Facebook and Lost Love Syndrome


#1

I came across an interesting and frightening article. I thought it bore mentioning as a caution to those facing a dangerous situation, and as a warning to avoid this sort of danger if possible.

[/FONT]http://www.lovesciencemedia.com/love-science-media/why-not-to-look-up-that-old-flame-on-facebook-or-how-to-wrec.html

The gist of the article is that when old boyfriends/girlfriends get together after decades in the right set of circumstances, there is s 62% chance that married people will end up having an affair. In such case, the woman usually ends up divorced and no her own, where the husband ends up staying with his family for the sake of family, but with a severely damaged marriage. This does not even account for the ruin that is wreaked upon others.

I know this is not just an academic issue in this day and age. There are many who face this staggering problem in today’s modern society of connectivity. I am not one to judge or advise, but I think one needs to know the facts.

It seems that when a hormone rich relationship, steeped in passion and youth, is ended by outside influences, like moving or parents, there remains a strong emotional trace that is reactivated at the same level as when you were a kid, even decades later. You may not be able to help to feel the same as you did decades ago, chemically speaking. I will speak as a testimonial, they ain't just whistling Dixie.


#2

[quote="pnewton, post:1, topic:243763"]
I came across an interesting and frightening article. I thought it bore mentioning as a caution to those facing a dangerous situation, and as a warning to avoid this sort of danger if possible.

http://www.lovesciencemedia.com/love-science-media/why-not-to-look-up-that-old-flame-on-facebook-or-how-to-wrec.html

The gist of the article is that when old boyfriends/girlfriends get together after decades in the right set of circumstances, there is s 62% chance that married people will end up having an affair. In such case, the woman usually ends up divorced and no her own, where the husband ends up staying with his family for the sake of family, but with a severely damaged marriage. This does not even account for the ruin that is wreaked upon others.

I know this is not just an academic issue in this day and age. There are many who face this staggering problem in today’s modern society of connectivity. I am not one to judge or advise, but I think one needs to know the facts.

It seems that when a hormone rich relationship, steeped in passion and youth, is ended by outside influences, like moving or parents, there remains a strong emotional trace that is reactivated at the same level as when you were a kid, even decades later. You may not be able to help to feel the same as you did decades ago, chemically speaking. I will speak as a testimonial, they ain't just whistling Dixie.

[/quote]

facebook? it never ceases to amaze me how people use internet as a substitute for physical human interaction. :rolleyes:


#3

It must be an awful thing, having an ex separated by independent causes. I’m against breaking off relationships in such cases precisely for this reason. Stuff’s already hard to forget even with very dependent causes.


#4

Let's not forget about many innocent people getting hurt along the way especially the spouse and children :sad_yes::dts:


#5

[quote="BornAgain2010, post:2, topic:243763"]
facebook? it never ceases to amaze me how people use internet as a substitute for physical human interaction. :rolleyes:

[/quote]

Most everyone I know on facebook do not use it as a substitute for human interaction. It is an addition, but that's not really the issue here.


#6

Facebook causes a lot of problems. IMHO married people shouldn't use it.


#7

My wife had a big problem with Facebook for the longest time, especially after I told her about a married friend of mine who was using it to look up old girlfriends. I made a point of telling her my password. She can login to my account any time she feels like it, and I can login to hers. I personally feel that Facebook should provide spouses an option of linking their accounts. It would be interesting to see who would be willing to do that, and who wouldn’t be.


#8

[quote="Catholic41506, post:6, topic:243763"]
Facebook causes a lot of problems. IMHO married people shouldn't use it.

[/quote]

First thing I married my high school sweet heart, my very first serious boyfriend so no worries about reconnecting with an old flame. Second I'm friends with very few guys, the overwhelming majority married. And third I have zero interest in anything beyond friendship and have never, ever had even the slightest temptation to stray in my twenty years of marriage. Its a great way to stay connected with friends & family with our lives being so busy. Plus my daughter has a facebook and I require her to be friends with me so I can keep tabs on her page. (I do also have her password.)


#9

I think Facebook is the greatest thing since sliced bread.:slight_smile:

For myself, I use it for professional reasons, and for various hobbies I have. I am married, and my wife has complete access to my account, and I have complete access to hers.

That said, I see the potential for abuse. It is a bad idea to contact old flames. It is also a bad idea for married people to be friending those of the opposite sex unless there is a specific reason (such as a necessary business contact), and the spouse knows about it.


#10

[quote="Gordon_Sims, post:7, topic:243763"]
My wife had a big problem with Facebook for the longest time, especially after I told her about a married friend of mine who was using it to look up old girlfriends. I made a point of telling her my password. She can login to my account any time she feels like it, and I can login to hers. I personally feel that Facebook should provide spouses an option of linking their accounts. It would be interesting to see who would be willing to do that, and who wouldn't be.

