Your Call: Facebooking the One That Got Away

woman_laptop_facebook0003photo by mangpages

Dear Em & Lo,

When I was 18 I walked away from the first love in my life. He has been the man that I based all other relationships on. Recently, thanks to Facebook, we have reunited as friends. We email and text and met for lunch once. We are both married with children. I haven’t told my husband about him, though I’m sure he suspects something. How do I tell my husband about this friendship that I don’t want to share with him? I don’t want to sneak around, which I am doing now. All of the unresolved issues I had with my ex (yes I was young then, how could they matter) are finally being worked out. I still love him and that won’t go away. I love my husband, but have no idea how to express my needs in this area. Is there, will there be more than friendship with this man? I don’t believe there will be. Is it better to get through this time and never explain to my spouse what is going on?

— “Poked”

What do you think “Poked” should do? Let her know in the comments below:


  1. Thank you for the article, Lady.

    But, of course, we are taking the word of…….Divorce Lawyers. Not the most honorable or honest of professions, most of the time. I think they SAY whatever gets themselves and their clients the most money (clients who were “cheated on” tend to come out better, financially and otherwise in a lot of divorces, especially if it’s the woman who cheated. So if a petitioner’s lawyer can claim “Your Honor, my client’s wife was cheating or thinking of cheating with this gentleman on Facebook.” he could get the kids,(if he really wanted them) the house AND not have to pay a penny in maintenance. And lawyers often “Win” their clients case with the most ludicrous excuses. They don’t have to be actually scientifically proven ones, either. There has always been a double standard in “winning” divorces when it comes to WHO is claiming what.

    Remember the lawyer who got some guy off on a murder charge, because the lawyer claimed that eating “too many Twinkies” had caused temporary insanity in his client who then went berserk and killed someone? No science there, just lawyer-ize.

    We should probably get our stats from people other than those who tend to profit from them. 🙂

    As for “Poked” this is how she phrased her plea for “advice” “Is it better to get through this time and never explain to my spouse what is going on?” Meaning, “This is what I want to do. It’s right, right?” I am beginning to believe that everywhere, as in medicine, people who come asking for “advice” usually only want to hear “advice” which backs what they were going to do anyway, and told it is OK.

    Yeah, fine. Don’t tell him…..

    I personally think “unresolved issues” with exes should stay exactly where they are, in the past, (which is WHY they are Exes) Poked is gonna do whatever it was she WAS gonna do. Or the request would have been phrased MUCH differently. She wants an “It’s OK.”

    I think BOTH Sophie and Johnny (among others) gave good advice, though. However someone (Dex?) told her to tell her husband in an E Mail? (or was that just to herself?)

    Honey, NO! Not in an email. Not even as “evidence.” People only need actual evidence, or “something to show” their spouses “they didn’t mean it” once the Divorce Lawyers have been called, from what I have seen….

  2. December 2009 – Facebook fuelling divorce, research claims.

    The social networking site, which connects old friends and allows users to make new ones online, is being blamed for an increasing number of marital breakdowns.

    Divorce lawyers claim the explosion in the popularity of websites such as Facebook and Bebo is tempting to people to cheat on their partners.

    Suspicious spouses have also used the websites to find evidence of flirting and even affairs which have led to divorce.

    One law firm, which specializes in divorce, claimed almost one in five petitions they processed cited Facebook.

    The root of the problem should come as no surprise: Too many spouses are using the social network for flirting — or more.

    “The most common reason seemed to be people having inappropriate sexual chats with people they were not supposed to,” Mark Keenan, Divorce-Online’s managing director, is quoted as saying.


  3. Okay, I will be brutally honest here. What you are doing is not fair to your husband. You obviously still have feelings of some sort for your first love, which is normal for all of us. There will always be times where you think of him, but it doesn’t make it okay to have these feelings and then add him on facebook and have lunches with him. This is asking for trouble in a lot of ways. Trust me… there is no adding exes on facebook with me or my fiancee. It is my rule because it just opens the door for anything to happen. Exes are exes for a reason, and there must be something great about your husband considering you did marry him. You have already gone behind his back, which is very hard for someone to forgive. The trust he had with you is going to be destroyed once you tell him because he will wonder why you had to see him behind his back. This is tricky, because you know what you are doing is wrong, or you wouldn’t be on here asking for advice. My advice is to not tell your husband anything, but end all contact with your ex and tell your ex that you can’t continue speaking to him or seeing him because you don’t want to risk your marriage. This would be the wisest thing to do. If you don’t want to do this, then you are going to have a lot of drama in your life and do a lot of harm to your husband’s feelings. Please, be careful about this. A lot of times, women think that they need to go back to the past, but it is never the answer. The past is the past for a reason.

