My Wife Is NOT My Friend (On Facebook)

BY: - 21 Oct '09 | Best of BMWK

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by Eric Payne

On Facebook, my wife is NOT my friend. I un-friended her about two months ago. Not only did I not tell her what I did, but once she discovered we were no longer connected, I ignored her request to become my friend once more. Like her, I sure many of you are SMH, or rather shaking your heads, thinking, How trifling is he? My wife’s chief complaint was that she was my wife, how dare I not be her friend. Her being my wife is the very reason why I cut our virtual ties.

As the Internet landscape continues to be overrun with social networking platforms, Facebook, in this writer’s opinion, is unique in that it allows unrestricted access to your life. This can all be managed by adjusting your security settings and not going overboard with the comments, photos or anything else you choose to post, but for those people who are your friends, there are no areas of your virtual profile that are off limits.

I primarily use Facebook to promote my writing.But when I first signed up for the site I used it to communicate with people I currently interact with in my life as an alternative to making phone calls. Then somehow people from college found me, then high school, then grade school. Then I got caught up with SuperPoke, YoutTube videos and everything else that makes it one of the largest distractions in existence. My wife joined the network about six months after I did and at first it was cute. We’d trade sweet nothings, verbal love taps and harmless snaps (something we’re known for) in our statuses.All of this occurred under the same roof and sometimes at the same time — she on the desktop computer in our dining room and me on my laptop.

READ PT II:  My Wife IS NOT My Friend (On Facebook) ““ 3 Years Later

It quickly stopped being cute for me once people, a.k.a. “friends,” started adding their two cents via the comments. It let me know that my Internet pillow-talk with the wife wasn’t pillow talk at all. It was broadcast news coming straight out of our home. Making matters worse, my wife hacked into my account more than once to change my statuses to proclamations such as, “I’m going to be nicer to my wife,” or “I definitely need to start recognizing what a great woman I have.” Practical jokes, of course, which might have been funny had they only been between she and I and not people I once sat across from in second grade.

If these incidents weren’t enough, we actually had some very strong disagreements over the tone of each other’s statuses on days when we weren’t getting along. Things really got ugly when I questioned the motivation behind certain comments from men I didn’t know on her photos or on her. As a man and a husband I believed I was within my rights to be protective of my wife. As a man, my wife thought I was being overprotective and making mountains out of molehills over friends from grade school and high school.

If you’re not yet tired from reading this, this writer was definitely tired from living it. Finally, it came to me late one night that there is too much out there pulling at the hearts and minds of married couples, mine included, to allow to the unexpected nuances of Facebook interactions to be added to the pile. Right then and there, I knew what I had to do. I went to my wife’s profile and clicked, “Remove From Friends” without hesitation. My wife initially thought I was punishing her when in fact I was protecting us, in this instance, from me. Now my wife and I exist as friends in the world that truly matters: The real one.

READ PT II:  My Wife IS NOT My Friend (On Facebook) ““ 3 Years Later

Do you “Facebook” with the one you love? If so, has social networking affected your relationship positively or negatively?

Eric Payne lives with his wife and two children and tackles married life and fatherhood as it happens to him at MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He also writing can also be found at NYMetropolista.com and MochaManual.com. His short fiction has appeared in Spindle Magazine and DiddleDog Magazine.

About the author

Eric Payne wrote 83 articles on this blog.

Named a Top 50 Dad Blogger in 2011 by Cision Media & awarded Top 50 Dad Blog in 2011 and 2012 by Babble.com, Eric writes about fatherhood, marriage and everything in between on his blog MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He speaks around the country about social media and blogging. He is the author of "DAD: As Easy As A, B, C!" and is a regular on CNN's Headline News station and the Jennifer Keitt show on KISS 104.1 FM Atlanta.

