I would have to deal with and at points it seems easier to shut down then to think anymore.
 
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stephs_3_kidz replied to ryanisthemod's response:
Don't shut down. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel, and tell her what is on your mind.

At this point, she's the one who cheated (imo) and she needs to be the one to do whatever it takes to make amends, and if that means deleting Facebook to give you peace of mind, then she needs to do it.

However--and it's been said here before--FB isn't necessarily the issue. While I feel that FB/texting/social networking in general have helped to facilitate the ease of cheating and hiding things, they are not to blame.

You need to find out why your wife did what she did and she needs to work on that. FB and the cellphone didn't do the cheating, she did!
 
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cjh1203 replied to ryanisthemod's response:
What she's done shouldn't make you feel that you are less of a man, inadequate, etc. This is a reflection on her, not you. She probably was flattered by the man's attention and let it carry her away.

I don't think that asking her to delete her FB account is a good idea -- it's overkill. If she still wanted to talk to him, there are other ways she can do it, and you would be making her cut off FB contact with her other friends and family, too -- not just him.

Given the circumstances, though, I don't think it's unreasonable to you to have access to her FB account for a while, with her knowledge. She should be willing to do whatever it takes to regain your trust.

She should also tell him that he is not to contact her any more outside of whatever is absolutely necessary at work, and he is not to touch her or flirt with her.

I think that, given time and no more inappropriate behavior on her part, you can probably get past this. If you can't, though, perhaps marriage counseling would be a good thing. Regaining trust in someone can be very difficult, and sometimes it helps to have a third person guide you.
 
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MissCaptainKirk responded:
I'm really sorry you feel so terrible, I know what it's like to feel that way. I don't have a whole lot of advice except that mayeb you should do some counseling together and find out why she was having this relationship with this man. Maybe it will help you both.
 
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ryanisthemod replied to cjh1203's response:
Its hard to not question myself but its difficult to understand my own feelings and thoughts. Im so afraid that i cant get over this, Ive had trust issues all my life and to have someone whom I trusted for more than 4 years give my trust away for a temporary guy destroys me and any confidence i have in my self.

She told me they dont talk to eachother at work anymore and he is concerned that Im going to do something to him. (which is nice that he fears me that much, but I wouldnt harm anyone)

We talk and I feel ok and then the next day i feel horrible, suspecious, jealous and angy. I want to stop this cycle but honest talking isnt working. I want it to work, I dont want to lose her. Does time heal all wounds?

I want there to be no facebook in her life for a while but I dont want to be a a douch. I dont want to have to check her facebook cause i dont like fb or I dont want to become that type of guy. I dont know what Im saying here or if it makes sense.

This is whats embarrassing. I didnt want to say anything cause its really personal about me but since Ive found out (a week and a half ago). I havnt been able to acheve an erection. Im still attracted to her but nothing. Ive never encountered this before. This is why I feel less of a man. Its embarrassing and confusing
 
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gd9900 responded:
I am so sorry for what you are going through...I understand how you feel as I've been through something similar. I still feel that sinking feeling after two years and it has been difficult regaining trust again...however in my case we are separated, and sorting out other issues as well.

For you time, and effort on her part as well as yours will lead you where you need to be. Expect nothing - expectations lead to disappointment - take it one step at a time. Allow yourself to process your feelings with this. Take whatever time you need and do everything you possibly can to find resolve with your trust issues. If you don't have resolve, it will be difficult to move forward in your marriage - and should separation/divorce result you'll still need to find resolve before even thinking of entering into a new relationship. Otherwise you'll continue to carry that baggage with you.

I can offer a few suggestions: first, find someone to talk to. An unbiased party such as a counsellor, and/or a trusted friend who will listen and offer support. The two of you may also consider some type of joint counselling to help work through this. Second, let her know you will be paying attention to her words/actions and pointing out any inconsistencies with her for discussion...if you choose to do this, do it without making any accusations when you approach her. Third, if she is willing to work with you to help restore your trust in her, it isn't unreasonable for you to request access to her phone and e-mail/fb account for your peace of mind. It won't be easy, things won't change overnight...communicate often but do so when each of you is in a clear, calm, frame of mind.

Please keep blogging here...the support and perspectives offered are invaluable.
 
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An_236273 replied to gd9900's response:
Keep the faith! And give yourself time. I had a similar thing happened to me around my 3rd anniversary. I found out that my husband was on a sex forum and sharing fantasies with other people. I was beyond crushed. I felt sick to my stomach and wondered if I could trust him to be faithful. He apologized, but really expected me to get over it much more quickly than I could. When I was still hurting a couple of weeks later, he got angry with me. So, we went to counseling. We saw the counselor once together and once separately. We were supposed to go again together, but we canceled the appt. We actually didn't like the counselor, but our sessions got us talking. Also, when he had to explain himself to the counselor, he really "got it" how much it must've hurt me. I could tell during the session that it clicked in his head when he had to speak it outloud to someone else.