  4. Thinking more about your question reminded me of my own Facebook “reach into the past” fiasco. A guy for whom I’ve still carried a torch came up in my potential Facebook friends list. When I opened his profile, I found out he got married. Ouch! But what I realized (and what may be true for you) is that if I were happy with my life since him, I wouldn’t regret my my life without him.

  5. I think the best thing for you to do is to stay away from this guy,because from all indications i can see what you want is more than friendship and you may run into a big problem,so kindly stay clear this guy.
    Your family is worth leaving other things for especially when its going your way.

  6. I think the fact that you said that you don’t want to share this friendship with him says it all. No “friend” is someone you can’t tell your husband about. It’s more than a friendship, and I think you know that as well.

    You will both end up getting hurt. And I am sure his wife will also be getting hurt. You need to end the friendship – like now. There is nothing you need to tell your husband about, because at this point, you’ve not really done anything. But stop it before you do.

  7. I agree with the previous posts; the relationship/issues you should be working out are with your husband. But if you are really working on something that will improve your relationship with your husband AND you are honestly and absolutely sure that there is no longer any attraction to your ex, then address the following: “How do I tell my husband about this friendship that I don’t want to share with him?… I love my husband, but have no idea how to express my needs in this area.”

    Write a very thoughtful email to your husband – get it all out in writing, clearly and explicitly. Then, if that does not clarify things well enough for you to talk with your husband or for you to hand write him a letter to start the discussion:
    1. you should think twice about what’s really going on and
    2. you should email that letter to yourself so you will have something to show him to have some kind of start at explaining the situation when he finds out — “I’m sure he suspects something.”

  8. Oh I forgot to add they lived together when they were dating and they were teenagers at the time.

    He has never cheated on me and I don’t believe he would but it still hurt.

  9. I recently went through something similar with my husband of 11 yrs. Only it was he who contacted his ex. They both were going through problems at home and his problem caused them to live together for 2 yrs.

    He never told me they spoke. I just happened to notice the calls on his phone bill and saw it was a number I hadn’t seen. I saw in my computer where he had been searching for her and I asked him about it and he blew up. In fact, when I asked him about the number, he lied to me about ever speaking to her. So, I called the number and reached her voicemail. I was hurt, furious, and destroyed all in one. He had even begun cutting my calls off short and not answering them. When I would checked the records I saw he was using alot of minutes to talk to her. Of course I confronted him and told him I knew about the calls. He then admitted it but said they just wanted to catch up. I said well you’ve caught up now move on. He said he wanted me to accept her as his new friend.

    I end by telling you to please cut it loose now. If you value your marriage don’t allow space for anything to destroy it. It’s going to cause a lifetime of pain.

  10. Just my two cents, but I don’t believe, with all due respect, that it is a friendship at all. You’re asking if there could be more with this man, because you’re hoping for more. That’s not friendship. That’s “let’s-call-it-friendship-until-we-can-get-our-clothes-off”.

    You based your past relationships on the one you had with this man, why not trying something new and basing you marriage on you? You probably learned a lot about what you expect in a relationship and what you fear, have you discused this with your husband? Your past love is not the man you should be trying to resolves issues with, your husband is.

    I think that believing your old flame holds all the answers and that, perhaps, you should go back with him, is just a way not to completely invest in you current relationship. You’re chasing the mirage of what could have been, what could be, instead of trying to build something real.

    No one deserve to be betrayed, and your husband deserves the truth. But before telling him, you should ask yourself why you relinked contact with your ex. Maybe it’s time to call it quit for good, to accept that the past is the past, and there is no way we could have all the answers to all our questions. Sometimes, we just need to accept what happened, even if we can’t understand, and move on.

  11. You haven’t done anything wrong – yet.

    Don’t tell your husband, but just knock it off with this guy. You caught up, had a little lunch… time to re-relegate the dude to the past.

  12. I’m not a traditionalist – I believe you’re still pining for this guy for a reason, not necessarily because he’s the one and you should bag it all and ride off in the sunset with him. If there’s a way to figure out what the fantasy of this old relationship means to you, and how it represents what’s missing in your current relationship or life, you should explore it.

    But do be careful that you don’t jump the gun and do something you’ll regret. Dig in and figure out what’s wrong.

  13. Just ask the usual question, “If my spouse was doing this, how would I feel?” Then ask, since your spouse is a different person from you, “How would he feel if he found out, and I haven’t told him?”
    If betrayal is anywhere in the answers, it’s probably a bad idea.

    Also, trust takes so much time to build, and yet it can be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Is this guy really worth the risk of losing such a necessary, precious, and fragile thing as trust?

    Personally, I would stay away from Pandora’s box. This guy is an added complication, and relationships are complicated enough.

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