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235 WordPress comments on “My Wife Is NOT My Friend (On Facebook)

  1. Hurt Wife

    I encouraged my husband to join facebook to connect to family members. He did that but he also connected to a woman from his past. He left his facebook page up by accident and I saw he had made plans to see this woman in person. It destroyed what I thought was the happiest marriage on earth and destroyed my trust in him forever. He also said he had never cheated on me, never flirted with other women, When he finally confessed what had gone on many years before with this woman, I was so hurt  and almost suicidal. He was so sorry and did everything to get “us” back to the way we were before. That will not happen Our marriage has survived but it will never be the same, I believed in him and trusted him. Don’t use Facebook for hooking up and connecting with old flames. It is too easy to be seen by your spouse. Don’t hurt the one you love for a worthless connection.

    Reply
    1. Deeply Hurt

      I feel the same way about facebook and all these sites. On my husband facebook page he comments on photos about other women. I notice that my husband sends sweet messages to women that he would not send to me. At one time I found my husband going on different sites meeting women and chatting and texting them to the mid-morning. They basically talked about sex all the things he would do to them and what they in return would do to him. My husband got to a point where he started sending naked pictures of him self and the women were doing the same. Once I found out he claim he would never do it again but he is right back at it. I always believe when you do dirty to people it will come back to you. Since he doesn’t value our marriage or family I will let God handle him the way he see fit.

      Reply
  2. MiMi

    My husband and i aren’t friends b/c of photo comments & such. I use my facebook for promotions. I own an event planning business in which I need to interact with a bunch of people. FB is good for networking. My husband and i chose not to be friends to avoid drama.

    Reply
  3. NA

    The same thing happened with me and my spouse. It got to the point where he demanded i delete certain people because of comments made or we also would try to send what we were feeling through a status update when we were arguing. Women even till this day disrespect our relationship by posting things on his wall knowing that i may see it. Unfortunately he has chosen not to delete this person or put her in her place and it continues to cause problems even though we are not friends any longer. I make it a poit to still find ways to see his wall etc. Or i get upset because i post all the photos of us up because i am proud of us as a couple and he doesn’t. Facebook has caused many people to continue to loose what’s most important in relationships.

    Reply
  4. Kiakia21

    My hubby told me he didn’t want FB to ruin our marriage and i let the situatuion go now! Him and I are not friends but he knows my pw if he wants to get into mine, but I don’t know his, but i hacked into his one day and found he was cyber sexting… so i guess thats what he ment!!!

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I agree with Eric Payne’s decision unfriend his wife.   Once I read the article, I understood.   Communication between man and wife should be in person and not over   a social network unless both have rules of engagement with others and how to engage.

    Reply
  6. ME

    My fiance is my “friend” and we have each others passwords. People say what they say and we don’t let it bother us at all. It just doesn’t matter what or how others feel/say about us or to us.. outsiders shouldn’t rule how you feel toward your loved one, even if you are mad at them.

    Reply
  7. T

    Its like raising kids…depends on how you started out at the beginning.

    I will say, that FAR more married men are out there flirting up a storm behind their wives back, most of their friends list is women whom they comment to and flirt up a storm with.

    And a married BM, unless he makes it perfectly clear and doesn’t flirt or comment on all the sexy photos, has no biz with a gigantic list of female friends.  

    That said if I was married, where I am in my life, and what I understand about dynamics, I would share my password with my spouse but we would not be friends.  Everyone would know I was married and I wouldn’t flirt. But I am fully grown, not a kid

    Too many unhappily married folks use FB as a plaything, like a jr. high school lunch time dance -remember those? Fun but nothing serious…till a thirsty single mother takes your ‘likes’ and ‘nice dress’ comments as a courtship ritual!!

