Ask Jennifer: (A Little Too) Social Media


Dear Jennifer,

I wanted to ask your opinion about an issue I’ve been having regarding my wife and social media. For years we have both been casual social media users, not heavy users at all. Lately my wife’s habits and overall usage of  Facebook has changed dramatically. She recently added three ex boyfriends from high school and college to her Facebook and seems to always be chatting with them or liking/loving all their posts. Before this she was very quiet on social media and rarely used it, now she seems like she is always on her phone or computer checking her messages, she can’t even get through dinner without checking. I gently approached her with the question of what is going on and asked if something had changed and she got very defensive and told me I’m being a paranoid jerk. I told her that I’m just worried I’ve done something wrong and I don’t want to lose her, I asked her if she would let me look at her messages to ease my mind since she didn’t feel she had anything to hide and she just started screaming at me until I dropped it. Is she right, am I being paranoid? Have I watched too many reality TV shows? Do people actually use Facebook to cheat? What should I do?

Baffled in the Brook

Dear Baffled,

First off, you aren’t crazy. Unfortunately, people do use Facebook to cheat so you can’t entirely blame television for your perception. People hooking up with old flames is one of the most common causes of social media cheating, and often, it’s because of nostalgia or just the simple fact that it’s easier to cheat with someone familiar. Regardless of the reason, it does happen. Is there another reasonable explanation for her recent social media binge? Has she added lots of people recently or just these three guys? If it’s just these three she added then I’d say you have every right to be concerned and honestly I’d be asking the same questions. Naturally any time someone acts overly defensive in regards to a situation like this it gives the perception that something is going on that shouldn’t be. Her immediate reaction of calling you a paranoid jerk for politely asking (you did ask nicely, right?) and then refusing to show you the account while screaming at you are all red flags. It’s not abnormal for someone to get offended at being accused of something they didn’t do but most truly innocent people are all too happy to prove themselves innocent if given the chance. People with nothing to hide don’t try to. Regardless, at this point if there was anything incriminating on her account it will be gone so I suggest at a minimum that you ask her to remove the people you are concerned with from her social media accounts. If she refuses, then you can either assume she’s doing something she doesn’t want you to know about or that, at the very least, you need counseling (something I might recommend at this point anyway). There’s no reason she should be choosing their feelings over yours and it’s awfully telling if she does. At the end of the day you know her better than I do; however, my advice is to keep your eyes open and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions even if she dislikes them.

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Jennifer G. Rose is the founder and lead attorney at The Rose Law Firm LLC. One of only a handful of certified family law specialists in the state, Jennifer and her firm have won dozens of awards for their work in the field. Those wishing to reach her may call 205-323-1124 24 hours a day or visit Her firm gives complimentary initial consultations in person.


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