[/quote]

I would link like that, but I do not think it could work. I mean, how would we help on each others farm? :D Okay, I admit, I do both farms.

I keep all my passwords stored on my home computer to all my email accounts, including work (and even CAF), specifically for the purpose of transparency. I have worked with women for twenty-five years. Many are and have been very dear for me and I communicate with them freely on Facebook. It extremely helpful to my job performance.

BTW - posts made back and forth do appear on each other's facebook. My wife has asked me to explain some private joke or comment.


#11

Both my husband and I have FB accounts, as does our oldest child. I don’t see FB as the problem, but rather a symptom when it comes to the cheaters. It used to be that “long lost loves” would meet at a high school reunion, and if for whatever reason they started an affair, no one blamed high school reunions!

I think a lot of these people who cheat have romanticized the past, and while FB makes it easier to track them down, the onus is on the one using new technology to facilitate behavior as old as time. :blush:


#12

[quote="pnewton, post:10, topic:243763"]
I would link like that, but I do not think it could work. I mean, how would we help on each others farm? :D Okay, I admit, I do both farms.

[/quote]

If my hubby got facebook more he'd help my farm...but alas he's one of those who got a facebook and never uses it!!! Sigh...just have to help myself! :thumbsup:

I see a lot of benefits to facebook if used responsibly. A lot of my family and friends lives out-of-state so it allows me to keep up with them easier. I post a lot of pictures of our adventures online for them. We just moved and I've been posting pics of our apartment to get decorating ideas from friends and family. Pictures have helped my immediate family in particular feel more involved (mom is going crazy looking at decorating ideas now! LOL) as a visual pictures lets them know we still care about keeping them in the loop.

As for keeping friends from previous relationships I am not friends with either of my two relationships before DH on facebook mainly because I didn't want them to "stalk" online and reminisce on what could have been as I was the one who broke off the relationships. I've gone as far as to block them on my own choice. That may be extreme, but with one in particular it was necessary to create that distance. DH was able to remain friends with a previous relationship which I've never had a concern about but I think the decision should be individual for everyone and every marriage. :shrug:

It is very easy to stalk people and learn everything about them on facebook which is why everyone needs to keep privacy in mind when online. I only keep a small list of friends for that reason (about 150). I did not friend the random people I only had one class with in college, high school acquaintances, or co-workers I'd known for 2 weeks but rather have only friended people I trust (high school youth group and college church friends, close friends from high school/college, current friends, etc). I keep my privacy settings very high and only allow non-friends to see the bare minimum and I am constantly checking facebook to see when they introduce some new measure that might affect my privacy.

I know this is off topic but my pet peeve is friends who share too much about their marriage online. I have one friend in particular who will leave status updates about their fights. I think since facebook leaves no room for anonymity it could potentially create a false understanding of one's marriage by sharing too much. I don't want to create a negative idea in the minds of my friends or family as to who my husband is or for him to create a false understanding for others as to who I am. This also extends to personal matters like TTC, pregnancy, illness, finances, etc. I think both parties should be in agreement as to where the TMI line is when sharing on facebook regarding personal matters. ;)


#13

[quote="familyof4, post:11, topic:243763"]
I think a lot of these people who cheat have romanticized the past, and while FB makes it easier to track them down, the onus is on the one using new technology to facilitate behavior as old as time. :blush:

[/quote]

Many of those who cheated in this study were happily married and had no intention of cheating. I have read a some of the references. It seems like adolescent (for me that was until I was 30:D) memory traces involving emotional bonding leave a dopamine trace. When the memory is reactivated thirty years later, this dopamine trace acts like it did at the time and releases oxytocin and vassopressin which simulates the head over heels feelings we may have had. That is why it is so dangerous in this situation. That is why I wanted this posted. This can happen to anyone and with the internet, it is much more likely. Facebook is only one tool, but it is easy enough to track down most people if you know the details and are properly motivated. A married man or woman may be oblivious to this effect until something pops up on their Facebook, their email, or the phone rings, or the worse case, someone arranges to bump into them.

You may be incapable of helping your emotions. It is like someone slips you cocaince. However, realizing that they are just your neurotransmitters going haywire might help you make the right decisions at the critical time. No, you are not "in love". You are experiencing and emotional memomry of being in love. I am fortunate that I have a wife I could be totally open about my feelings, recognize them for what they were and then move on. In my case, it took about two weeks for the even to pass. After that, there simply was no more emotional trace. I wasn't going to post this until after the fact.


