Can Facebook negatively affect your relationship?

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I am sure you have heard of Facebook by now, unless you have been living on another planet. Facebook, the social network that has over 200 million users worldwide, is a place to connect with friends, co-workers, classmates and family to share your pictures, send virtual gifts and share snippets of your daily life.

This all sounds great, right? For the most part it is, however there are times that the fun and connection can lead to problems in your relationship with your partner. I am sure some of you are saying “No”, “Not Me”! But most will have to agree that the connections you make on Facebook can affect the relationship you have at home.

First let me say this is from a guy’s perspective and I don’t know how a woman’s perspective would differ. If you are a woman reading this blog post, please do leave your comments below, I would love to hear your side.

Let’s put aside the issue of how much time you spend on the computer and neglect your partner; that is for a whole different post. Today the question I am posing to you is what effect does Facebook have on your relationship.

Assume that you and your partner both have Facebook accounts and you are both linked as “In a Relationship” -or- “Married“. Let’s also assume that you have no separate “Secret” Facebook accounts that you are hiding from your partner; that is also a subject for a whole different post. If this is the case, then all should be fine in Facebook world, no?

Not so fast, it is all fun and games when you send each other virtual gifts, poke each other, play Texas Holdem and even write on each others walls and status updates. I have even seen some profiles where both partners appear in each others profile pictures.

But what happens when a “Friend” from the past (before your current relationship) shows up on your partner’s friend list? Is it just Facebook so it doesn’t matter? Would you care at all? Even if your relationship is rock solid would there not be any question in your mind about this new found friendship?

It can be very easy for Facebook to cause troubles in paradise with a simple “Accept Friend Request“. Would it not matter to you in the least that your partner has made a connection with someone that he or she was involved with in the past? If it does matter, what would you do?

  • Would you fight with your partner?
  • Would you ask your partner to delete this friend?
  • Would you throw the computer out the window?

I would love to hear either side of this argument, please feel free to post in the comment section below.

( If you are reading this anywhere but my blog, you can find the original post here. )

28 thoughts on “Can Facebook negatively affect your relationship?”

  1. Hey Phil, I have to say I added Freddy to my friends list. Freddy was my first everything! My husband knows this and was actually friends with Freddy before I ever met Freddy.
    I also went to elementary school with my husband. I have commented maybe once or twice on his status. Ran into him and his wife at a bar one night and a couple of beers with them.

    Now my husband knows all of this. He also knows my password on facebook and can log in anytime, read my messages and posts. So if you don’t have anything to hide then it shouldn’t matter. I enjoy looking at old friends pictures. Seeing that everyone is happy and has beautiful families.

    And what I always keep in mind is that if a person is going to cheat they will do it regardless. They will find a way, just don’t make it easy for them! Trust but be wary.

    • Thanks for the comment Lisette.

      I agree that if someone wants to cheat it will happen no matter what. However I do think Facebook can make it easier to do simply because you can chat, private message, etc all without the personal interaction of other communication avenues.

      However the real question is not that your husband thinks you are going to cheat but has any of your facebook friends caused issues between you and your husband? Let’s just say “Freddy” that you spoke of started commenting on many of your posts and “liked” everything of yours do you think your husband would be ok with that?

      I think facebook can be great to keep in touch with friends and family, but it can also cause problems in a relationship especially one that already has problems…

  2. The big question is then is this person “liking” alot of people’s posts or just yours? Cause if that’s the case then it would be a problem because that’s kind of stalkish behavior. Focusing on you and what you have to say.

    So then I agree it can cause problems. Then you should block the person from commenting or viewing your wall.

  3. Yea I totally agree with the idea that it surely tries to harm your relaitonship. Me and my partner dont have any fight over anything apart from the annoying contacts that keep on adding you on your facebook. I agree that one should trsut partner but at the end of the day the other perosn is a human being and is tend to slip. And this social sites leave no space for privacy. I belive every individual is different and has a right to react differently with anyone he/she feels but on facebook you cannot be . It has been harming my relationship and distroying my peace of mind but it is such a devil that my partner doesnt want to get rid of ths shit.As it is easy and accessable to everyone.

