Should I Be Worried About My Husband’s Facebook Crush On His High School Fling?

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Just this Christmas, my husband ran into his old high school fling. Since she was starting to see my sister’s brother in law, we spent Christmas with her as well. I noticed that there is still an undeniable sort of chemistry (for a lack of a better word) between them. They had the whole “crush” thing going on.When they talked there were genuine smiles and enthusiastic energy between them. My husband, who normally wouldn’t care about spending time with my sister’s in laws, suggested that we spend our entire Christmas break with them. However, I wasn’t too worried, because my husband was blatantly honest with me about his feelings for her. We talked like two high school girls way into the night about it. He was pretty excited about seeing her again and told me he wished he could’ve talked to her some more. I told him, that it is natural to feel that way about people as long as he doesn’t act on it. I told him that I’d be naive to think he won’t have some sort of chemistry with the opposite sex just because we are married. And then I told him to be very careful and respect our marriage vows.

My wife has a theory about infidelity. Women he’s been with? Not a threat. Women he’s never been with? Threat.

He told me he felt very alive and has not felt this way since his mother passed away (his mom died 5 years ago, 5 months after we started dating). On our long drive home, he went on his Facebook account and requested to be her friend. That night when we got home he went to his Facebook and saw that she had posted a comment on his wall. Normally, he replies with another comment, but this time he sent her a private message and told her he wished they had had more time together. Should I be worried? I walked in on him emailing her, but he didn’t try to cover it up, instead he read it aloud to me and asked me what I thought of it. And I told him it sounded good, and reminded him to be careful with private messages (emails). This morning I got a note from him saying how much he loves me and that I’m his rock and looking forward to another new year with me. I need your help. I’m confused as to whether I should be worried or not. We have a pretty solid relationship but you never know. Should I Be Worried My wife has a theory about infidelity. Her observation, as a serial monogamist who has been cheated on at least three times, is this: Women he’s been with? Not a threat. Women he’s never been with? Threat. I like this theory and agree with it, with one exception, which I’ll discuss later. But my wife is savvy enough to know that if I’ve been with someone and am not with her anymore, it’s because I don’t want to be with her anymore. Thus, there’s no threat to our relationship, no unexplored sexual tension, no ‘what if.’In other words, if you’re a woman who is threatened by his ex, you’re probably wasting a lot of emotional energy on a pointless endeavor. The ex isn’t the threat. The crush is the threat. The crush is exciting, the crush is pregnant with possibilities, the crush is a man feeling young, exploring his virility, fantasizing about a different life. Yeah, the crush is trouble. So while you describe your husband’s woman as a former ‘fling,’she is actually functioning far more as a crush than an ex. And yes, you should be worried. But there’s a caveat, which gives your story a silver lining: you’re an adult and you’re married to an adult.

The crush is exciting, the crush is pregnant with possibilities, the crush is a man feeling young, exploring his virility, fantasizing about a different life.

You’re adult enough to know that your husband is married, not dead, and that he will always be attracted to other women. And he’s adult enough to acknowledge his inappropriate feelings, and put them on the table for you. (Readers: if you fantasize that your man will only have eyes for you, you will be perpetually unhappy. Learning to accept his mindless crushes and tease him about it is a much healthier path. At least that’s how my wife feels, preferring my adolescent crushes more than her cheating ex-husband. Back to our regular programming.) So, really, kudos to you for being able to discuss this like a trusting couple. It’s the most effective way to deal with sensitive issues, not making him wrong for feeling what he’s feeling, but wanting to understand what’s on his mind. What’s on his mind is something that’s beyond his control, the feeling of regret. A date once taught me this, and I never forgot it. She said: ‘Regret is the only emotion that grows over time. Pain fades, sadness fades, but the regret of not having done something only looms larger as you get older.’Which is why I’ve never tried to live life with many ‘What ifs.’Part of my getting married was due to the fact that I’d dated everyone in LA, and was not going to have lingering ‘what ifs’ about the women I would never meet. But even that’s not entirely accurate. It’s human to ask questions, it’s human to wonder, it’s human to fantasize about a completely different life path. It’s Walter Mitty. The unhealthy part is when you give into that notion. And I fear, based on your note, that your husband might be on the edge of tossing away the sure thing for the exciting thing.What he would most likely find is that he has more chemistry with her, but that she’s not in the place for a relationship, or that she is kind of selfish, or that she doesn’t like his work habits, or that they have completely different ideas about how to spend money, or that she’s not as kind and thoughtful as you are, This is usually what happens when we chase greener grass. And your husband seems to know it. Which is why he wrote that guilt laden email to you. He knows he’s on the edge of an emotional precipice. You have to stop him from falling and giving into temptation.

