Here’s how to tell the difference between husbands cheating on Facebook versus having innocent friendships. If you think your husband may be cheating on Facebook, you might need an objective perspective.
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A reader asked me if she should worry about her husband’s female friends on Facebook. The answer is: it depends. Here’s what she said: “He lied to me about the first e-mail from this woman,” says my reader. “Then I was on his Facebook account, and she sent a friend request to him. She also sent a picture, and he said she was hot…when I asked him about it, he denied he said anything. Later, he did fess up, saying he knew what my reaction would be. He didn’t want to make me upset! He said he want to find out how she knows about him.” She asks if she should be worried about him having a relationship with this woman on Facebook, and how to stop cheating in a relationship. While there’s no way I can tell her if she should worry about her husband cheating because I don’t know either of them, I can share a few thoughts about the whole Facebook friends, husbands, and wives issue.
Signs Your Husband is Cheating on Facebook
Though Facebook doesn’t cause cheating, it is being used in more and more divorce petitions. “I had heard from my staff that there were a lot of people saying they had found out things about their partners on Facebook and I decided to see how prevalent it was,” says Divorce lawyer Mark Keenan, Managing Director of Divorce-Online said in Facebook Fueling Divorce, Research Says. “I was really surprised to see 20 per cent of all the petitions containing references to Facebook. The most common reason seemed to be people having inappropriate sexual chats with people they were not supposed to.”
Facebook can tempt husbands and wives to start or re-establish innocent friendships with friends of the opposite sex…which can lead to physical and emotional infidelity. But, just because Facebook can be the spawning ground for divorce, it doesn’t mean that your husband can’t be friends with females! I’m friends with lots of guys on Facebook, and my husband doesn’t worry about it. There’s a line between just being friends with someone of the opposite sex, and emotional cheating or an affair of the heart.
A few signs that indicate a husband may be hiding something…
He won’t give you his Facebook password
This is an obvious sign that a wife or girlfriend should worry! And, I don’t think it’s about “privacy” or “having his own space.” If he’s not doing anything wrong, then he doesn’t need his own private space on Facebook. Married couples should have full access to each other’s Facebook accounts, email accounts, and phones. But my reader does have access to her husband’s Facebook account, and has seen his messages to his female friend.
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He lies about his Facebook friends
“In one of the e-mails she sent she asked if he was interested, his response ‘maybe,’ says my reader. “In another one he said he will accept her as a Facebook friend ‘if she keeps it low key – others are watching.’ What really bothers me is that he told her she as hot but he is married with kids, then asks her where she wants this to go. She sent a couple pictures I didn’t see, which he sent to a hidden Facebook folder!”
You find mixed messages about your husband cheating on Facebook
There are mixed messages here about whether your husband is cheating on Facebook – which is why it’s so difficult to figure out if a husband is lying about cheating on his wife — especially if you don’t know either the husband or the wife! On one hand, he was honest about being married with kids. On the other, he’s hiding Facebook photos from his wife. What does a wife do with this? Ask him to give her access to all his Facebook messages and files.
He has many online accounts that he hides from you
Here’s how one wife found out that her husband was cheating online: “Our marriage was fine until he stayed late at night chatting!” says my mar on a thread called caught my boyfriend cheating on facebook. “I cannot remember how I learned that he had three MSN accounts with different names. I found out who his contacts were in each one of the accounts and then I could also realise that some of this contacts were also his Facebook ‘friends.’ When I asked, he said they were old friends he had and that they all knew he was in a relationship and I believed him. But one day we downloaded Window messenger Plus! and a record of his conversations was kept and I read them. It was a horrible day because I could see how ‘close’ friends they were and the vocabulary and topics they discussed. His said, ‘Don’t interfere with my friends and my chatting, I don’t like overjealous women’ and so on!” This woman’s husband had been cheating on her for awhile. But, the good news is that she’s now in a relationship with a new man, who treats her like gold!
The bottom line: you have to trust your gut, and be honest with your husband
I wish I could tell my reader if she should trust her husband with his Facebook friend…but I can’t. I don’t know if he’ll be tempted to cheat, or if he’s just innocently flirting with this friend (whom he may not even know!). If it were me, I’d tell my husband that his being friends with certain women makes me feel very uncomfortable. I’d tell him that I’d like to be able to access all his Facebook accounts – and of course he can access mine!
Here’s another perspective on friends, marriage, and Facebook:
“Facebook is a neutral tool that can be used for innocent or guilty purposes,” says J.M. Kearns, author of Better Love Next Time: How the Relationship that Didn’t Last Can Lead You to the One that Will. “If he’s talking to an ex through the public forums, he may just be keeping in touch.” But if he’s only using Facebook’s private forums, that could be a different story.
Kearns advises having a talk with your husband to set boundaries for his online behavior – and for yours. The stages of flirting can move so fast, sometimes cheating happens before a conscious decision is actually made – even in online venues such as Facebook.
What do you think – does your husband have female Facebook friends that he may be cheating with? If so, you may find 7 Signs Your Marriage is Over helpful.