    What do u say.

    • Sorry for the late reply here…

      If you and your partner cannot agree on a happy medium that make you both feel secure then I think you have to work on your relationship more or re-evaluate it.

      Just remember that Facebook is a virtual reality not an actual meet me for lunch kind of thing, unless the line is crossed and that meeting is actually brought to fruition…

  4. My boyfriend and I broke up because of facebook I first talked him into getting it than his ex wife was on his page soon after seeing pics of her the texting started then they were going to reunite. He realized soon after we broke up he wanted to truly be with me it hurt me really bad that we broke up due to an ex,but it did make us realize we were so in love with eachother. I trust him she’s not on his friends list anymore but she has came into are relationship since then. Were pretty solid his status is in a relationship with me and our pics are on his page too. I get jealouse when he has all these women on his friends list from his past espeicaly when they are pretty and their pics are always popping up. He says they are old school friends but im still insecure with his facebook since it nearly broke us before. He gets mad at me it makes me feel silly stupid and insecure when I mention it im not a jealous person but I am when it comes to this. What do I do or say or nothing at all?

    • Hey Dawn,

      Thanks for commenting…

      First let me say that I am glad that you could work it out and be with the one you want, I hope that he feels the same as you do.

      As for the being jealous part, I think it is natural for you to be jealous of other women that he is ‘Friends’ with… BUT, if everything is out in the open and he is not hiding this from you and you can see his friends and they can see you too then I think all should be fine.

      Have a look at what Lisette had to say above, she makes some valid points.

      Please let us know how it all works out for you and your partner.

  5. I’ve had facebook for a while now and i actually created my boyfriends facebook page, we’ve been together 2 years now. Everything was going just fine in our relationship until recently when i sent a friend requested to somebody i was involved with 2 years before i met my boyfriend. He got really upset and jealous and now thinks i want something to do with this person whom i have not talked to in almost 4 years. I had no intention in being involved with that person or start a relationship with that person but now my boyfriend doesn’t believe me. What can i do?

    • First let me just say thank you for posting your comment and adding to my belief that Facebook can have a detrimental effect on your relationship.

      That being said the first thing I would do is unfriend this person if it is causing such a riff between you and your boyfriend.

      You state that you have not spoke to this person for almost 4 years and you have no intention of starting a relationship with him but yet you clicked add as friend!

      Why would you add someone that you have known from your past that you were involved with if you are currently in a relationship? Also somebody that you claim you have had no contact with? I just don’t get it…

      I agree that your boyfriend should be a little less controlling but you did cause this.

      Sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear but this is the way I see it. Please keep us updated on your status and what you decided to do.

      • I agree I was in the wrong. I have already deleted that person from my friends. I’m trying to stay away from facebook for a while and only log on to keep in touch with my sister and niece who live out of state. My boyfriend and I have been trying to communicate more and one thing that we both agree on is that facebook is not going to break us apart. We both love eachother very much. Thank you for your advise.

  6. Me and my Boyfriend have been together for almost 2 years. And we have had some issues about facebook. i admit that i was looking at the girl’s on jis facebook and even asked him to delete one. He had my password and would check my facebook more than i would. He would deny people from past relationships befor ei even knew they had sent me a friend request. And one time he texted me about an email i had recieved from a guy, when i didnt even know i had gotten the email or what it said. So fed up with the situation i changed my password with out him knowing, and when he had realized it we talked about it. He got mad and just deleted his facebook, i on the other hand did not. I like mt privacy, but have nothing to hide. Am i wrong for that?

    • Thanks for the comment Amber…

      To answer your question, it is not for me to decide if you are right or wrong, however if your relationship is that unsettled that you have to check his FB and he has to check yours then you should really re-evaluate things.

      The number one thing in any relationship is trust, if you can’t trust your partner then you will have a tough time making anything work between you.