    Reply
  8. nene

    Whew! This was a big pill to swallow. Before we got married, I was on FB. After our first month someone inboxed me about how she’d been w/my hubby the night before our wedding. A few months after that, someone wrote on my wall all kinds of mess telling me and the world that she and hubby were in a seven year relationship along w/some very personal business of mine that to this day I’m not sure how she found out (I have my suspicions but nothing has been confirmed). I thought my security settings were in place but they weren’t as tight as I thought. A few months later hubbyjoins FB and asks fir help navigating, i assisted. He never put up a picture, and more importantly never would confirm who he was married to. I accepted that because on my page, I had pics of us and our wedding, tagged him in a few photos, ect. Then i discovered that I was a restricted “friend”. I couldnt see anything but his friends list. Then as we go through our “getting ti know you as a spouse” phase and not very gracefully, he confronts me with, “Why did I have to find that out in FB! You didnt show me those pics.” I didnt have an answer or I did but it wasnt going to be nice…because of the whole phase thing. I FB more than he does and have decided to pull way back from FB for myself and my marriage and my other friendships (I get ticked when people over 30 use it as a main source of communication…pick up the phone or send me a real invitation). I’m unfriending my hubby today!

    Reply
  9. Joyce Brewer

    I’m grateful my husband isn’t on FB. We don’t have to worry about these issues. He’s super private and doesn’t want people to know where he is or what he’s doing.
    Eric, I applaud you for finding what works for you and your wife.

    Reply
  10. Afoster15

    I know am not married yet. But this is sooo true!!! Even wit bf&gf this happens.. me and my bf are friends on fb and at 1st it was great.. then other friends of his woman start havin something to say.. of course it piss me off.. then here comes the ?s.. why would she say bout me… so i defriend him.. and explain to him why… he got some straightt on fb. But wat dose that matter when ppl can say wat they want… so we still not frfriends on fb but we still together..fb can mess up some happy homes!!! If u let it.. but trust it not worth it… i even found my sister i never knew bout..

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Am I crazy, or am I reading correctly that friends of your boyfriend’s woman made comments about the 2 of you? And you go in to say Facebook can mess up a happy home. I will only say, LOL, and SMDH!

      Reply
  11. Krys Talley

    After years of trying to successfully do the “friends on facebook” thing, my husband finally decided to delete his account altogether. Now, after reading this article I understand why. There were too many times we have had disagreements or flat out arguments over certain things or people who input their two cents just to be noticed or to cause confusion. So, even though it may seem a little harsh at first, I can definitely understand and agree with the motivation to not connect as friends virtually…but in the real world that’s another story. :-)

    Reply
  12. Abowens357

    mine isn’t friends, because she refuses to let go of an ex and feels the need to tell him every single thing about our marriage. we’ve been married 15 yrs and she has constantly had this guy in her back pocket during that time. there’s more, but i’ll leave it at that

    Reply
  13. spenseravery

    My Wife and I ARE friends on FB. I post a lot. Mostly family fun and some marital comments between my Wife and I. She has felt the need to UN-Friend me (once) so far. We talked about why and moved on. If you share on FB or anywhere else for that matter TOO Much? It will always come back to hurt your relationship. Who wants to really know ‘THAT’ couple that IS happier than You are? Nobody. I promote the Nubian family in most of my post and #marriedLIFE in many others. Not every post is a winner, but then again. They are what I choose to share. Comments are welcome. The good and the bad. Now about those inbox messages…lol

    Reply
  14. Kim

    I have been married for over 19 years to my best friend. I can honestly say my husband and I have never had an issue with being Facebook friends. We share most of the same friends and he knows that I keep in touch with a couple of old boyfriends that are now only friends. We have ground rules about our facebook use. We don’t talk about our private lives over facebook and don’t make comments about each other in a negative way. Regarding inappropriate comments, if I feel someone has said something inappropraite, I will delete them myself. I’m very aware of what my husband will find appropriate or not. I simply let the person know I’m deleting them and move on. No facebook friend is worth any strife in my marriage.

    I believe the key to all this social media is to be mindful of what you put online and set guidelines for yourself and others. It’s not rocket science. It’s basic common sense. Everything within moderation!

    Reply
    1. Melissa

      I am with you Kim, I been married (going 15th years) and we never had a problem. We don’t bring our issue to social site for NOBODY. We are not kids so I am not going to punish him for something that is said or done in real life and posted for the world to see. We actually have a few number of people that we are mutual friends with and it does not bother me if he has females as friend most of them I know and he tells me. My hubby always has his page because he doesn’t like to sign out of anything…lol… I believe if there was a problem it was there before FB, the parties involve just us FB as there blog to express to much. If you have to un-friend your spouse on an open free social site, then you have some serious trust issue to begin with, that need to be work out.

