Proper Facebook Etiquette

#751 Feeling USED: Husbands a cheat on Facebook

Sunday 19th July, 2009

I used my husbands password to see what he was doing on Facebook and found he was chatting to a girl aged 18 (he is 35) and another one of 19. There are lots of dirty messages and one has sent topless photos to him. I’m so mad. What is he doing? Seriously think of dumping the cheating b***

(this dilemma was originally posted by ‘Anon’ in a reply to a previous post)

There are times when the heady world of ubiquitous communication can unravel around us. To say that this is the fault of Facebook, mobile phones, email etc. is to disbelieve that individuals can and should take responsibility for their own actions.

Before we get to the ‘cheating b*****’ dimensions (and I do sympathise). Your motivation for logging into your husbands Facebook account must have been a reaction to other issues. In short, you did not suddenly take it upon yourself to ‘snoop’ in this way without some other prior ‘evidence’, or gut feeling. So Facebook aside, suspicians were already raised to ‘high’. There are times when the dilemmas that arise here seem to come with not only a call for ‘help’ and ‘advice’, but as a way of (hoping) to foresee how things will pan out in the future.

Unfortunately I am not blessed with a crystal ball, but if things are at the snooping and suspicious stage already there is a HUGE black hole at the centre of your relationship. If you are currently at a loss for ‘what to do’ becuase this has all come as a shock to you, I would recommend some social distancing from the b***** – whether in the form of a physical break from each other, or dealing head on with the situation via a ‘we need to talk’ scenario. Whatever route you choose the ‘we need to talk’ is an inevitable and vital path to you both moving forward.

So far there is a gigantic gulf that stands between both of you communicating with one another. ironic when you consider that your husband seems quite capable of holding coherent (albeit sleazy) contact with others on Facebook. If you are undecided as to whether you should ‘dump’ and move on, or try and work things out, then I am afraid that I cannot offer any improved clarity.

I think from what you mention in your dilemma that your anger is more focused on the ‘what the hell is up to?!’ perspective, rather than surprise, or even a sense of betrayal at your treatment – although these are both dimensions of the same set of emotional responses.

One perspective is that your husband is doing nothing (too) wrong. Yes, he is messaging across Facebook and exchanging images in a Jordan-esque expose’. In my book, whether physical or emotional, this kind of exchange is unacceptable in a relationship and belongs to the world of school playground look and grab lust. If these are his actions on Facebook, this does not bode well for his level of committment to you and and your relationship.

Be careful when you bring this matter up with b***** that he does not rely on such justifications, ‘it’s only on Facebook, it’s not like i’m sleeping with them’ convenience. Sometimes the very fact that you are already seeking out ways to explain your husbands actions – such as hacking into his Facebook – show that this relationship has been over for some considerable period already. And this is answer enough.

So far you’re only ‘seriouly thinking of dumping…’ Why not go the whole hog? He already has. A simple change to his relationship status may just be the jolt in the emotional respositary side of his brain to 1. gain some respect for yourself and 2. make him wake up to take responsibility for his actions. (I suspect point 1. holds more liklihood, than point 2.)

In sum, your husbands actions on Facebook reflect his emotional (and increasingly physical) unavailability to you. The kind of tactics deployed when man was beast and would thumb a mammouth over the head and drag back to his cave. He is making himself deliberately unavailable for committment and to your relationship. Something, for both of you, is unfulfilled here. He is incapable of making a choice to be with you and his recklessness/carelessness displayed via Facebook may be his way of forcing you to deal with this aspect of your relationship.

Ask yourself, did you have to hunt around for his password, or was this left out in the open for you to ‘discover’ and therefore use? A classic way of avoiding responsibility or acknowledgement of a problem. Talk about infantile. But there is a positive frame here, the power is with you. It is up to you whether you decide to stay with Mr b*****, or to leave. The worst thing you can do is delay any kind of action and leave things brimming beneath the surface. The longer you delay action, the more drained you will feel as your choices and ability to rationally think fall away by the day.