      That being said, Facebook is the best thing and the worst thing for relationships, friendships and even family relations…

      I wish you luck and hope that you both can get past the Facebook non-sense and focus on your personal relationship.

  7. I have to admit that facebook is a real problem for me. I look at it as if my partner has an electronic collection of women that he can view at any time. It amazes me sometimes what pictures people will post. He just randomly clicks accept without realizing why or if they should even be on his facebook. I too have been guilty of this but since we are now talking about marriage I am being exstremely careful and I want him to know that he can trust me and at all times ask me about any of the contacts. For me there has to be a reason now for anyone to be one of my “friends”. There are some of the contacts that I have asked him to remove and he says he will but never does. This could cause me to back out of the wedding all together. I need to know that he can be trusted and take facebook at bit more serious. His facebook is to me a way for him to hang onto his single identity and college days. I believe that in a relationship there has to be a commitment and at the same time still be individuals but this allows too many doors to be opened. I too have been contacted by old boyfriends but quickly denied the request or if I did not know their original intentions, and quickly made them aware that this is a facebook accvount for friends and not dating. I dont know, it’s just overwhelming for me.

    • Thanks Tami for your comment.

      All I can say is what I have been telling everyone else already… If you can’t trust your partner then you really need to re-evaluate your relationship.

      Both of you need to sit down and talk about it and decide what makes sense to both of you in regards to Facebook friends.

      I wish you luck and let us know how it goes…

      • Hello, wanted to chime in here because I so relate to Tami’s thoughts. After having minor past discussions with my boyfriend about what Facebook should be used for (I hear the rule is that you don’t need to add anyone as a Friend that you wouldn’t invite over to visit at your home), I continued to watch female after female after female (no males) added weekly. I kept my mouth shut and just watched and became more disappointed with each. He is not a talker, just reads and posts kid pics on occasion, but will harmlessly add any old person he knows/knew. To me this goes to character. Some of them were ex’s, some were just old acquaintances from bar days. To me, I feel exactly as Tami – when finally in a long-term relationship (3 yrs.) I do not feel the need to open a door to this, I can’t possibly fathom how it is justified to need to bring them into his circle, even if there’s no one-on-one messaging. They just sit on his friend list to my knowledge. However, one in particular this evening was one that hounded and cried and stalked him after he broke it off with her, yet he accepts her Facebook request now? This goes against the impression that he his content and fulfilled with present day. And Phil while I TOTALLY agree with you, once I brought it up (again) I came out looking like a jealous possessive psycho, and the story is now “Amy went psycho because I added some girl to my Facebook.” Sounds so juvenile, and I’m 40 :) But we ended a 3-yr relationship tonight.

        • Wow Amy I am sorry to hear that Facebook was the main cause of your relationship breakup. It is a shame that these things happen but in the end everything happens for a reason.

          I have been through many trials and tribulations because of Facebook and no so long ago MySpace. Because of these issues I too am a single 40 something. However, I don’t regret ending a much longer term relationship because of it. I should have done it long before, but the social network was the icing on the cake. When I found “other” profiles that I knew nothing about, that was it…

          Once again, I am sorry about your situation but maybe you can reconcile.

          If it makes you feel any better, you are not a possessive psycho because you questioned his intentions.

          • Oh that is so disappointing. Some of us can talk through and work out our thoughts on just Facebook issues, but when you actually do find other hidden things, there’s just no rationalizing or justifying, or telling yourself you’re making too big a deal. Definitely not.

            I also want to note and agree that yes, a Facebook issue is not usually THE incident that tears the relationship down. It always seems to be that icing on a previously shaky cake. If this were the only little quirk that had been bothering me, it could have been discussed. But paired up collectively with a half dozen other ‘perceptions’ of weirdness over a period of time eventually chips away at faith until one little thing like this just shuts you down. In my case, it’s not reality/proof that did damage (there has never actually ended up being anything inappropriate), but simply the perception, over and over and over. One person can only ride that roller coaster so many times.

