"All I really want to do, is baby be friends with you"
July 2, 2012 7:29 AM   Subscribe

My wife unfriended me on Facebook - what's the appropriate/healthy response?

Without warning, my wife unfriended me on Facebook. She said it was because I "never" react to posts she occasionally makes to my wall and because I "hardly ever" post pictures of our kids. (Usually my internal reactions to her posts to my wall are publicly innappropriate/ off-color humor or very
personal - so i usually don't respond. Also, I take/ send pictures of our kids to her, which she posts as her own.)

We have been married about 20 years - the past few have been rough, but we have more or less gotten through it. I feel like I've made/ make big efforts to re-connect/ connect. But I see the un-friending as a big "dismissal" / shit-test/ immature/ somewhat humiliating. Also, I am absolutely involved with our family so the idea that i'm not, because of my facebook patterns, is a joke.

I told her in a straight/unperturbed way that it hurt my feelings, and wasn't sure what she was trying to accomplish. She thought it was kind of funny and that "it's just facebook" - which is TRUE, --but also, -NOT TRUE. She is on it a lot and it is an extension of our individual & combined social lives to be sure. The conversation ended there and I didn't breathe more life into the matter later on (bring it back up).

She is used to seeing family pics from her mom-friends. I am extremely confident she is not trying to hide anything. (she leaves her page up on our home computer all the time) and now, to post pictures of our kids would seem to be pandering.

so..... what is the appropriate/healthy response?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (46 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
what is the appropriate/healthy response?

This is a downright petty thing to do, and suggests that the two of you have way, way more things going on than Facebook spats. The appropriate thing to do is to seek counseling, because there's no way anything on Facebook is the actual cause of anything here.
posted by valkyryn at 7:32 AM on July 2, 2012 [39 favorites]


If she did it just because she thought it was funny, she would have friended you again. This is a sign of a much bigger problem, which won't be solved just by being facebook friends again.
posted by markblasco at 7:34 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's hurting her that you don't value her way of communicating through FB, so she took steps to end this niggle.
Take her at her word that it is ONLY FB. Please.

She may find it awkward if friends husbands behave differently so instead of explaining, "OH never comments cos...., " it's a lot easier to say "OH isn't on FB"

also BTW your dismissiveness shows even in this ASk so rather than let it show further, drop it.
posted by Wilder at 7:34 AM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


"It's just Facebook" is one of the biggest lies people tell themselves and those around them. Facebook, especially the way it sounds like the two of you use it, is a legitimate social circle, and represents a daily relationship with multiple people. Speaking as someone whose 20-year marriage came precariously close to a dangerous place thanks to Facebook, I strongly suggest some couples counseling. You say the "past few have been rough," and her actions here suggest that she's still got some anger that hasn't been dealt with yet.
posted by jbickers at 7:35 AM on July 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


She said it was because I "never" react to posts she occasionally makes to my wall

Note that just because I wouldn't get upset about this or you wouldn't get upset about this doesn't mean it isn't a totally reasonable thing for your wife to be pissed about. Facebook is a public social venue, populated by all of your wife's social friends, and you are continually ignoring her in a way other people can see.

Her method of expressing the words "I would like you to respond to me on Facebook; I feel hurt and embarrassed when you don't" sucks but if that's what is actually going on here, that seems reasonable to me.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:39 AM on July 2, 2012 [30 favorites]


Your feelings were hurt, yet you never responded to any of her actions on FB? Did she see you responding to others' actions on FB? If so, I don't blame her for blocking you.
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:39 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I personally think it is petty. I use FB much more than my husband, and it doesn't bother me. However, if she had brought this up in the past, and you dismissed it, and use FB regularly, I don't see what the big deal it is to like or comment on a post. My husband I recently lived apart for several months (a drawn out relocation, not due to marriage problems), and I really enjoyed when my husband commented/liked my posts and he made an effort to do it more. Now that we are reunited, it doesn't bother me as we interact in person.
posted by hrj at 7:40 AM on July 2, 2012


Yeah, it's not good. She is either trying to hurt you or exclude you...or really who knows what. But like everyone else said, this is bigger than facebook. (Generally people don't notice/care if the other partner isn't a big poster. I've never heard anyone say 'oh I can't believe Donna's husband Jim doesn't click 'like' on their family pics!!')
posted by bquarters at 7:40 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not just Facebook. It's her locking a door. It's her blocking your phone calls. It's petty and it's small, it's humiliating and it's unfair.