      Reply
    2. Mashell R.

      this is the most awesome comment and means to address this situation. I am currently rethinking my own due to this. Thank you Ms. Kim! ;-)

      Reply
    3. becky

      yes, I appreciate your comments. I believe respectful moderation is the key as well. My facebook issue is that my boyfriend has un-friended me and his states i am childish because it upsets me. I believe that if you are not doing and saying anything inappropriate it would not matter if we are friends or not…and that he just proves my point. It is common sense, every one is connected at some point…6 degrees of separation, i say. Thanks again for the perspective from a married women.

      Reply
  15. Charlene

    I have a facebook account and use it to stay in contact with people. Some times I will post funny pic, stories or even news. I noticed that every time I would post something my finance would say you are on Facebook I much. What? If you are not in the room when i post how would you know. He subscribes my page page!!! This is not funny or cute. I don’t need to know every time he post something. For that matter i dont care. I rarely even go to his page. For me it’s just for fun. People take this waaaaay to serious.

    Reply
  16. Foxylady72399

    I understand your reasoning but I don’t agree with how you did it. Why didn’t you talk with her first before unfriending her? Your wife having to find out 2 months later (that she was unfriended) and then ignoring her request to be a friend again was not the best way of resolving the issue you had with being her friend on fb. It would have been better to let her know why you want to unfriend her and then both of you have the chance to discuss the issue before you decided to unfriend her. Just my opinion. :)

    Reply
  17. Cleopatra

    I wont question the motivation, but the method was wrong. Why not have a discussion with your wife explaining your intentions? Just deleting and subsequently ignoring requests makes it seem sneaky and definitely is inconsiderate of her feelings.

    Reply
  18. Kendra

    I can definitely relate, but my issue was not as extreme. I’m still dating my boyfriend (2 1/2 years) and for the first year we put everything out there on Facebook. What started as a puppy love thing for our friends to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at became an ugly thing. We would use it to send hidden ugly messages to each other when we were mad, have comments/messages sent to us that was disrespectful to each other, etc. We haven’t unfriended each other, but limit a lot of what we put out there. We’re so busy as college students we don’t have time to use it! I applaud you, writer, for making the right decision and I hope this article opens other people’s eyes!

    Reply
    1. Eric Payne Post author

      3 years and 207 comments later and still married with a kid nearly in college… This article is such a phenomenon. It may just be one of the best I’ve ever written. I read something today on Facebook (no less) that stated “Don’t judge me by my past. I’m not there anymore.” No matter what all the comments directed at me suggest or indicate, which ultimately don’t matter, as the article was not titled “Tell me what you think about what I did and why I did it?”; and let’s also keep in mind, Facebook came into being in 2004; marriage, I believe has been around a lot longer than that and shouldn’t be insulted by having Facebook relations tethered to it as some sort of litmus test of its viability. All of that aside this article and the amount of comments it still generates to this day indicates that the impact of social media, Facebook specifically, on relationships, for better or worse, is real. I’m thankful to have been able to spark such a huge discussion. And Kendra I don’t know if there is a right or wrong decision, but getting upset with my wife over things that were happening on Facebook when she was right there in front of me to talk and engage just didn’t make any sense to me. Besides, there’s Twitter and Instagram and several other things we are on together. At the time Facebook was getting in the way so I got it out of the way. Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom of the article so you would know this wasn’t a piece about trust.

      Reply
      1. Johnita Campbell

        This is a great article as I have recently gone through something very similar. My fiance and I were friends on facebook. We have a lot of mutual friends because we have known each other for many years and went to high school together. At first it was cute…that soon changed. We have had many a heated discussion about comments and perceived intentions. I noticed that I would friend someone and a few days later, he would friend them. After a while I began to ask him “how do you know so and so?” His response was often I’m just networking. Also, he would get genuinely upset when I did not give him public props for something he had done for me or in our relationship. Needless to say, this behavior got old very quickly and I deleted him as a friend. He was pissed at first but soon realized it was for the best. Talk about unnecessary drama…It is totally not worth it!