Being on Facebook with your attractive crushes when you’re married is like being an alcoholic who lives above a bar. Not healthy to put yourself in that environment.

When you do, don’t act threatened by her. She’s not a threat to you. He is. Ask him about how he feels about his former fling, what’s truly on his mind, and what good he thinks can come out of his continued conversation with her. Being on Facebook with your attractive crushes when you’re married is like being an alcoholic who lives above a bar. Not healthy to put yourself in that environment. Don’t forbid him from doing anything; but certainly suggest to him that it wouldn’t be wise to go much further down this road. He could stand to lose a lot more than he gains. Please let us know how it goes, and thanks for the challenging question.

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Comments:

  1. 81
    Piper

    My ex husband who I started semi-dating again, hooked up with his first gf (who dumped him for her drummer that had 2 kids) who we started dating after. They are now married 6 months later. My sister is getting divorced due to rehooking up with one of her boyfriends. I think her husband is relieved. In my opinion, I HATE FB.

  2. 82
    Piper

    That was a mess of a jumble so I am rewriting it.
    First gf dumps him, he is devastated.
    He dates a few girls we meet get married
    5 or so yrs later pre-facebook She tries to hook up with him because drummer is alcoholic
    He says no I am married
    10 years pass – we divorce
    We re-hook up like 2 years later, semi dating again
    – FB appears – or we discover it (I liked mySpace)
    She contacts him again, they secretly hook up behind my back
    Now they are Married.
    Then my sister.
    Sorry Nobody is safe… Or I and my bro-in-law   just suck
      

  3. 83
    Nouvel

    I understand the concept of your wife’s theory, but it isn’t totally full proof. My Ex left my for HIS ex and my other ex always tries to get me back no matter if he has a gf or not. Being too friendly with an ex isn’t exactly something you would be oblivious too.

    If someone wants to cheat, they’ll cheat. You cannot control people. At the end of the day actions speak louder than word. Don’t be a dictator but don’t be a dumb ass either.

  4. 84
    Dilek

    Dear In Love With A Friend,You owe it to yourself and to your frenid to explore your relationship beyound frenids . . . think of a creative way to tell her that you Love her! Being true to yourself and her about your feelings is the best way to resolve this without it harming your frenidship. Be absolutely honest with her . . . tell her your feelings about HER only . . . if you insult the guy she is currently dating you will only sound like a jealous jerk who didn’t take a chance when you had it years ago . . . focus on her and not him! Tell her she has been your everything for a long time and you just realized it because she is hurting and you’re hurting for her because you love her that much . . . to the point where her pain has become your pain . . . tell her you love her and let the cards fall where they may . . . Good Luck!

  5. 85
    Sarah

    I want to know what happened!

    1. 85.1
      starthrower68

      I agree, Sarah.   I imagine that while our OP is trying her best to be patient and accepting, she’s prolly (or was) sick with worry on the inside.   It’s one thing for a husband to notice an attractive woman in passing, but this “chemistry” may have clouded the guy’s better judgement and caused him to disregard that he could stand to lose more than he gained by acting on his crush.

  6. 86
    Natalie

    Someone wise once told me,” it’s not the lack of love that makes unhappy marriages, but the lack of friendship.” I be damned if I’m going to allow another woman to be my husbands best friend. He can have friends like his hair dresser or his buddies wife as long as they don’t talk on my time. If your husband is on the computer or other outings taking your time away then hell no! Also, other females problems may drain your man from not wanting to listen to ya’lls problems. Marriage can be beautiful but it takes both of you being friends and caring about each others feelings.

