Facebooking My Marriage
I didn’t go for it at first, the whole Facebook thing. An ex-boyfriend tried to break up my marriage on MySpace by posting a picture of me on my 20th birthday, sitting on his bed, surrounded by the presents that he had bought me, and a little paper party hat on my head. He thought, apparently, that it would remind me how great he was, so great that I would ditch my husband and come running back to him. The picture was massive. The guy obviously didn’t know how to scale a photo or something because that baby took over MyWholeSpace. And what it reminded me was how unhappy I’d been at 20, how badly I wanted out of that relationship, and how I had none of the skills to set myself free. Not then. Oh, but now. Now I had the delete button, which I promptly did to my account. Remember, there was no block functionality back then.
So, yeah, Facebook, why? Even my husband tried to get me to join. It’s fun. It reconnects you with long, lost friends. It’s great for spying on people. No thanks. That was until I was presented with a reason for joining that I couldn’t pass up. The Fisherman’s Wife’s wedding, one of the best weddings I have ever attended, basically a reunion of all of the friends and might-as-well-be-family that I hadn’t seen in years, and an account on Facebook where all of the pictures were being uploaded daily. A wedding was my gateway drug and I haven’t looked back since.
But I have looked sideways a few times at the ole Facebook. Like everyone, I loved it at first. I reconnected with every single person I’d ever said hello to or happened to sit next to at a dinner party. Suddenly all of my world was connected and, after the glitter wore off, that kind of sucked.
My husband got obsessive, asking me daily if I’d checked his page. And when I asked him why I would do that, he got upset. He wanted to know if I cared about his page. He wanted to know if I wondered what people had to say about him or to him. And the answer, actually, was no. Just like I don’t care if he pays cash for his gas or uses a card or if he eats a turkey sandwich for lunch. I care about him but I don’t obsess over the details of his life just like he doesn’t about mine. But Facebook changed that.
He started asking me who this Ryan was on my profile that was telling me that he loved me and couldn’t wait to see me again. Ryan was the husband of a good friend I had lost touch with and she, being scared of the internet, used her husband’s account instead of her own. She, in a girlie way, was telling me how much she had missed me but using her husband’s name, face, and account. Luckily I have a husband who trusts me or that would have sounded like a whopper of a cover up.
So I started vising my husband’s profile more and leaving him little messages that I could have told him in person. But then all of our personal correspondence was up on the internet. It’s not anything interesting, but I kind of like for our conversations to stay as private as our underwear drawers. I talk to him differently than I talk to anyone else because I love him. I don’t want other people peeping at those little interactions.
That stopped, though, when he quit Facebook. He waited the mandatory two weeks and wiped out his entire account. He says that he feels free to live his life again, that Facebook made him feel sad. It doesn’t make me feel sad. I feel watched.
My managers bump up against my grandma on my wall. My status updates go out to my mom, my mother-in-law, and the girl I sat next to in Biology class in high school who dyed her hair with raspberry blue Kool-aid. And yet I’ve still got an account. I’ve got one for the blog, too. I have a dual Facebook status despite it giving me the heebie jeebies. Why?
It’s what all of the cool kids are doing. And I have to say, it’s not the greatest for my marriage or my life or my work habits. I don’t want to be connected to everyone, everywhere, all the time, but I am. Sometimes my husband asks me over dinner what my status update currently says. And the weird thing is that I never want to tell him, not because I’m hiding anything, but because he’s one less person that I take into consideration when I’m blasting my daily activity out to the masses and I’d kind of like to keep it that way. And there’s kind of something wrong with that. No, there is something wrong with that and yet that’s what I do between the gap of Facebook and my real life.