Facebook “Friends” = Extramarital Trend?

Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,

I’m writing to you, even though I think you’re going to slam me hard for what I’m about to ask.  

I’m in love with this amazing woman.  I adored her since high school, but I never told her. We went our separate ways, and found each other again years later on-get ready to laugh-Facebook.  We started talking on the phone, instant messaging, and I found myself falling for her all over again, even though we never met face to face since high school (we live in different states now).  I told her so, and she admitted to having feelings for me too.  Sounds great, right? The problem is that she’s married with kids.  She loves her husband, she says, and didn’t expect to have these feelings for me.  At first, I told her I would wait for her, in order for her to make a decision.

Then, it started to hit me…what am I doing?  As much as I love this woman, I can’t be responsible for breaking up a family.  So, I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done…I walked away.  I know I hurt her, but even she says I did the right thing.  Meanwhile, I’m involved with someone else now.  She’s terrific, easy-going, but I can’t shake off the feeling that I’ve walked away from the love of my life.  I know I did the “right” thing, but did I? 

Signed,

Heartbroken in Hartford

Dear Heartbroken,

Ah…Facebook….the perfect substitute for the high school reunion or a real relationship.  In other words, it’s the illusion of intimacy, which is why I can totally see how what happened to you can happen to anyone.  So no, I’m not going to “slam” you for being human…mostly because you wised up and did the right thing by walking away. 

Was she the “right” woman for you? I think that’s impossible to know based on a high school crush and some intense phone calls.  You know a version of her, but I think being with someone in person is absolutely critical.  Otherwise, we take a snippet of a memory, a whisper of a conversation, and build it up into an image which no reality could ever compare.  Including your current girlfriend.  Fantasy always trumps reality, because people are perfect versions of what we want in our imaginations.  Or, at the very least, they don’t do those pesky annoyances that “real” people do.  My point is, anything based on conjecture  can’t be counted on.

That said, intellectually understanding all of what I said doesn’t make it any easier to walk away from someone you had such an emotional connection with, Heartbroken.  My guess is this…you probably offer certain qualities lacking in her marriage and she represents something you have yet to find (current girlfriend included).  Whatever those issues and/or qualities are, the best thing to do is to see if what’s missing for you can be cultivated with your real-in-person girlfriend, and if not (and they’re critical to your happiness), then to have the courage to walk away and find that in someone single.  I’d advise you to encourage Mrs. Facebook to do the same.

10. “Accidental Man,”  (The Damnwells)  Air Stereo.

09. “A Comet Appears,”  (The Shins)  Wincing the Night Away.

08. “I Owe You a Love Song,”  (Shiny Toy Guns) Season of Poison.

07. “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish,” (The Smiths) The Sound of The Smiths.

06. “The Lightning Strike,”  (Snow Patrol) A Hundred Million Suns.

05. “The Line Between the Devil’s Teeth,”  (Peter Murphy) Deep.

04. “Passing Me By,”  (The Pharcyde)  Cydeways.

03. “Pine On,”  (Obits)  I Blame You.

02. “Serpent Charmer,” (Iron and Wine)  Around the Well.

01. “Sweetest Decline,” (Beth Orton) Central Reservation.

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4 responses to “Facebook “Friends” = Extramarital Trend?

  1. Ah , Ms. M&B. You were gone for awhile – then I was gone for awhile. Nice to see you back, but GOD! don’t you miss the mix tape site? I sure do. Miss your playlists, too.

    As for this post, I just recently gave very similar advice to my best friend who is lonely, fairly fresh out of a bad relationship, and has been revisiting old flames via social networking. I’m glad my advice jived with yours.

  2. Great minds thinking alike rings a bell.

    🙂

  3. Not even close, Ms. Mix & Miss.

    I really think the point has eluded your awe-inspiring accumen on this one. Big Time.

    It has nothing to do with being “right” about the particular strumpet in question; it’s an “ends justify the means” question.

    She’s right alright. No fear about that. It’s an issue about whether, later on down the road, the incredible success of the phoenix relationship will quiet the ethical quandry that lingers. Or even, and more importantly, whether it should.

    The fact remains that love can conquer all IF you let it, even high character and steel- interwoven moral fabric. Sad but true.

    It’s not about being right, it’s about being able to live with yourself AND enjoy your angel / perfect (got to get it on video) fucktoy. Real men stay real; they don’t sacrifice the very qualities so essential to keeping the respect of their soulmate through time…and time’s end.

    Think about it.

    Better luck next time, sweetness. I still have faith in you.

    “And Pretty Girls Make Graves.”

  4. LOL – Ms. Mix & Miss…that’s good.

    You’re absolutely right…the big picture issue is ‘does the ends justify the means’ – I guess I thought that was implied.

    However, I still stand by my initial point as well…I get the feeling for this guy, things make look ‘perfect’ from far away, and he fixates on that ideal – but gets disillusioned when brought back to real life. There’s a lot left out of the letter (too long) – multiple marriages, a history of very short term relationships – which perhaps I should have included.

    He got the big picture. I had hoped my response would help him see the basis of this particular attraction and tie it into a general pattern of behavior.

    Thanks for your two cents 🙂

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