  7. 87
    Gurl47

    No ex’s period! No FB, No accepting prepared food, gum, or mints from female co-workers! And  a lot of other rules your husbands must follow! If you let your man do as he pleases, then you deserve what you get!  

  8. 88
    Caroilne

    IMHO, No . . . it’s not a problem yet . . . But when married people disclose a crush to their spouse, what they admit is likely just the tip of the iceberg. They mention disclose the crush for two reasons: #1.) When people are giddy about someone, they simply enjoy talking about it to anyone who will listen. #2.) Mentioning the crush allows them to pretend (even to themselves) that they’re being honest — even though they don’t tell the whole truth about their feelings or interactions. That way, should the whole thing go overboard, they can convince themselves and everyone else that they weren’t sneaking around, but that they were trying not to have an affiar, but it “just happened” as if it were their destiny instead of their treachery.

  9. 89
    MoKelli

    Really curious what the end result or next chapter was for this particular couple. I enjoyed reading all of the theories and responses posted. Great thread.

  10. 90
    Genie

    I am curious to hear how this works out. I am in a similar situation.

    My boyfriend of a year is a kind and generous person and I have a multitude of trust issues, so I am not sure if my jealousy is justified.

    My boyfriend (call him B) had a long-term relationship with a single mom with 2 daughters. He has stayed in contact with the girls and has been a “father figure” to the girls.

    Two weeks after the older daughter turned 18 (we will call her M), the mother took the younger daughter and moved in with her new boyfriend, essentially kicking M out of the house.

    M has turned to B for help. He told me that he sometimes gave her rides to and from work and he gave her money for an application fee for a cheaper apartment. I was upset, but he promised to be upfront about it as long as I accepted it and did not have any outbursts about it.

    Meanwhile, B seems to distance himself from me and we start having bedroom issues. He has always been openly affectionate towards me, and he stopped with that too. Of course, I start accusing him of cheating which he vehemently denied. We had a massive fight and almost broke up. We have a heart-to-heart and he tells me that he is

     

  11. 91
    Sarah

    Women need to take themselves in to account. So he said “he feels alive”. Well his wife needs to ask herself what makes her feel alive? Is it a man who doesn’t consider her feelings? Who does not know how to treat his wife with respect? Who can totally play off his actions as “I can’t help it” but should be smart enough to k ow, that was exciting but will not do me any good to think on it and create it in my reality. We create our realities with our thoughts, words and actions. He is creating a reality that his wife does not deserve. Why get married if you can’t take responsibility and you do t k ow how to treat your wife.

  12. 92
    Greta

    Personally, I feel he has a choice. A choice to maintain his love and commitment to you, and a choice to recalibrate his emotions and refresh and redirect his passion towards his wife. A crush just seems childish to me. The illusion that he feels more “alive” is foolish and fleeting. If he continues to be an even bigger fool, he could very well slide into having an affair with this crush, especially now that you have enabled him to explore this beyond just a fantasy, but through private messaging. I   had a crush on an ex at the beginning of my marriage, but I reminded myself over and over that my true love is   my husband until the crush fantasy dissolved.   I did not allow or enable myself to dwell and fantasize on the other person. Perhaps I sound like a robot, but I feel that the heart and mind can be molded. We can make choices in line with our loving commitments or we can risk what we have built over delusions and fantasies.

  13. 93
    JulieQ

    My brother’s marriage broke up because he got in touch with an old girlfriend on facebook (not sure who contacted who first). The ex had broken his heart over 30 years ago, they were BOTH married with children, and they ended up having an affair.

    So, I’d say anyone from your past, whatever the circumstances, is a potential threat. Because over time, you tend to remember these relationships with rose-colored glasses. It’s a longing for the past, a longing for romance. You remember the excitement of the first kiss, of dating, and of a time gone by. I think it’s especially relevant for men in the mid-life crisis age… Now they have the confidence or money or whatever, and want a chance to go back and have a “do-over”. It usually isn’t what they thought it would be, but usually ends up being too late, and they destroy their families.

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