I mean, you live with her, you don't have to talk to her on Facebook. But people have different ways of interacting with each other there, so there's her expectation on how you should act vs. how you did act.

I think it's appropriate for you to seek counseling.
posted by inturnaround at 7:42 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Last year a few members of my family signed up, and because I don't go on there often, they thought I was rude for not responding to comments or posting on walls. It was the push that made me think it was time to deactivate my account. Some people put more stock in Facebook than others, and run their social lives or chat to their friends on there. I didn't want to do that, so the easiest way was not to be on there.

What's her attitude to it? Does she regularly argue with friends there rather than e-mail, or worries about things she reads? Does she talk about Facebook things with you a lot?
posted by mippy at 7:43 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


She is either trying to hurt you or exclude you...

...also possibly publicly humiliate, which is, well, huge. My view has always been that lack of respect is a real death knell for a relationship, and this is very disrespectful, making what should be your private family problems public drama.

"She thought it was kind of funny" is disingenuous; if it was that trivial, she wouldn't have unfriended you.

+1 "counseling."
posted by kmennie at 7:43 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Call a meeting with her. Take her to dinner to discuss the marriage.

Then when you are there, let her know, in a calm way, while keeping respectful eye contact, that you were very hurt by what she did to you.

The fact that you do not use facebook in the same way she does isn't reason for her to unfriend you. By her own admission, she wants to unfriend you because you aren't interacting with her the way she wants on facebook. Tell her that you use facebook sparingly and for reasons other than she does, but that a move to unfriend you is painful and you would like to be on her friend list.

Then its time for counseling.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:44 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


so..... what is the appropriate/healthy response?

Ask for what you want or need. So ask her to refriend you and then make an effort to respond to some of her posts. Ask her if it's alright if you respond to her privately if your first thoughts are private or inappropriate. Or go with your second or third thought, which are more appropriate to public spousal communication.

In short, express that you were hurt by this, ask for a resolution that makes you both happy and both of you compromise, where she doesn't expect as much Facebook communication from you and you give more than you're used to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:46 AM on July 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


so..... what is the appropriate/healthy response?

Couples counseling.

There's something a lot bigger going on here than whether or not you're friends on Facebook. Being Facebook friends with someone doesn't actually require energy or upkeep; if you're not getting out of it what you're putting into it then an appropriate response is to just stop posting on the person's wall or whatever.

This was a gesture. Combined with the conversation that followed, it's pretty clear game-playing. Trying to get through to a solid resolution to this one incident is going to be useless until you can get to the root of what caused it, and for that, you're gonna want couples counseling.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:46 AM on July 2, 2012


Everyone uses FB differently, some post every time they clip their toenails, others just give occasional updates. She's annoyed that you don't use FB in the EXACT same way she does; if I wanted everyone to share on FB exactly the way I do/wanted, I wouldn't 'have any friends left. She's trying to control you in this area for some reason, which, like everyone else is saying, is a symptom of other issues.
posted by Melismata at 7:51 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Honestly, your story just sounds bizarre to me. I read through the comments (so far) and some people seem to be making sense of it as a needs-counseling situation, and a couple others seem to be making sense of it as a you-screwed-up situation, but it just sounds bizarre to me and I can't make heads or tails of it. You say (1) that you are "absolutely involved" as a husband and a father, (2) that you've had some difficulties together but survived them as a couple, (3) that she definitely isn't hiding anything, and (4) that she at least claims not to take Facebook all that seriously anyway. Okay, so I accept all that and then I look back at the question stem and...she unfriended you? Her husband? It's just weird.

If other people's comments feel right to you, then you should take their advice. You're the man on the ground. But my advice is that in your shoes, I'd be scratching my head and puzzled and I would ask her to clarify what the heck she was thinking and trying to accomplish, because it doesn't sound like you really got an answer to that.

The only comment that almost made sense to me was suggesting that maybe she was embarrassed by your lack of participation and wanted to be able to tell friends, "My husband doesn't comment on my stuff because he isn't on Facebook." But even that doesn't really click, since presumably those friends (1) already saw you on Facebook, and (2) would still be able to see that you're on there. If having a nonresponsive Facebook husband looks embarrassing, I would think it would be more embarrassing to not be Facebook friends with your own husband.

