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Is my husband up to no good behind my back with another woman on Facebook?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Social Media, Three is a crowd, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (16 June 2017) 3 Answers - (Newest, 23 June 2017)
A female age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Hello. I might sound like another jealous, insecure and paranoid wife with social media related relationship issues but here goes...

I am a late bloomer on Facebook. I just started about 6 months ago. My husband of 3 years has had Facebook for 7 years.

He has an extensive friends list and many include females who run in the same professional circles. He and I work in the same industry just to be clear so our circle includes mutual acquaintances and colleagues.

I was once at an event with him. A year ago last spring. A conference which included professionals in our circle from all over the country. At a dinner, one woman in that circle - who is an acquaintance - sat across from us and I swear, she was giving my husband the eye. Right in front of me. He did nothing. He did not respond or flirt back. He seemed to shut her down when she made a comment though. But I was not happy about it and it bothered me. We talked about it on the drive home. I told him it bothered me and he said he hardly noticed and thought I was reading way too much into it. The woman is married but her husband is wealthy and successful in business and sometimes I think she is the type who secured her meal ticket but is quite happy to have some extra curricular dalliances on the side. And had an eye on my husband just for that purpose. To this day, I still have a feeling she is like a vulture circling around. He said who cares if she is. He is not interested.

She is one of his Facebook friends to make matters worse. I noticed on his Facebook newsfeed a post from her yesterday because he opened up his mobile to show me a funny video from another friend and was scrolling down his feed. She is a mutual friend of ours on FB. But I did not receive that same post. So, obviously she has some sort of custom list which includes my husband and excludes me. So, this has raised a red flag. The post was public on a newsfeed but still it bothers me. Why would she exclude me on some of her posts but not him?

Also, last night I saw last active times. It seemed he and she were last active within a minute or two of each other. It said he was last active 25 minutes ago and she was last active 23 minutes ago. So, now my paranoia gets the better of me and I am thinking they were on Messenger having a chat. I mean, how could their last active times be that close?

I told him and he answered that it's a coincidence.

Really? Could it be just a coincidence?

How do you safeguard your relationship against Facebook when you have so many people to flirt with at your disposal? It's like an online candy shop that you can pick out whatever candy you want to sample and not have to pay for it. And have it available 24/7 in the form of video, secret conversation, phone calls, chatting... I mean, it has never been easier.

How on earth do you ever know that your spouse is not whoring around on Facebook?

Am I making too much of this? Or do you think I have reasons to be worried about my husband? I am not sure what I need to do next. It has been bothering me non stop and I am starting to build a wall and pushing him away. It seems like I am already convicting him of the crime.

View related questions: facebook, flirt, insecure, jealous

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (23 June 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntHow on earth do you ever know that your spouse is not whoring around on Facebook?

You trust them, has he ever cheated on you? Ever gave you a reason to doubt him? Honestly it amazes me that so many people get married who do not trust their other half at all. I would trust mine with my life. The only advice I can give to you is be careful as your paranoia could cost you your marriage.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (17 June 2017):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntSweetheart, you need to listen to him: "He said who cares if she is. He is not interested." Just because we have the means to do something, does not mean we will do it. I have the means to rob a bank or stab people, but it doesn't mean I am going to do it. Understand what I am saying? You too have access to all the same means of cheating as your husband. Are YOU cheating?

Your use of the word "whoring" in relation to your husband resulted in a sharp intake of breath from me as I read it. Very strong language to use in relation to your husband. I suspect there is something more going on here than you have posted. If not, then you have real jealousy and control issues.

Is there a reason you are so untrusting of your husband? Has he cheated on you in the past? Has his behaviour changed in a way that makes you think there is something going on? There is nothing in your post to suggest your husband is up to anything. All there is is a strong suspicion of and dislike of this woman, who you see as predatory, all based on her being seated opposite your husband one time and, in your eyes, flirting with him - something which you admit was not mutual. While I am a strong believer in gut instincts, I also think there is a very fine dividing line between gut instinct and paranoia.

Just because he was on Facebook at the same time as this woman does not mean he was chatting to her or to anyone. If he is anything like most Facebook users, he will dip in and out of Facebook as he has a spare couple of minutes and just have a quick scroll through to see if he is missing anything interesting. At any one time there will be many other users doing the same.

Regarding items appearing on your newsfeed, I have been on Facebook for many years and have still to unravel the mysteries of what appears and what doesn't. It is one of my eternal gripes about this site. Many times friends have asked me if I saw such and such on Facebook from a mutual friend and I will not have seen it. Then it may appear days later (with the original date on so I know it is old), despite me filtering by "most recent". (The filter tends to default to "most popular" or something like that. Do you reset each time to most recent?) Perhaps you have your filters set differently to your husband. Perhaps you have "unfollowed" this woman so her posts DON'T appear on your feed? (All friends are "followed" as a default setting but you can unfollow anyone who you want to keep as a friend but don't want to keep seeing their posts appearing on your feed.) If it is not any of these things, then I suspect it is just a quirk of Facebook. And yes, this woman COULD, if she wanted, post things which you cannot see by simply changing her setting to "all friends except xxx" but I'm pretty sure there is no way of doing that as a "public" setting. She would need to narrow it down to friends. So I think your "evidence" (on that score at least) is completely in your imagination.

I suspect this woman is not your real problem. Your real problem is that you do not trust your husband. Is your relationship strong? If not then may I suggest you spend less time checking on him and imagining all sorts of horrors and more time strengthening your relationship so that you feel more secure in the presence of any other female who shows an interest in your husband?

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (17 June 2017):

Aunty BimBim agony auntI am an older woman who uses facebook daily :-)

The stuff that appears in my news feed depends on what pages I have looked at, what I am more likely to be reading, what links I usually click on, and also on what posts and pictures I like and comment on. The fact your husband's newsfeed is different to yours is not cause for concern.

How do we know our spouses are not whoring around on facebook, or anywhere else for that matter? We don't. If somebody is predisposed to flirting or cheating they will do it where ever and when ever it suits them, facebook, online communities, down the pub, in the corridor at work, in the library, behind the potting shed, in the freezer section at the supermarket.

Facebook is not the problem, if your husband has never given you reason to distrust him prior to facebook then you need to get your insecurities under control. If your husband was a cheater or flirt prior to facebook then there is a chance he is still a flirt or cheater and you make your decisions for YOUR future accordingly.

PS: the woman who gave your husband the eye and he ignored her .... the problem there is that woman, NOT your husband, and the only way to stop that happening is to force your husband to wear a cardboard box or bucket on his head.

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