“You’re looking good these days! You know I used to have a thing for you back in the day…”
That’s an example of one of the messages you can see pop up in your Facebook messenger, coming from that old college or high school classmate. It feels good to have someone complimenting and admiring you again, so you play along.
“Thank you, you aren’t looking too bad yourself and I used to have a little crush on you as well.”
One compliment leads to another, meanwhile you haven’t been feeling wanted at home and maybe your mate hasn’t been paying much attention to you lately. Suddenly, the flirting on Facebook turns into the exchanging of phone numbers which leads to texting and then sexting and the next thing you know you’re meeting up and a full blown affair has begun. You begin hiding things, sneaking around, and before you know it, you’re putting more effort into managing your affair than managing your marriage.
Damn you Facebook!!!
Through my coaching I see people involved in situations like these that say, “It just happened.” Although, for the moment they are exciting and thrilling they almost never turn out good. Usually the Facebook or social media romance turns into a real life disaster and picking up the pieces becomes a bigger task than the involved parties ever imagined. By the time your mate finishes finding the Facebook messages, text messages, multiple listings of this unknown number from the bill, and the credit card/bank account statement with rendezvous that tell on you, they’ve already built a case. All of this could have been avoided, but you justified your actions by focusing on what your mate wasn’t doing. You convinced yourself that you deserve better, but this romance that started out innocent on Facebook, turned your life sour, and quickly!
Okay, now that you get the picture let’s talk about it. I get it….everybody wants to feel wanted and there is nothing like somebody “new” wanting you. That lustful feeling can be euphoric all by itself, but the temporary lust is rarely ever worth losing the lifetime love that we committed to. It’s usually never worth losing the family we’ve built, the trust we’ve built, or the children we’ve created. The truth is, if you’re having some issues within your relationship, you won’t be able to fix them by stepping outside of your relationship. Here are a few tips to help you avoid finding yourself in situations that may lead to an affair.
1) Don’t take the bait.
There will always be people throwing bait at you hoping that you bite. In case you haven’t noticed, everyone doesn’t want your marriage to succeed or care that you’re involved. In fact some people find it attractive, so if you’re depending on THEM to save you, then that’s a bad strategy. It’s ON YOU! When they bait you (social media messaging, flirting, etc.), cut the line because once you start biting it might just taste good.
2) Communicate early and often with your mate about NEEDS.
For some reason once we say “I DO” we feel like our mates should “just know” everything we need. We walk around upset and being passive aggressive because our needs aren’t being met, meanwhile our mates think everything is ok. Next thing you know you’re getting needs met elsewhere. CLOSED MOUTHS DON’T GET FED…..so open your mouth and say what you need AND what you want!
3) Think bigger than you
Sometimes we need motivation that’s bigger than ourselves. When you signed up for that marriage and built that family, you did it understanding that it was bigger than you. Having an affair is usually all about YOU and what YOU want. Take the energy you are spending outside of the life you created and use it to STEP UP in your marriage and family.
I often say “don’t believe the likes!” while the “likes” and the Facebook (and all social media) attention feels great for the moment, you committed to a lifetime with your mate so choose wisely!
BMWK what are some other ways that you can avoid the temptations of cheating and affairs on social media?