I know a lot of people who remain Facebook friends with their exes and people they dislike. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone I've known who wasn't Facebook friends with someone they date, let alone a spouse. Facebook is not a big deal and it is "just Facebook," but still. It seems really odd and nothing in your question jumps out at me as explanation for it. I'd bring it up again, and ask her what's up.
posted by cribcage at 7:59 AM on July 2, 2012 [19 favorites]


So, everything else in your marriage is smooth sailing? Nope, it's not. I'm guessing there are other communication issues. You guys have been together for 20 years for a good reason. Don't you want the next 20 to feel good? I think counseling is a must.

I also think you should talk about this Facebook issue and get to the root of it. You might ask: "When I don't respond to your posts, how do you feel?" You might tell her: "Sometimes when you post personal things I feel like I'm responding to a roomful of people when I'd rather just respond to you."

This seems like an area where you two are shutting down. She feels hurt that she is doing the internet equivalent of telling you a funny story in your living room and you don't respond at all. She enjoys seeing the way other people share their lives and also wants to see how you share your life with the two of you. She's looking for a reflection of herself in you. But, it's not there.

I do like seeing pics that my husband posts to Facebook on stuff we do together or of our kid. It shows me a little of his perspective. And if I posted something funny to his wall, I'd be sad if he said nothing about it. But Facebook opens up this whole other public can of worms that many people are legitimately uncomfortable with. Get to the root of the communication issue first and then tackle the social media one.
posted by amanda at 8:03 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


The poster does not actually say he doesn't use facebook AS MUCH as she does; just that he doesn't post pictures of their kids and doesn't comment much on his wife's posts on his wall because his responses are "inappropriate."

If you are posting with reasonable frequency to other people, and NOT to your wife, I can see how she might be upset by that, especially if it's normal in your circles of friends to be schmoopy on Facebook. If your marriage has been rocky the past couple of years and she needs some public reassurance, and that's how everyone else you know does public reassurance, and you refuse, that could be a big deal. (Personally I am against public Facebook schmoopiness, but to each their own.) I can also see how it'd be upsetting if you use facebook to post, "COOL PARTY BRO" all the time to your single/divorced drinking buddies and never post about your family.

Even if none of those are the situation, you need to have a talk about it and about Facebook boundaries and expectations. People have different expectations for how to use it, and when family is crossing your boundaries on Facebook, it can be very awkward. You need to talk to her and find out WHY your method of participation is so upsetting to her that she'd rather unfriend you than deal with it.

"and now, to post pictures of our kids would seem to be pandering."

This is a red flag for me; doing something harmless to make your spouse happy isn't "pandering." The fact that you are okay with having family pictures posted, but you think that posting them yourself after your wife has asked you to do so is "pandering" is really kind-of alarming.

The mature thing here is to have a conversation and find out what is going on and establish some guidelines and boundaries going forward -- on preview, what amanda just said. Something you're doing or not doing is hurting her feelings so much that she'd rather unfriend you than deal with it. You need to find out what that is, and work out a mutually-agreeable solution. That isn't pandering. That's problem-solving.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:04 AM on July 2, 2012 [32 favorites]


I think the block was emblematic of a much bigger set of problems between you two, and you need to sit down and talk about it, preferably with a therapist.

Usually my internal reactions to her posts to my wall are publicly innappropriate/ off-color humor or very personal - so i usually don't respond.

I have some friends who make these kinds of comments on my posts & photos, and I hate it. We all have our internal reactions, but most of us know how to gauge where we are making these comments (just like in real life). Some friends will share your low-brow humor and enjoy it, while if you post it on other friends' walls, it will stop the conversation dead in its tracks. It is important to gauge your audience, even if it is virtual. Read the room.

But that doesn't mean that you don't post if you can't post your base internal reaction. You still post something, especially if your wife has made it clear that she wants you to react. Not posting an off-color joke is not being untrue to yourself, or something. Make the effort to say something supportive, press Like, and move on to other places where your off-color jokes will be appreciated.

However, even if you did go ahead and post those off-color comments, that wouldn't necessarily be a reason to unfriend you, even if you were just an acquaintance of mine. Your wife unfriended you, and that's a big weird issue. Sit down and have a serious discussion about what's up with you. Find a therapist. It's beyond time you did this.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:08 AM on July 2, 2012


Wow, I had a whole thing written but Eyebrows McGee nailed it.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 8:10 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


She said it was because I "never" react to posts she occasionally makes to my wall and because I "hardly ever" post pictures of our kids.

