Monday, April 23, 2012

Question: What if an old boyfriend wants to be friends on Facebook?


You are happily married these past seven years to your hunky husband, Kevin. You have one little boy, age three, and one newborn girl. You have given up a rewarding job in advertising to stay at home and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and change diapers. One day during naptime, you find a friend request on Facebook from an old college boyfriend. You sit back and reminisce for a moment. You remember Justin as cute and funny, and, for the life of you, you can’t remember why you broke up.

Justin has also sent a message. He writes that he sometimes drives through your town on business and would love to get together on his next trip to “catch up.” Just then, the baby’s cries interrupt your walk down memory lane. You –

  1. Accept Justin’s friend request and ignore the message. Maybe he won’t pursue it and you won’t have to make a decision or tell your husband.
  2. Ignore the friend request and the message and try to put your memories out of your mind. You keep the entire thing to yourself since your husband doesn’t need any more concerns. This isn’t really a concern anyway.
  3. Talk to your husband before responding to the friend request and message and follow his guidance. If he is uncomfortable, you politely decline both the friend request and the invite for a get-together.
  4. Accept Justin’s friend request and message back that you would love to get together. You tell him that the afternoons work best for you since you could have your neighbor keep the children for a little while.
  5. Go cuddle your newborn while you eat a bag of miniature Snickers and remind yourself how much you love your hunky husband and how much you love staying at home with your sweet cherubs.


What would you do? Or would you do something else entirely?