It was not an acceptable action to hack into your husbands account, this aside, more unacceptable is what you have since encountered and what you are going through now. Nobody deserves this kind of betrayal, and b***** needs to know that he has meet his match. Whether you can reason to stay with him or not, is not important at this stage. What you need to concentrate on and ask youself is whether you even want a relationship with this kind of closed and immature individual.

The easiest solution is to call his bluff. Just leave. It is clear by his actions that is what he wants. His actions are not those of a man in a state of love, nor are they conducive to either of your future happiness. Start acting now. You have, both, already made mistakes, but yours is a brighter path and will be the future making of you.

10 Responses to “#751 Feeling USED: Husbands a cheat on Facebook”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I just wasn't sure about the 'you go girl' stuff. He's not acting well, but actually, it may not be an unusual response to relationship problems. Clearly an issue they both should have dealt with or faced up to long ago.

  2. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @Anon July 23rd, as you observe this case is tit for tat – excuse potential sexist pun.

    The he said Vs she said scenario is all too common with a sequence of claims that culminate with 'they're a cheat'! As I suggest, the potential relationship is already off the moment one party felt compelled to hack into a part of the others life.

    Lack of real commuication and sharing thats the real relationship threat, not Facebook hacking.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Have to say I think this takes a rather black and white view. A lot of analysis takes place based on conjecture alone – there is nothing known apart from 'b******'s habits, and immature or not, there could be a whole host of reasons for this. Instead of parading off down the 'we hate men' route, it's just as possible that the man is seeking gratification in ways that never used to be required – perhaps his wife is emotionally or physically unavailabe. Perhaps he has some insecurities that have never been addressed. Infidelity, thinking about it etc, is a known response to insecurity or relationship problems. Perhaps he is unhappy. Of course this does not excuse his actions, but maybe he just lacks the skills or knowledge to deal with it. It's all too easy to attack him, but there is almost certainly more to this than what has been said alone. Feminism without objectivity does a disservice unto itself – it is about equality for women, not slating men at any given opportunity. Seeking to understand others is key, perhaps this woman needs to confront her husband with a clear head, not with an agenda. Naturally what he is doing constitutes 'being unfaithful', at least mentally – but plenty of worthwhile relationships go through real problems, and even in cases of genuine infidelity, it is a naive view to suggest that this invalidates anything they ever were, are or could be. Clearly – very unhealthy, and unfortunate, but if both parties want it, things can sometimes be patched up, apologised for, forgiven, never transgressed again. If this guy is acting in schoolboy way, perhaps he has not been enabled to act otherwise – have a read about transactional analysis. Maybe both parties are still acting like children in their emotions and handling of the relationship. Certainly, this woman should have dealt with her husband previously, long before actually going on to his facebook – this within itself speaks of her own issues.

    I ask you to reconsider this case with more objectivity – as it is, you've said, several times, that you can't tell her what to do, etc, but then – several times – tell her what a useless rat he is and dar her to split up with him!!

  4. Anonymous says:


    Internet + SNSs + men = wanderlust


  5. Anonymous says:

    Thing to do is to check a new guy out through his links and networks. Kin can be great and I've avoided a more than one guy from what his relatives have said in one case and simply by digging into his past in another.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not on. Men are not to be trusted on SNSs but if that is how you met – well why be surprised that he goes back for more?

  7. Bitter says:

    Men are bast**** Happened to me. Next time I'll cybercastrate before nay serious relationship is entered into.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The wife should obey and follow her husband – remember the wedding ceremony. She should not look at what he does not want her too.
    When she does she may not understand what she sees.

  9. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @ mattrowe,

    'new avenues' have certainly opened up. This, however, does not mean such outlets are to blame. Its how 'we' use such openings tha are fundamental to our relationships – both make ups and break ups.

  10. matthewroweshow says:

    I agree with what you have written. It sounds like there is no trust in the relationship if she is going to be checking up on him by checking his facebook profile.

    This is the strange thing about the internet and the ability to contact people easily. It opens avenues for people to do things they really shouldn't…

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