She gave you two reasons, you agree they are truthful and whether you think they are valid is not the point.

But I see the un-friending as... somewhat humiliating.

So you can relate that she sees you ignoring her in a public space on a continual baisis as humiliating - as in something she thinks you are doing on purpose to hurt her and embarrass her in front of her/your friends. If your first reaction to her posts is not something they you want to publicly post then go with your second reaction.

to post pictures of our kids would seem to be pandering.

When you partner tells you something about your behavior is upsetting them you changing your actions to no longer hurt them is not "pandering". On the flip side, her actions hurt you and you let her know, if she friends you again is she just "pandering" to you too?

TL;DR, there are weird power/control issues and communication misteps in your marriage that a third party would help you unravel.
posted by saucysault at 8:10 AM on July 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


I think this argument is just a placeholder for a much bigger argument that you aren't ready to have yet. Surely it's not that important to her that you drop little one-liners on Facebook so her friends can see? Surely the things you say to her face to face are much, much more important?

On the other hand, let's say it is that important to her. It's all about making sure she's giving off the right messages to her friends, positioning herself as a person with a with-it husband, and never mind what's really happening at home. It's a performance piece. In that case, what does this signify to her audience? Are you Facebook-divorced now or what?

I would tell her that either her need for an audience and a specific image among "friends" is getting in the way of your marriage, or that you two need to move past this one pettiness and go ahead and talk about the real problem.
posted by Houstonian at 8:16 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Unfriending you is visible and symbolic and kind of a big deal. If we take your wife's comments at face value, it's a bad way of dealing with a problem. If it bothered her that you "never" comment on her photos or whatever, the better way of dealing with that would be for her to ask you "hey, how come you never comment on my photos?"

She didn't do that. Which implies broken lines of communication, as others have already suggested. I don't know whether you need to see a counselor or not, but you clearly need to work on repairing communications somehow.
posted by adamrice at 8:22 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the appropriate response is to talk to your wife. There's clearly a communcation problem here. She's passive-aggressive; you're dismissive. Maybe your efforts to re-connect aren't working for her. Maybe you feel like she's not giving you any credit for trying. All signs point toward "problem is bigger than Facebook."
posted by sm1tten at 8:27 AM on July 2, 2012


" The fact that you are okay with having family pictures posted, but you think that posting them yourself after your wife has asked you to do so is "pandering" is really kind-of alarming.

There is nothing in the post to indicate she asked him to post family photos. In fact, there seemed to be system in place where he emailed them to her and she posted them and no expressed dismay with that. The wife simply used that lack of him posting many photos of their kids as one of several reason to unfriend him on Facebook. Then he saw that as ' a big "dismissal" / shit-test/ immature/ somewhat humiliating'.

OP, both you and your wife not only aren't communicating, but you're deciding in your individual minds what the other is doing or thinking.

Y'all need to learn how to communicate better and listen to each other.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:27 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Facebook is far too big a part of your lives and your marriage. My best advice is for both of you to delete your facebook accounts, but it doesn't sound like she's going to be willing to do that. Failing that, I suggest that you delete your account and take a look at the state of communication in your marriage. It will be easier for the two of you to hash out your issues when it's just the two of you, not the two of you and Mark Zuckerberg.
posted by Ragged Richard at 8:48 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I would be enormously hurt if my partner unfriended me on Facebook.

That said, I also understand how differences in Facebook communication styles can also hurt. When I first got together with my fiance, I was hurt because he had marked himself as being "in a relationship", but hadn't tagged me in it. I thought it might have been deliberate, that he might not have been as excited and happy and proud about our relationship as I had thought he was. I talked to him about it, and it was just a clueless thing - so he fixed it.

I understand where you may not want to respond to your wife's stuff on Facebook - and you don't want to completely alter your own style for her. Maybe a good compromise would be that when she posts something on your wall, you could respond with something that shows you're interacting with her in person about this stuff. "In an hour, I'm going to show/tell you what I think about THAT!" Or maybe even just "I love you." That is always appropriate.

If your wife is hurt about you not commenting on her facebook a lot, and not posting pictures of your kids, I think it's possible (judging by AskMes that have popped up from the other side on the green) that she may be worried you are presenting yourself as more unattached than you are - and maybe presenting as available.