~Meghan

P.S. On Thursday, I’ll be posting a review of the book As One Devil to Another (I’m fifty pages into it and loving it!) as well as give away a book.

~~~~~
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29 comments:

  1. Hi Meghan,
    Thanks for linking up with Marital Oneness Mondays at The Alabaster Jar. Loved reading your post. I would not accept his request then I would let my husband know about it since that would give me an opportunity to build him up!

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    1. That's an excellent thought -- using this as an opportunity to build up your husband! (Hadn't thought of that one!) Thanks for stopping by and providing the link-up opportunity. (I have your link up now; my internet connection failed temporarily and I couldn't get the link in the post right away. Sorry for the delay.) Thanks for stopping by, Jolene!

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  2. I have one person I dated years ago as a Facebook friend, but only added him after checking first with my husband. That person is a very wholesome Christian and aware that I'm happily married and I only "meet up" in a herd with my husband and children, and possibly a lizard. :)

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    1. I didn't really expect any confessions, Angie, but thanks for sharing! (Gotta love those little lizards....)

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  3. For me, it would depend on the relationship. I don't have many old boyfriends. Two old boyfriends and one more-than-friends but never official in my past. One old boyfriend was just a completely innocent high school boyfriend, and he's on my facebook friends list and I never thought twice about it. Another boyfriend was really traumatic and he would never be on my friend's list.

    I also think it should depend on your feelings that only you could ever know. Your heart. The deepest places. Are you looking for validation? Does it make you feel good that this old boyfriend wants to get together? Just how fond are your memories? I think these questions are ones that only the person can answer, but at any rate, I think my husband has a right to know (and to veto any connection as well).

    I have to sign in with my wordpress account, but my blog is at http://www.servingjoyfully.com

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    1. You raise some excellent questions! Thanks for commenting, Crystal, and your blog looks great!

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  4. My husband wouldn't mind, so I guess my answer comes down to my own heart and how my feelings for the man were (or were not) resolved. I would definitely feel uncomfortable meeting with him, though, as to me, that broadcasts intentions of picking up the relationship again. Much of precisely how I handled it would depend on specifics that aren't given. Is he married as well, or in a relationship, or is he single? If he's attached, it's quite easy to respond with something like, "Sure, Chris and I would love to get together with you and Sarah! Can you guys come for dinner sometime next week?" If he's single, getting together with an old boyfriend, even with your husband present, becomes more awkward. Again, a lot of it would depend on what my feelings for him are or aren't. But it would have to be made very clear that I'm a married woman with NO interest in looking elsewhere.

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  5. I agree, Cassi -- definitely a heart issue. Thanks for the comment!

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  6. I would completely ignore the request.
    I am your newest follower from the hop..pls follow back if you can.

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    1. Thanks for the follow -- love your blog!

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  7. My husband and I have actually discussed this before! With the internet, facebook, email, etc. it is much easier to be in touch with people from the "past" than it used to be. One reason we are teaching our children about courtship vs. dating, is specifically to help protect their hearts from things like this in their future! My husband and I have agreed, that any communication between him and another female (other than work related on his part within the office), and me and another male, should be done with both of us in the know or copied in on the communication. Not because we do not trust one another, but because it is important for us to protect our marriage, and to make sure we are giving a Christian example to everyone outside of our marriage of our convictions and priorities. We feel this is respectful to each other, honoring to our marriage, and gives a good Christian witness.

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    1. I'm glad you mentioned courtship vs. dating, Kelli. It would be best if there just wasn't any "old boyfriend," and that is what we're teaching / praying for with our children. I agree completely that protecting the marriage is top priority. Thanks for commenting!

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    2. Amen Kelli! I love your response!

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  8. Any man of consequence is already blocked by Facebook's privacy features. I can't see them they can't see me. It's like I don't even exist on Facebook to them. My hubby also has my password : )

    Thanks so much for linking up, a bag of snickers sounds good right now.

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    1. Excellent choices. My husband and my children all know my password as well. Thanks for commenting!

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  9. I don't have any old boyfriends as friends. My husband has a few old girlfriends but they are Christian women that I am friends with as well on Facebook and in "real life". I am not insecure about it at all. BUT these were little high school dating situations for him not any college "serious" girls. I think that there is a difference. Prayer and a discussion with hubby would definitely need to be part of the plan!
    Good question!! catch me @ preceptgirl.blogspot.com

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    1. I think there is definitely a difference between high school boyfriends and college boyfriends. Not that high school boyfriends don't turn serious, but so often it is the college romantic interest that ends up more serious. It's been a good discussion, and I think most agree that this is a potentially serious issue to be discussed with Husband.

      Thanks for the comment -- I'm the latest follower of your blog.

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  10. Hi Meghan - I would ignore the request and show/tell my husband as i believe in transparency and I agree with Jolene, great opportunity to show him he is numero uno :) Great post, raises great questions! Thanks for linking this post up.
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Tracy, and thanks for the link-up opportunity.

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  11. Ignore! But also mention it to my husband. Nothing good would ever come of meeting up sans husband to "catch up." Sometimes the past needs to stay in the past. Facebook is great for catching up with old friends, but unfortunately it's also the cause of a great number of divorces these days.

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    1. Great line, Alecia: "Sometimes the past needs to stay in the past." Thanks!

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  12. I'm not surprised that this post garnered lots of attention. :-) Interestingly enough, I received one of these requests, and ignored it. Pretty soon, I received an inbox. I ignored it, and proceeded to close my facebook account. I knew the source, and I knew simply ignoring the problem would not make it go away.
    I felt like I should tell my husband about it simply because I didn't want anything to ever come of it (even a false accusation or something) without him being completely up on it. I didn't want to feel like I was holding secrets. Hope this isn't TMI, but this was my experience. Since I was already pretty convinced that FB wasn't for me, this sealed the deal. :-)

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    1. Definitely not TMI, Stephanie, just an interesting conversation. I have known a couple of people who have eliminated Facebook, but this situation could come up in any number of ways. And you're right -- there are a lot of difficult situations that won't just go away if you ignore them! Thanks for your input.

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  13. I am not on facebook, but I would ignore the requests and would also tell my husband. I do not think that it is appropriate for a married woman or a married man to befriend an old flame. I think that once we marry, that we put that behind us. Starting up a friendship like that could be the start of a marriage falling apart. Some people will look at these comments and say that it's a trust issue, but I disagree. If you think about relationships, a lot of times relationships start as a mere friendship and then turn into a realtionship.

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    1. Agreed -- "Starting up a friendship like that could be the start of a marriage falling apart." Thanks for commenting!

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  14. Hit the ignore button immediately, pray, and then go cuddle my babies! The only guys I'm friends with on FB are family members. I feel it is disrespectful to my husband to have old boyfriends as friends on fb or even men that weren't old flames. It may seem completely innocent to friend an old guy friend or old boyfriend, but the devil wants to get a foothold in any way he can; the enemy wants to destroy families, and this is a perfect opportunity.

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    1. Prayer is always an excellent response. And I'm impressed with your limitations; you're really thought this through! Thanks for contributing to the conversation, Sarah.

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  15. Somewhere between 3 and 5. If it is someone I actually would like to know, I'd ask hubbie about it. He'd say no, and life would go on lol We are under our husband's authority, even on Facebook. Usually, though, this person is not anyone I would ever need to know in my life now. Best to let the old bridges stay burnt. Don't re-light the fire. I have very few male friends on FB. I never do private messages with men. My husband is my head, and I have no business talking to other men.

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    1. "Don't re-light the fire." Love that advice!

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)