He really, really loves me and didn't mean to hurt me. Sounds cliche, but he just wasn't thinking.

Now I think he is ashamed of himself that he actually did that and would never do it again. That was 4 years ago. I'm not sure I could get over a real, physical cheating, but I was able to get over this. At first, I did check the computer to see if he'd been on any sites, etc. He gave me his password to his email so I could check up on him (his idea). At first, I did, but then that felt yucky. I feel much better trusting him. We got through it.
 
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j5dc2 responded:
I have to say that as I am reading your post I feel your pain. I have been cheated on and I know how it feels. It was a very long time ago, but it still brings some uncomfortable feelings when I get reminded of. Of course, I left the person almost immediately after I found out and didn't have any desire to work things out because of was hurt bad and because of my pride.
I know you didn't say that she has blamed you, but just in case, one thing you should understand is that this it is not your fault, cheaters would try to turn the tables around and blame the other person. Also, you should understand that you are not less than who you are just because of someone's behavior. It's very important to understand that you cannot control someone else's behavior even your own children let alone a spouse. Loyalty is not about control it's about love for each other and mutual understanding.
I completely understand your issue with no trusting people it will take time for your to trust her again, if ever. This is one of the toughest things that can happen to someone.
 
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alaska_mommy replied to ryanisthemod's response:
OK, I was hoping some other guy would chime in about this but since they haven't, I'm going to say, that not being able to have an erection is probably a direct result of the break in trust. Of course I can't speak from experience, but it would seem that as time goes on and the hurt begins to heal, that things should return to normal on their own.
 
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ryanisthemod replied to alaska_mommy's response:
Each day I think ill be ok and can forgive her and that will last a couple of hours till i get some reminding of what she said to him via facebook. I hate dwelling on things but its so difficult to get over it. We have had a discussion almost every night but i end up getting frustrated and angry because her answers to questions that I need answered, like "why did you need him to talk to you like that" and things like that she answers "i dont know"

I want to forgive her but I hate that she has done this to me and gave away my trust for someone she says she has absolutely no attraction to.

If someone fully trust someone again after something like this, so will there always be a lack of trust?
 
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cjh1203 replied to ryanisthemod's response:
Since this is affecting you so much, marriage counseling may be a good idea. It can help you communicate better with each other about this, and might help you with the overall trust issues you have.
 
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alaska_mommy replied to ryanisthemod's response:
I wonder if she says "I don't know" in those circumstances because she feels so foolish about it and can't remember why it was so important at the time. Either that or she feels she's on the defense because you are obviously upset about it, and she doesn't want to add to your hurt by saying why she did it. It might take some time for the real answers to come out, that may involve some soul-searching on her part to understand it herself. Sometimes we do things on an emotional impulse without really thinking about the true motives behind our actions. I'm sure there is a reason though. I doubt there is "no attraction" whatsoever, but it may have been something that she never would have taken to real life, maybe it just stroked her ego to have some guy infatuated with her.
I think marriage/couples counseling would really help both of you to have some productive talks about this, and maybe you can find the answers you seek. Even if she doesn't want to go, I would definitely go for your own sake. In my experience, counseling is a great way to have someone be a listening ear while you get out all your frustrations and feelings. Sometimes just saying out loud what you feel can help begin to sort out why you feel that way. What you are afraid of, why you are angry, what you think might happen or what you think she might be thinking. Your counselor can sort of guide you through the sea of emotions and help you to see clearly in the midst of confusion.

I think you can get past this, but it may take time and really getting to the bottom of it. Right now it doesn't sound like the talks between you and your wife are very productive, that's why I suggest counseling. It can also be helpful to journal, I found that a lot of times the questions would answer themselves while I explored all the rational and totally irrational feelings I had. Just write out whatever you feel like, hatred, anger, sadness, emptiness, whatever it is. Keep writing until you've spent yourself, you might find it cathartic. And please get some counseling, find a good counselor that you are both comfortable with and keep going until you feel that you've gotten to the bottom of it. It does take some time to begin to feel a benefit from it, so don't stop if the first couple of sessions don't seem to get you anywhere.
Good luck.
 
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longduckdong46 replied to ryanisthemod's response:
I would feel exactly the same way as you, so your not alone with those negative feelings.
By finding what you did on FB, you put an end to the mischief that was going on before it transpired into something which may have resulted in a very bad situation.
I would give her the benefit of a doubt for now, but would be mindful of any changes she may display in her attitude towards you.


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