FACEBOOK AND EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS
As I was going through my Facebook page, I noticed that a lot of my high school classmates are active users. It was like the whole class is reconnected through Facebook. Well, Facebook could be a good way to communicate but sometimes, one’s privacy may easily be compromised. High school or College Facebook pages are ripe places for the rekindling of an old emotional affair. It’s amazing the memories those names in our Facebook page evoke. I still remember John and the good times we all had together back in our High school days. I remembered all the fun times we had and the adventures that were embarked upon.
One thing that struck me, as I thought about Facebook was the fact that I had gotten complaints from a good number of people about their partners spending a good amount of time catching up with friends on the Facebook. Surprisingly the complaints came from couples who were already having marital problems. One wonders, if this could be as a result of a reconnected and rekindled emotional affair? It begins with an ordinary click on the “friend” button, followed by the shock of reconnecting with an old friend we had shared intimacy with before, then follows an affair, and later it turns into infidelity. I remember Stacy sharing with me that as she scrolled through a list of her former classmates on her Facebook page, she found herself intrigued with so many ugly possibilities. All of those “what-if” questions began flowing through her mind and she began wondering what would have happened if she had kept up with her past relationship. People easily fall into the trap of a Facebook emotional affair. The majority of counseling bordering on emotional disconnection between couples now has more to do with social media romances.
A woman from our counselling centre innocently made contact with one of her old “flames” on Facebook. The heartfelt confessions of this old male-friend declaring that he had made a mistake by not marrying her were a healing salve on the wound she had carried since they broke up many years ago. It made her day when he also told her she was just as beautiful today as she had been years ago. She soon re-connected with the passion she experienced with the relationship she had with her ex-flame. She concluded that the pleasure of the old affair far exceeded what she was experiencing in her marriage. Unfortunately, she described her marriage as boring from too much emphasis on raising kids and little or no time spent on renewing their marriage relationship. There is nothing like the euphoria one receives from falling in love, especially during the High School days. The High School flame can burn for years, even after the two lovers had parted ways and are settled in their homes with their spouses. Facebook has become a powerful tool that enables the rekindling of these old flames that seemed dead and forgotten.
Often times, people become vulnerable as they interact with those from their past because of the strong bonds created in those relationships. These relational bonds from the past rarely, if ever, fade. Most people fail to realize how easily those old flames can be re-ignited once contact is re-established. The next thing you know is they are dealing with infidelity.
I feel a bit of compassion for those recovering from an affair initiated through Facebook, because they have fallen for illusions of the past. This can happen so easily to anyone. Dealing with infidelity can be very challenging. Guard you heart and guard your marriage. You are only as weak as your strongest link. He that thinketh he stands be careful less he falls. I Cor. 10:12.
Written by Dr. Godwin & Blessing Ude.