You definitely both need to talk about what's going on behind the scenes.
posted by corb at 8:50 AM on July 2, 2012


It would really suck to be married to a guy who isn't enthusiastic about his wife and kids, because a lot of guys are publicly enthusiastic about them. Not schmoopey, but happy, proud, grateful for the choices they've made.

It sounds like your wife is lonely and would rather pretend that you aren't on Facebook then be embarrassed by how disinterested you are in being a family man.

This is my guess.
posted by discopolo at 8:59 AM on July 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


This defriending is a move in a game that is larger and more complex than either of you are aware. Finding a countermove isn't your problem. This game needs to be dismantled by both of you and, I agree with those above me who thing you two won't be able to do it alone. Hence: couples therapy.
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:00 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


My husband gets annoyed when I don't see his latest Facebook post, podcast, or blogpost. He is hurt that I don't make more effort to check his page specifically (I use Facebook etc way less than he does). For him, Facebook is where he does a lot of his social interaction and creative work (links to podcasts) so I can understand this.

I'm off to change the settings so I see his stuff at the top of my newsfeed after reading this.
posted by wingless_angel at 9:04 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Disable your account. When asked why, say, "If my wife isn't my friend on Facebook, it doesn't reflect my life. If I'm not participating in Facebook in a way that reflects the truth, that I love you and that our family brings me more joy than I could have ever dreamed, then I don't want to be part of that lie. So Facebook just isn't for me."

Like they say, DTFBA. There are other ways to stay in contact with the people who are actually important to you. And talk more with your wife about things that matter to you both.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:09 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


It sounds like from your description, if you don't respond to her and she does all the posting of the pictures, like your behavior strange, like you don't want to be associated with her/your family.

I have not been married as long as you (less than 2 years) but one thing both my husband and I try to do is not get stuck on being right. I know he lets me win more often than I should and I try to do the same for him. If you ARE pandering so what? Is it that hard to hit like and to to say something nice on your wife's post instead of the first inappropriate thing that crosses through your mind? Really?
posted by heatherly at 9:11 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


This has nothing to do with Facebook and its silly social conventions. This is very aggressive, bizarre behavior from a spouse, and all this without communicating beforehand the reasons that she was upset so that they could address it.

Counseling asap.
posted by moammargaret at 9:12 AM on July 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


That is some crazy passive aggressive behavior. I would be upset too.
So, all her friends got the notification that she un-friended you.
It is like she sent out spam telling everyone that you have marital problems.

For me, personally, just talking about it, a half-hearted sorry - not good enough.
For me, it is serious re-evaluation time.
posted by Flood at 9:34 AM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


My husband and I interact with Facebook in very different ways -- in fact, we both have different standards of how much of our lives we are comfortable exposing to Facebook and the internet in general. He often "likes" my photos, but rarely comments on them, and he never posts anything to my wall. He has much more extensive interactions with other people than he does with me; he's even asked me not to post things about certain aspects of his and our lives.

In our case, this is because he prefers to keep our personal life personal -- if there's no reason to broadcast it to the world, he would rather not. He interacts with people on FB if/when he can't interact with them in real life; there's no reason for him to wish me a happy anniversary on FB, for example, because we had dinner together instead. Most of his Facebook postings are politics or activism, because that's a big part of what he does in the world. But stuff about our personal life? not so much. I scrolled back through his timeline, and the only personal thing he has posted in the last two years (apart from occasional kid photos) was when our son was born.

It's OK to deal with FB in different ways. However, it's important for people to be on the same page with that. Talk to her about it, and if she won't talk about it, consider therapy, either together or individually. On the one hand it's just facebook, but it's an important part of the way y'all communicate and present yourselves to the world. It sounds like there are miscommunications and misunderstandings about how that works, and it's important to get them straightened out.
posted by KathrynT at 9:34 AM on July 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


So, all her friends got the notification that she un-friended you.

Is this something new? I don't even know when I have been unfriended. If it is a change in relationship status, yes, that can be publicly displayed if chosen. It isn't clear if that is what happened.
posted by saucysault at 9:39 AM on July 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


A friend of mine was recently divorced from her husband after several years of behavior similar to what you have described. His reason for cutting her off of Facebook was that he didn't want her to know he was communicating regularly with another woman. He didn't know that: 1) she knew his Facebook password and was able to see everything he was posting publicly and communicating privately (he didn't know how to change his password), and 2) she was able to access his account through mutual friends. Not to mention the fact that their friends were contacting her and saying "What in the heck is going on with him???" He was deep into an affair with her. Just sayin'.
posted by summerstorm at 9:44 AM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


It sounds like your wife is lonely and would rather pretend that you aren't on Facebook then be embarrassed by how disinterested you are in being a family man.

