In this blog, we often write about dramatic, sometimes mind blowing issues that bring some of our clients to the divorce table. Tonight’s tale is somewhat different. For the thousands of people who divorce because of adultery, drug abuse, gambling problems, horrendous debt, their are tens of thousands who divorce for reasons far less headline grabbing. Tonight’s post is one of those. Tonight’s post is about alienation by Facebook.
A man comes in to see me. He’s contemplating a divorce. In fact, he’s all but certain that he’s ready for one. He’s pretty sure he’s covered every base, explored every possiblity, tried every angle to correct the problems in his marriage, but now he’s pretty sure it is time to pull the plug. He tells me his story.
“I don’t think she’s seeing anybody. I don’t think for a moment that’s who she is. She’s pretty up front, what you see is what you get. She doesn’t hold much back; she doesn’t keep secrets. The problem is obvious. Obvious to me, anyway.”
“She is more interested in Facebook than she is in me.”
This is not my first rodeo. This is not the first time I’ve addressed this situation. This is becoming the common symptom of an age old problem.
“Night after night we’re sitting at dinner and she’s on her phone, except, she’s not talking – talking to anyone. She’s posting. She’s sharing. She’s liking. She’s commenting. She wants to communicate with her Facebook friends, not with the father of her children-friend. Yesterday morning, we were right in the middle of a conversation, nice one too, and suddenly she hears the ding on her phone so she rushes over to it. And she proclaims to me, Gerry posted a great piece about watching your finances. I’m going to comment on it. And then she’s gone to me. She’s standing right there in front of me, but frankly she might as well be on vacation on another planet. I’ve lost my wife to Facebook.”
This situation is the age old problem of growing apart, writ large and posted in Facebook font. One of the parties in a couple is making it absolutely clear that they would rather be engaged with someone else, perhaps a myriad of someone elses, rather than their spouse, not in a romantic way, but just engaged at all. They probably aren’t thinking about what that does to their spouse, to their relationship, to what could have been their future together. When it gets this far down the road, that thought may no longer be relevant.
“I’ve brought my concerns to her attention. Over and over I’ve tried to talk to her about it. I’m her friend on Facebook, I’ve even tried to keep up. But that communication is just so public. You can’t talk to your wife on Facebook. That’s weird, isn’t it?”
“So, I accept her choice. I have to. She doesn’t love someone else, but she sure doesn’t love me anymore, at least not in any way that matters. I need a divorce.”
There are a million stories in the naked city. And most of them have to do with people looking for comfort and companionship in one form or another, in some other place or another. Time marches on.
That’s why we’re here.