            I hope your own experience is a distant past one, and not something recent. Update here: I went on my own FB page and dropped a light post that I’d be scaling back and working toward deletion of my account, and left some warm-hearted words for my friends. I feel that the site has become too negative for me, and when it filters into other parts of my life, it’s time to back out. I also noticed at this time that my boyfriend no longer existed on Facebook. I’m not blocked (I checked through an outsider – you know women:), he simply deleted his whole profile. I’d like to think this means good things, that perhaps FB is not worth losing a relationship to him. Whether the bigger, underlying dynamic can be repaired is another issue. We shall see if/when we talk. Best wishes to you.

  8. Yea that is my issue,,,,the same thing happens to me,,only my relationship is fairly new…I’ve been with this guy for about a year 1/2 now..we allready broke up once over Facebook friends. He says these people are his old high school friends..but this person would always woo him..every time he,,wrote somthing on Facebook she would,be rite their to comment…now I find out that some off these old high school friends want their how am I suppose to trust him..if their is nothing going on then just friends then how would the conversation even get to that poin of crossing the line…now my boyfriend has girls that he recently meets or should I say that he goes to college with,,and now they exsist on his Facebook ,,,how can I trust this at all…

    • Well Michelle, it is up to you to trust or not to trust. Just because your boyfriend has “Friends” on Facebook doesn’t mean it is anymore than that. However you brought up that some of these friends want him, how do you know this?

      If you don’t have trust in a relationship then it is not worth being in the relationship. I would rather be alone then be with someone that I can’t trust because every time they go out you will be eating yourself up inside wondering what they are doing. Believe me I have been there and done that! It is no fun and I am so much better off alone…

  9. Im so glad I found this blog. For a long time I thought I was the only one having issues with Facebook. I am recently divorced and have been dating my girlfriend for the past year and a half. My girlfriend has been divorced for 3 years. We currently live together. Soon after dating I found out that my girlfriend has had several intimate relationships after her divorce and before me. Right from the start there were what i call “outside interferences “make from several of her ex’s with texts all hours of the day and night. To the point that she finally had to change her phone number. Then comes facebook. The late night chats, messaging etc. She felt that it was ok to continue a “friendly relationship” with these people. Not ok with me!!. I keep telling her that she should leave the past where it belongs….in the past!!!. These people constantly try to “friend” her on facebook. It has really caused a lot of stress and anxiety for the both of us. In the past couple of months I noticed that she has deleted some posts from people in order for me not to see and she very rarely interacts any more and doesnt udate status or post pictures and she says its because she hasnt had time. I took offense to this because i said to her that i thought it was because she was trying to save our relationship. She got angry at me for sayinv that because she still insists that there is nothing wrong with Facebook. I want to delete my account to show her that I am commited to protecting our relationship and want her to do the same. Am I wrong for going yo this extreme? I just want the bullshit to stop and not even think about facebook anymore. I welcome any and all comments

    • @Ray, let me just say that you are not alone. FB has caused plenty of relationship issues all around.

      So your live in girlfriend has FB friends that are old boy intimate boy friends? That itself doesn’t mean much but the other issues like late night chats, texts, etc could be an issue.

      If you already discussed it with her and told her that you feel upset about these communications and she still insists you have to ask yourself why? If she really values your relationship and is in it for real then why would she cause you any grief?

      Now here is a question that you might not like to hear but in reality it happens all the time. Did she really stop posting updates and pictures or is she just not sharing them with you? There are friend lists on FB now that you can share stuff with only a group of people you select.

      Here is an idea, instead of asking her to shut down FB (although if she isn’t using it then why not?) ask her to let you see her account even while she is there with you, but be prepared to do the same with yours. If neither one of you have anything to hide then all should be well. If either one of you won’t do this then it is cause for a bit of concern.