This is the read I got on it too. It really may be one of those things where, once it's out of her sight, it won't bother her NEARLY as much -- so I disagree with a lot of the people here claiming it's a big deal or symptomatic of other problems.
posted by hermitosis at 10:25 AM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Have you asked her to refriend you? Is that what you want?

Clearly there are other issues, but simply asking for what you want is a good way to start.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:28 AM on July 2, 2012


Defriending your spouse on Facebook can be the modern equivalent of getting another postbox or a second phone - it allows someone to divide up their life into compartments.

Look - the Facebook thing is a distraction. It's not the real reason she's angry with you and it's possible the reason she's given you for cutting you out is not the real one.

You may be well behind the curve on where her thinking and actions are. The healthy response is a non-confrontational but frank conversation between you both where you discuss whether you are happy with the way you communicate with one another and what you need to do better.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:37 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


If it's "just Facebook", why does it bother her so much that you don't respond to her posts? That sounds like trying to have it both ways. And to shrug off your hurt feelings borders on contempt, which is pretty toxic to any relationship.

Nthing counseling, because there's something you both need to fix, and rational talking about it hasn't seemed to work. But whatever you both decide you want your facebook interactions to look like, that's only one part of the problem. The symptom is her defriending you. What's the cause? That's what counseling could be useful for.
posted by Angharad at 10:46 AM on July 2, 2012


[Name calling not okay here. Find another ay to express yourself please.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:14 AM on July 2, 2012


I suggest ignoring this unless you want to encourage it, and then making an effort to pay more attention to her publicly apart from facebook.

If she's the type to like flowers at work, do that--something small and modest with a heartfelt note about how proud she makes you.

Tell your friends how awesome she is and tell her you bragged about her.

If she's not working outside the home she gets all her self-esteem from home and family, which aren't valued in our society. It means you have to work extra hard to make her feel admired and acknowledged to the outside world. Think gifts she can wear, trips/outings she can brag about, acknowledgments of her skills and hobbies outside of the domestic sphere.

Good luck!
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:39 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


what is the appropriate/healthy response?

I'd ask her if she's feeling neglected, apologize, and say you'd really like to be her facebook friend again. Explain you are a more private person and think she's doing a great job of posting family photos and updates to your social circle. Complement her on her efforts. It may feel like this is a chore you have left in her lap. Then do some stuff in private to pay attention to her, and make an effort to put more "family guy" you out on facebook. Like her posts, etc.

The more you perpetuate the power struggle, the worse this is going to get. You might be "right" that lots of facebook activity isn't the sort of person you are, but your family life is likely to be a lot happier if you stop defending your rightness and take care of the neglect your wife is voicing (even though it is not being voiced in a constructive way). Then get some counselling so you communicate better.

Happy or right? Your choice.
posted by griselda at 12:19 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree with obscure reference: this is a weird move in a game I'd be a lot more interested in dismantling than trying to play.
posted by ead at 6:33 PM on July 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I gotta say the comments saying "get councelling asap" or "read into this way more than necessary" just shows how much free time MeFi respondents have to waste on a computer and read in between lines where no message exists. Its probably just Facebook, as your wife says. I unfriended my Mom on Facebook, she got worked up over it, I just said I wasn't comfortable being attached to her on that website but I still totally loved her and see her as my mother. I deleted my Facebook account once, and my girlfriend threw a hissy-fit because it made our relationship "appear" less valid to her friends (since now her profile shows just "In a Relationship", not In a Relationship with Me.)

Facebook is not real life. If you're going to couples councelling over Facebook, please just delete your account and try living your life in the real world.

I'm 25 and disgusted with how serious people take that stupid website. I see real life friends become real life enemies over thoughtless internet comments, when in the real world no conflict exists. I've seen women dump their boyfriends over made up suspicions of infidelity fueled purely by that website.

So you can choose to either look into this deeply and go to counseling and figure out what message your wife is trying to send you, or you can delete your Facebook account (making this a moot point) and live your life, and see if your wife is actually trying to communicate something to you in the real world.
posted by el_yucateco at 7:38 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


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