#14

[quote="pnewton, post:13, topic:243763"]

You may be incapable of helping your emotions. It is like someone slips you cocaince. However, realizing that they are just your neurotransmitters going haywire might help you make the right decisions at the critical time. No, you are not "in love". You are experiencing and emotional memomry of being in love. I am fortunate that I have a wife I could be totally open about my feelings, recognize them for what they were and then move on. In my case, it took about two weeks for the even to pass. After that, there simply was no more emotional trace. I wasn't going to post this until after the fact.

[/quote]

Really? I know that there is a reason that my ex-boyfriends were exes. My last boyfriend, over nineteen years ago is on FB, and is friends with mutual friends from high school. When I saw his page, I had one emotion. Relief that I had the fortune to marry my husband, and not get stuck with my previous relationship.

The only people I know who have had affairs with old sweethearts were unhappy in their current relationships, or in stressful times, and saw the old relationship through rose-colored glasses-- times seemed easier back then, and they associated the previous partner with those times.

I'm curious, do people in general think that affairs occur if the marriage is truly sound and happy, or is one or both of the partners pretending the relationship is healthy? This is a general question, and not directed only to the OP. :)


#15

[quote="familyof4, post:14, topic:243763"]
Really? I know that there is a reason that my ex-boyfriends were exes.

[/quote]

One of the factors in this is that the relationship ended with resolution. Those that ended with cause for some reason do not have this same problem. The brains is a weird one.

I think you are right about healthy marriages. However, even healthy marriages go through healthier times and troubled times. My motto with women is, "He who thinks he is standing secure should take heed lest he fall." I work around too many women to let my guard down. I never want to assume my marriage is good enough to invite temptation. With you, I am interested in what others think.


#16

Facebook simply is. It’s neither bad nor good, it just is. How a person uses it is either bad or good. So if you are using it for the wrong reasons then it can get you into trouble, but if you are responsible then it’s probably fine. Same thing with a computer, or cell phone, it’s all in the intent and purpose you are using them for.

You cannot blame facebook for a spouse cheating…blame the spouse.


#17

By link, I’d want to keep separate accounts (yeah, mainly because of games), but have it set up so that they each see what is posted to the other’s wall (and can comment on it), and have the option of linking individual posts or content to the other’s wall so that both sets of friends can see it. Those posts would then show up on the spouse’s wall similar to how a shared link shows up now. The idea came to me when reposting pictures to my wife’s account after posting them to mine just so her friends could see them. Also, for some reason 90% of what I post never shows up in my wife’s feed, which is another issue that made me think they should consider other ways to link spouses’ accounts more closely, if that’s what the spouses desire. I’d also read about how big a part Facebook has played in recent divorce statistics and figured this might help as far as that goes.

As far as running into old flames, I guess I’m lucky that the relationships I had prior to meeting my wife were all train wrecks that ended disastrously. When I see them now, I always thank God that I found my wife. The alternatives would have been unbearable.


#18

The airing of dirty laundry drives me nuts as well. I don’t need to know that Janie and Bobby are fighting or not talking to one another. I don’t need to know what transpired in their bedroom to cause the spat. I don’t need to see the passive-aggressive posts intended to humiliate the other spouse in the eyes of their children. For the longest time, I’d only see this on my wife’s page, but then a couple of my friends did it as well. I think it’s pretty shameful. I’ll admit that on one occasion I was tempted to post something in anger after a particularly heated argument with my wife, but then thought better of it and posted something about how much I loved her and how much she means to me. It actually helped me get over the anger quicker, but annoyed her tremendously. I’ve done the same a few times since then, although it doesn’t annoy her quite as much now.

As far as other TMI situations, I friended a casual acquaintance a while back. He was a newly-married late 30-something after a lifelong period of unwilling abstinence. We went on vacation right after I accepted his friend request, so I missed him posting all the minute details of his wedding night. It was all new to him, though, and he saw no problems with sharing his experience with the internet. A few weeks later, they decided to go for a baby and he started posting these ridiculously disturbing, in-depth descriptions of every attempt, all of which contained wording to the effect of, “Wow, if I’d known it was like THIS, I’d have gotten married years ago!!!” I deleted him as soon as I saw the posts.


#19

Gordon that is sooooo creepy on so many levels!!!
I think the important lesson in this article is abstinence more than FB!!!
These hormones are so powerful even for a women who did not consummate a relationship!!! I knew a woman who was unhappy in her marriage and was going through old photos and had some pictures of her high school boyfriend. She talked abou how much she missed him and how he was the one and so on…after more conversations I learned he was a drug addict and a thief!!!:eek: But that attachment was so strong, all she could think of was how much she loved him. Very sad.


#20

Well, I don’t think it’s caused by FB. I think there are folks with depression and other ailments who start to idealize the past. The past becomes more appealing than the present which their depression causes them to see in a negative light. Hence, when the opportunity presents itself (be it facebook/reunion/whatever) to ‘escape’ into the past they take it.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.