      I will leave you with this… If FB is causing so much stress in your relationship then maybe there are other problems much deeper that need to be dealt with… I wish you both good luck and hope everything turns out for the best for both of you…

    • Phil, I have an update. About 4 weeks ago I finally had had enough of FB and the anxiety of all the bad feeling that go along with it. I had the courage to confront her and sit her down to discuss it calmly and told her her how I felt about all of the issues that have come up with FB and we decided to delete or separate accounts and create a shared account and profile. We actually have not created the account yet but have deleted our seperate ones. It hasnt come up yet as to when we were going to create this account but Im sure it will eventually. The bottom line is that after deleting our accounts I fel like such a heavy weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I no longer have anxiety moments or even thin about FB. WHAT A FEELING!!. The way Ifigure it is if we havent missed it for this long, why bother going back to it. We can still share photos through email and smart phones and we talk to the people that are closest to us on a regular basis so what the hell do we need FB for. I hope this will stay this way!!Thanks for your comments!!

      • Ray, thanks for coming back and updating us here. I am glad that you two have decided that your relationship is more valuable then a website. It is not always that easy but if you guys can make it work more power to the both of you! I wish you the best of luck and hope to hear from you again that you are still anxiety free and loving each other…

  10. Hey Phil,
    My boyfriend and I will be together four years in December. I haven’t been on my facebook page for a couple of years now because my boyfriend felt I should delete it. I had nothing to hide and rarely got on there from jump. Every since he’s had a facebook, I’ve seen a big difference in his behavior. First off, I could never be his friend on facebook but his ex is and they both constantly comment on each other pics, inbox each other and say stuff that i feel is to out of line especially since there both in a relationship. He keeps telling me nothing is going on because she likes girls now but it seems different from the looks of it. I’ve asked him to delete her and he lied about her already blocking him. Then he stays on there 85% of the day.. talking to females some which he don’t know, and majority of them be flirting. He’s now talking to alot of different people that i never knew of from the past and all he can say is we been knowing each other and she cool but in reality he meeting different types of people off facebook. I’ve asked him plenty of times to delete it and he doesn’t want to. Just resistently someone that he just met on there just passed away and I find out they had been talking but it was nothing serious so called but he’s kind of being a bit emotional for just knowing a person a couple of months. I think its more than what he’s telling me but I really feel disrespected knowing your in relationship but you have all these woman over you and you say your letting it be known your in a relationship but really your not. He tries to make himself look good by boasting on his money, what he buys me and all that but that’s just to give people a reason to look I believe. I never felt jealous before until this facebook stuff came upon. I even asked him to put pictures of me on there since he has pictures of every other person he loves and he puts one picture from when he first createsd the page. I just don’t understand its getting to the point were I just want to leave especially if I feel like I’m being disrespected and he doesn’t do anything to fix it. WWhat should I do ? Am i blowing this facebook page out of portion or what? H etells me its just entertainment but seems more and I feel it shouldn’t be your entertainment if im not happy to see some of the reaccuring things going on.

    • Hello Nunu,

      First welcome to my blog… I am sorry to hear that you are going through troubles because of Facebook. It seems like many more are now in this group as Facebook has become a part of daily life for many.

      As for your issue, nobody can tell you what to do. You need to find out for yourself what it is you need to do. All I can say is go with your gut instinct and take it from there. There is always more to a story than meets the eye and I would say if you feel uncomfortable with the situation then you need to change it.

      I wish you luck and hope it all works out for the best.

