twitter facebook stumble upon rss

When An Ex Finds You on Facebook

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

When you get the friend request from an old flame, should you accept it? Not so fast, warns Shannon Fox.

Woman Using a Laptop on a Bed

Genevieve, 37, was online the other day when she got a friend request from her college boyfriend on Facebook. Through her profile, he found out where she worked and soon called her at the office to catch up.

This married father of three proceeded to tell Genevieve how much he had thought of her over the years and how she was the love of his life. The whole time he was making his creepy confession, Genevieve could hear his 10-month-old baby cooing on his lap.

"I was very uncomfortable with him calling and saying this stuff, considering I am married and so is he," she says. "I brushed him off the phone, but am worried what to say next time he calls."

In the age of Facebook, more and more of these types of situations are coming up, and there's no etiquette guide or rulebook for stuff like this. We asked marriage and family therapist Shannon Fox for some advice.

Momlogic: If an ex gets in touch with you online, should you tell your spouse?

Shannon Fox: Definitely. There's no question about it. Even if it would make him suspicious or jealous or upset, you need to have an open door policy. Because emotional affairs and physical affairs are all secret, being up front about this proves you've got nothing to hide.

ML: Is it okay/appropriate for exes to be back in touch once they have kids?

SF: This is definitely something that must be considered a case-by-case basis. If you're both okay with it, it's probably fine. But I have clients who swear it's perfectly harmless, but they keep if from their husbands. Chatting on Facebook is kind of like meeting someone for coffee. Is it okay with your spouse for you to meet an ex for coffee? Probably not.

ML: What if you are okay with being in touch with an ex, but your husband is really jealous about it? What should you do?

SF: I am a big proponent of letting your spouse know that they come first. If he is creeped out by you corresponding with someone who's seen you naked, I'd say it's your responsibility as a loving wife not to do it. But if he is just a super jealous person who's really controlling, that's another issue altogether.

ML: If you are uncomfortable with someone contacting you (like Genevieve was), what should you do/say to make the person stop calling or emailing?

SF: You need to draw the boundary fast. Deny the friend request. Don't accept his calls. Send him an email that says, "My husband and I have a policy that we don't keep in touch with our exes. I am happy you are doing well, and wish you the best in the rest of your life."

Do you keep in touch with your exes via Facebook?


next: Even with Braces, Halloween Can Be Sweet
9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 29, 2008, 1:27 PM

this is so timely, my husband and I had this discussion last week re: my high school boyfriend. I think since we were kids at the time, its harmless. I feel the same way about his teen relationship. However, he still seemed a little jealous (“didnt he like cheat on you? He doesn’t sound so nice.”) So its hard to gauge. I think being 100% upfront and open is the key as you said above. If it bothers your spouse, respect it and move on.

Gigohead  January 16, 2009, 1:15 PM

I also think it’s a bad idea. I did this and now I regret it. I can’t post pictures of my current beau so he doesn’t see them. He knows I’m dating someone now. I have decided to politely drop him from the list.

Anonymous March 22, 2009, 11:38 AM

I had the same thing happen and I told this person that I was HAPPILY married, period! They got the hint and backed off. If they hadn’t I would have dropped them off of my list.

Anon April 14, 2009, 1:58 PM

I recently had an ex track me down after his mom found me on Facebook. He is married. I am married. He got my email address from my facebook account and started emailing me all about his marriage issues. I told my husband everything and showed him the emails, thinking that if the ex just needed a sounding board (after the recent death of his best friend) then I wouldn’t mind listening. Eventually the ex told me how his wife was going out of town for a week and wanted to know if I’d like to get together for lunch. My husband emailed him back on my behalf and graciously denied the request.

anon April 27, 2009, 2:04 AM

I don’t think you should ever contact an ex on facebook unless you want them back. It has just happened to me. He found me and thought friendship would be ok. It isnt’. I would have him back but he’s married and now I’ve been rejected all over again for the same person. She also sent me a message and it sent me crazy. So many emotions have been brought up its completely brought me unhinged. The only way I could let go of him was to have a fight which of course i regret. I wish he’d never contacted me. It opened old wounds unnecessarily. Men are so stupid sometimes.

Janettee May 19, 2009, 9:48 AM

I’m still in contact with many of my exes. I have them as facebook/myspace friends, and occasionally even go to their houses or they come to mine to hang out. (WITH OUR SPOUSES PRESENT!) I should note that most of my exes went to the same schools, had the same friends, etc, in high school, so we all knew each other, anyhow, and we all get along.

Anon E. Mouse December 19, 2009, 6:46 PM

Well, it’s a really bad idea to contact an ex on facebook or myspace or any type of social networking site, because you don’t know how they might have changed, and if you (or they or both of you) are married, you have to think about spousal reactions. Another thing to consider is that ex’s are ex’s FOR A REASON! Many people tend to forget the reasons that they stopped dating a certain person until the same situation slaps them in the face later (because they were talking with or, worse yet, dating an ex).

Anon E. Mouse December 19, 2009, 7:07 PM

Well, it’s a really bad idea to contact an ex on facebook or myspace or any type of social networking site, because you don’t know how they might have changed, and if you (or they or both of you) are married, you have to think about spousal reactions. Another thing to consider is that ex’s are ex’s FOR A REASON! Many people tend to forget the reasons that they stopped dating a certain person until the same situation slaps them in the face later (because they were talking with or, worse yet, dating an ex).

D December 31, 2009, 4:21 AM

Help! I have a similiar problem with an ex girlfriend of my husbands. She has posted pictures of the two of them together on her facebook (from prom and a intimate picture of them kissing). My husband has asked her to remove the pictures. Last night, I was on my husbands facebook and she had sent him a my heart request. I am livid!! Should I continue to let my husband “handle” the situation or should I email her an tell her off?


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement