I received a friend request on Facebook from an old boyfriend. I have a great relationship with my husband, so I don’t see an issue with it. Should I accept his request?
Dear Happily Married,
Facebook is a great way to connect with friends and family and share life events. It has given us the ability to stay up to date with those who are not involved in our day-to-day lives. Ask yourself the following questions when determining whether to accept a friend request on social media.
If your husband has any reservations about the rekindling of this friendship, ignore the request.
Have I talked with my husband about this person, and does he know the history behind our relationship? It is important to be honest and transparent about your past relationships. Keeping secrets will undermine the trust you have with your husband. If he has any reservations about the rekindling of this friendship, ignore the request.
What are the intentions behind the friend request, and what are my intentions in accepting this request? You most likely have some inclination about the motives behind a prior boyfriend reaching out to you and whether his intentions are appropriate. You need to carefully examine your own motives as well to be sure they are pure. Any discontentment in your marriage could easily spark inappropriate conversation.
Without boundaries, networking sites can become a dangerous place to hang out.
Could this connection present any issues in my marriage? Reminiscing on the past could stir jealousy or suspicion. Details may come out that your husband wasn’t aware of or that you have never shared with each other. Be sure you both are secure in your relationship and trust one another to be able to deal with any new revelations that may come to light.
Do I allow my husband visibility into my Facebook and social media life? Being accountable with your spouse for your activity will show your commitment to be transparent about those you engage with online. Keeping relationships or conversations hidden from your spouse can lead to other secrets and temptations that can damage trust.
How would I respond if my husband was asked to reconnect with a girlfriend from the past? It is wise to have boundaries in place so you both have clear expectations when it comes to online relationships. Without boundaries, networking sites can become a dangerous place to hang out. Innocent conversation has the potential of turning into something more before you are aware of it.
Examine your online relationships carefully. It is not worth putting your marriage at risk. Guard yourself from any source of temptation and treasure your spouse!
Yours in accountability,
“Ask Ali” is an op-ed column answering common questions about accountability and related topics.