        Reply
  19. Letrell manchand

    Who cares its Facebook. People need to grow up. And if your so insecure and worried about posts and comments then you have bigger problems in your marriage or relationship than Facebook. Also just because we are married doesn’t mean we have to do and share EVERYTHING. My husbands friend on real life. I don’t need to post on his wall to say I love u or send a pic. That’s what smart phones are for!!!

    Reply
    1. Mashell R.

      Ouch! you just got me here too! My bf says the same thing…why post on the wall or page…just a means to let other “vultures” know he’s taken. Kinda like pissing on the ground to mark your territory. I like this ….marinating!

      Reply
  20. Kelly Wagner

    You are a wise man and I applaud your decision. I have been married for 7 months; my husband does not have a Facebook account (in fact, he’s the only one in his large family that does not), nor is he interested in maintaining one. He has complete access to my profile but utilizes it only to shoot a quick “one-liner” or two to family, most of whom are 2-3 hours behind our time. So many people ask him why he doesn’t have a Facebook page – and an argument they use is that he could “friend me.

    Both of us have the same response : We are already BEST friends. Our communication is person-to-person and personal. Why would we need to communicate over a social networking site when we live under the same roof, sleep in the same bed? And why would I open my marriage (the second most important relationship in my life) to the scrutiny & comment of judgmental eyes who do not know (nor need to know) what happens in our home?

    I enjoyed your article and think that your decision to “unfriend” your wife on Facebook shows just how much of a friend you consider her. Bravo!

    Reply
  21. Pingback: My Wife IS NOT My Friend (On Facebook) - 3 Years Later | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

  22. Anonymous Writer

    I understand parts of your rationale but disagree with your stance. I am not friends with my boyfriend on Facebook because he does not have an account; however, denying your mate access to your Facebook account appears deceptive. It’s like locking and hiding your cell phones when you are near each other. Regardless of how much trust you have, it creates suspicious thoughts and puts one in a position to develop and maintain extramarital relationships more easily. It’s natural to censor what we say or do when certain people are watching. I’m not saying that we need someone looking over our shoulder for us to do what’s right; but temptation is always around. Sometimes, that ranting status (about your mate) could get a comforting comment from a “friend” and begin feelings that should not be. I remain logged into my Facebook account on my computer, so when my boyfriend gets online at my house, he has full access to my account. I have not caught him snooping but occasionally, he’ll look on with me or ask to “explore” Facebook. I have no problem with this, and we talk about my activity and friends on the social network.

    As Facebook friends with your mate, there should be boundaries and a level of respect with comments and status updates, especially when there is disharmony in the relationship. But that would not be much of an issue if personal spats and relationship details were not blogged about on Facebook. Look at how Mark Zuckerberg designed it: You can update your relationship status and even create a link to your mate’s profile. Outside of pictures, that’s the part of your relationship that “should” be shared on Facebook. Yet, many people use the social network to blow off steam about their relationships. It’s not the place to solve or verbalize your problems. Like you said, Facebook is not in the Bible, and the answers to our problems are not on Facebook, so the ranting and raving does not belong on Facebook.

    I understand that verbalizing your thoughts or putting them on paper or in print helps relieve the stress of it all; however, you can keep a print or hardcopy journal. I do not put my personal business, like the details of my relationship, on Facebook, so from time to time, I journal in Microsoft Word or on paper. To express anger, I can type or write things that I do not want anyone else to read and often times when I calm down, I discard the journal entry because my emotions are not as strong and I would regret hurting someone’s feelings if they read it.

    I’m just sharing my thoughts on your article, not suggesting what you should do. Every relationship is unique. If NOT being friends with your wife on Facebook works for you, GREAT! However, it’s not a “one size fits all” solution.

    God bless.

