Should You Unfriend your Spouse on Facebook?

facebook marriageI recently came across this article on MSNBC.com by therapist and relationship counselor Dr. Ian Kerner titled, “Reasons to ‘unfriend’ your spouse on Facebook.”  It begins like this…

Jack, a new patient who has been married for eight years with two young sons, rails against Facebook: “Let’s see, yesterday my wife: Felt bloated, realized she has nothing to wear, posted yet another adorable photo album of our boys dressed as Jedi warriors, was missing Michael Jackson and, oh yeah … DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH ME!”

Another patient, Katrina, complains that her husband is constantly tracking her every Facebook move. “He’s always been the jealous type, but now he’s like a stalker. Every new friend is an interrogation.” Out of exasperation, she’s decided to deactivate her account, but feels angry and smothered. “It’s like I’m being monitored by the thought-police!”

Fred complains that every time his wife posts something to her Super Wall, he realizes just how boring their lives have become. “Do I really need to know that my wife is about to do something totally nutty like go have a second cappuccino? What happened to the wild woman I fell in love with?”

The author’s conclusion is that if you’re Facebook friends with your spouse, you lose a “sense of mystery” which is essential to a marriage because the pursuit of knowing each other drives you to “new levels of desire and passion.”  So, he recommends people unfriend their spouse.

I’m not sure I buy it.

It seems to me that in the examples he cited, Facebook is not the problem; Facebook is amplifying a bigger, underlying problem in these marriages.

What do you think?

Are you Facebook friends with your spouse?  What impact do you think it has on your marriage?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

11 Responses to “Should You Unfriend your Spouse on Facebook?”

  1. My spouse does complain at some of my tweets. I tend to be a lot more open than she is, especially about some crisis we have been going through with my unemployment. But unfriending her would send a message that I have something to hide, and that would make trouble. It's also disrespectful. Seriously, you should think about what you post and how you post it. If you're not willing to own up to it to your spouse or anyone else, don't post it. Facebook is searchable by most browsers and it can be found. The internet is not the place for private rants, so don't act like it is.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Nov 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      Discernment and discretion are really important when it comes to social networking.

  2. I agree with you. There's an underlying problem at issue. Facebook just takes the blame because it is easier than dealing with the issue. My wife and I are "friends" and never have an issue. I often comment on hers and she comments on mine. Neither of us would ever post anything demeaning about the others. Yes, we have our different styles, but we understand each other and don't easily take offense. The thing is, we already have a good relationship and our Facebook interactions are just an extension of that.

  3. i do not have a face book accout but my children and husband do acctually my husband deactivated his account because of me. i had refused to have a face book account for the reason of the problems it causes. My husband felt he needed to be friends to people he did not even know trying to help out other marriages not knowing his own was in trouble. He focused more on other people especially other woman who i had no clue of comments were made which my adult children could see. They were off the wall commets he felt he had to express himself. I just felt as if i had to compete with these people and could not. It almost caused us our marriage when he decided to deactivate his accout. Boy was he upsetm but now has picked up a new hobbie such as blogging. i am not sure if that is going well he is very secretive and only shares with me what he wants me to see. I paray and ask God to please save this marriage. I feel as if i am loosing my husband to this fantasy world he has created. Maybe its me i am trying so hard to be a good wife.

  4. i am in a huge amount of emotional pain because my DH has a Facebook page and has chosen NOT to include me on it, other than to acknowledge that he is married. Sadly, he has a niece whose name is very close to being the same as my name, and our "world views" are not at all the same. my fear is that people who view DH's page will erroneously assume that his niece is me. Even with photos posted, many people do not know what we (i) look like. i pray a lot but wonder if i have any recourse; seems that my views are becoming increasingly less important to DH. The Bible indicates that "(Proverbs 15:22) Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed." Should i seek counsel, of any sort, regarding these concerns; are they truly valid? Please advise….

  5. seinfeld has a good episode about when worlds collide….

  6. Face Book is new and we are basically like little mice in a social experiment! You look at people differently when you can see their day to day rants. Connecting with people you never see or haven't cared to be in touch with for the last 20 years does take time away from your marriage. On a different note, I was surprised at how sad I became when I first joined FB. When I was in high school, my sister lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis at age 20 in 1982. When I first logged onto FB I would see friends of friends that had gone to school with my sister. After looking at their pictures, it made me really realize how much my sister has missed out on. I'm happy for these people but it really hit home at that point.

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