  11. Phil,
    I have some very toxic and mixed feelings on facebook. Marriage or relationships takes work and LOTS of respect from both people. And learning to spot trouble before it can cause issues.
    Adding a past flame or past love… If you are not in a strong respectful relationship have seen and learned 1st hand its not healthy and will cause issues.
    I was married for 11yrs and did not have a strong marriage and there was a lack of respect for each others feelings and respect for our vows! My hubby and I both added a past love on facebook and it at 1st was fine and we told each other that we did friend (X&Y) and were fine with it cause it was just facebook after all.
    My hubby liked to post personal issues that was happening in his life and our marriage. I didn’t think to much about it cause people vent in life, right?!? Wrong! I found that the past love was adding her 2 cents on his post and pic that he was posting and when I saw them I have this unknown feeling to me at the time wash over me. And again I said to myself its facebook! She lives in a another state and after all it was just comments being made and they dated years ago so I told myself to stop over thinking!
    Our marriage was never strong! And I never came forward on my feelings about how my hubby being friends with a past love was already starting to affect me and my thoughts. I in return started talking more to my past love and was sharing personal issues with him that was going on in my life and marriage!
    So in short…… My hubby and I parted ways for over a year ended our 11 yrs marriage. And in that time apart the he and a fling with his past love and I learn how to live on my own and learned to express myself. My past love and I became very good friends and helped me grow as a person and to come out of my shell!
    My hubby and I reconnented… and went thru alot of hard times trying to work thru issues being cause by him and now the fling were still chatting and friends on facebook and thinking that it was not a big deal cause it was in the past and he was with me. And could not understand why I was having issues with them being friends and texting.
    We worked thru it and remarried, but facebook until this day is still a very toxic issue in our marriage due to the fact that his past is still being allowed to be part of the picture due to other friends of his being friends with her on facebook and her sending a message to him cause she saw a comment he made on another friends post.
    And found myself looking thru his phone and facebook acct and changing settings and sending her a message on facebook.
    After months of huge fights and expressing my feelings on facebook and how toxic it can be…. We are now in a good place, and very thankful everyday that facebook doesn’t affect my life or marriage with toxic people or actions.
    I am not longer friends. with my past love and friend that helped me. We parted ways cause we both felt it would be hard for people to accept there was nothing more then a very good friendship between us. And have each other blocked on facebook.

    • Patty,
      First let me just say WOW! 11 years and Facebook destroyed it! Proof right there that Facebook can be real toxic in any relationship or marriage.

      I am glad that you finally did find peace and reconnected with your husband and worked things out. Hopefully it will stay peaceful for you and perhaps you both need to step back and re-evaluate the need for Facebook in your life. What do you really gain from it if it will be harmful to your marriage?

      Funny aside, I too had reconnected with a past love of mine when I went through my relationship falling apart. We connected again via Facebook and to this day are great friends, nothing more nothing less… I have to give thanks for reconnecting with her and being able to speak freely and have her thoughts on my situation at the time. It was a great help to get over the whole break up and also put things into perspective. I am glad to have her as a friend today…

      The biggest take away that you can get from this whole thing is that it does take a strong relationship/marriage to be able to overcome these issues. But in my mind till this day (I am still single) why would you want to add anyone that you were intimate with in the past if you are currently with someone now?

      • Phil,
        Good point on why would someone even add someone in the 1st that know you in a personal way…… lol . I think alot of people don’t really think that adding some from your past is a big deal until some issues come up and then they start kicking themself for do it in the 1st place. And you heard the songs (Whats she doing now) and (If you see him) and the list goes on and on!
        They need write songs about let closed door stay closed. Or my wife/hubby left cause I friend a ex.
        You brought up that you reconnented with a past love of yours and now good friends and she helped you in your time of need. The year that the hubby and I parted ways and was still talking……. I was told the hubbys ex was now just a really good friend and was helping him and was giving him insight. I as a woman know how most woman are. I trust man more then woman until I really get to know the woman. I have sit back a good part of my life listening to the toxic words that can come out of our mouths and seen actions by woman that( everyone would thought was a sweet girl) that blew my mind I not saying that ALL woman are like this,but can be. So, when the hubby told me that he was just friends with his woman that used to be a ex I had to take a min and step back and say to myself Yea…… maybe in his mind, but what was going on in hers!
        And as time went on and the more I just watched his facebook page and listen to him talk. I knew that there was alot more to what he was not telling me.
        And in my case I had to deal with a ex but friends that them 2 were friends with when they dated…And found no support from facebook friends on his page but saw his posting our personal issues and his so called friends toxic hurtful right down RUDE comments. And I was blowing away and now look at his friends in a diff light and even his family!

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