    Reply
    1. C.S. Stone

      trust is a given in a mature, healthy relationship…

      if you don’t have any… you shouldn’t really be in a relationship.

      as for locking phones, etc… that’s a SECURITY issue… not a privacy issue and if that bothers you… again.. work on trust.

      Reply
    2. Tonya

      I totally agree with you regarding the fact that a public website is not the place to display personal relationship issues. My husband has ‘unfriended’ me on FB as well and is ignoring my friend request. I have discovered that this decision is for the best. We both have mentioned status updates and comments that appeared on the others page that lead to heated disputes. I love and respect my husband I’m currently working hard to reduce my suspicion, well actually eliminate my suspicions that only arise from FB. I have heard of several breakups and divorces that have occured due to FB issues. I dont want to be included in that statistic.

      Family first, social media way down the line after nail color selection!

      Reply
  23. C.S. Stone

    it would never occur to me to add my husband (he thinks Facebook sucks anyway, so its not even an issue in our lives)… but I can see where it could become an issue. Why would I want to interact with him online when he’s sitting across the room from me? And yes, I can see outsiders who are completely clueless to the nuances of our relationship becoming an issue.

    I agree 100% on not having your spouse as your friend on Facebook.

    Reply
  24. Val

    Okay, so I have to agree with Eric because once I invited my husband on my page, all hell broke loose. Lol
    I am the type to converse with both male and female friends and I see nothing wrong with it. However, he does. I never once went into his facebook to read all into his stuff, however he has done so to my account through his own confession. I deleted him at that instance because we begin having arguments about comments that he thought was insulting towards him, even though the comments were about learning from past “mistakes” not present. All this to say, if you like giving advice and engaging in conversations with those that are in the dating scene but are not yet married, you may give advice to them and it may come out as if you’re writing about your spouse. Also, people will compliment your pictures, both men and women, if your spouse has issues with that, you just need to remove them from your page and keep your marriage life separate. I am tired of having to explain every conversation or pic that I post.

    Reply
  25. Miko

    My husband and I are friends on fb and bp. If I am having an issue w my husband, only he and I know. We are adults not children. We don’t post our entire lives on fb because every aspect of our lives is not for everyone to see. Just a suggestion…..if you don’t want people in your business don’t post it on any social media. And remember…..everyone you friend on fb is not your friend! Let’s be smart about social media. It not fb that’s messing up folks lives, it’s what they say on fb.

    Reply
  26. Amelia

    I am here to give a testimony of a spell caster who help me bring my lover, i never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster once when i went to Africa to Execute some business..He is really powerful.The man i wanted to marry left me 2 weeks to our weeding ceremony and my life was upside down. he was with me for 5 years and i really love him so much..he left me for another woman with no reason..when i called him he never picked up my calls and he don’t want to see me around him…so,when i told the man what happened.he helped me to do some readings,and after the readings he made me to realize that the other woman has done some spells over my husband and that is the reason why he left me..he told me he will help me to cast a spell that bring him back.At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a try…In 3 days,he called me him self and came to me apologizing..I cant believe he can ever come back to me again email to contact him is here :wiseindividualspell@gmail.com

    Reply
  27. Anwar Ibn Talut

    I have been hearing the ( babe,why won’t you add me to your Facebook page )and I have nothing to hide I just won’t add her…i never sent a request to be her friend on her page and my reason is because that is her page…I left my page open once and she went on there posing as myself with conflicting conversation and that said it all for me…It’s funny because she keeps requesting me as a friend as though I am gonna accept…not in this life…

    Reply
  28. Niki

    So sad that FB platform is used to bring out what is a burning desire and curiosity for some… I would never be friends on FB with anyone I date or get married to simply because it can cause unnecessary nuances or fights. I dont have time to stalk anyone’s FB page. If cheating is in their heart you cannot stop them. They will find a way. FB or no FB.

    Reply
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  30. Yvonne

    Social media is designed to break up relationships unless you and your mate have a very strong, loving relationship to began with.Otherwise be prepared for unnecessary drama and Im speaking from experience

    Reply
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