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Another marriage ends…thanks facebook April 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 8:29 AM
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A friend’s marriage broke up recently, her husband left her. I was shocked. On the surface the couple had it all. At the very least they were kind, caring, normal people who seemed so happy.

“He must have cheated.” I announced to my husband.

“You’re so bitter,” he said, “You always think the worst of the husband.”

“I’m not bitter, I’m realistic.” I assured him.

I don’t want to think that way. I want to believe that sometimes normal, loving couples just grow apart. But, the thing is, deep down I don’t believe it. I believe women get sick of it all and leave to finally be alone, and men leave for other women.

Okay, maybe I am bitter. I don’t want to have such little faith in men. I have wonderful, loving influences in my life: my father, my husband, my brother-in-law law, my son. They’re the reason I can write male characters in my novels that have some redeeming qualities. I have male friends who are decent, loyal men, and I have relatives who are wonderful husbands and partners as well. Many of my closest female friends have great husbands too.

So what’s with the man-hating theory that men only leave for other women? I don’t really know. After all, women cheat too. Men don’t own the market on being cheating horn-dogs. But I don’t think it’s the cheating in question, it’s the leaving. I just haven’t met a man who left a marriage or long-term relationship without another woman lurking on the horizon, or already in his bed.

I guess I need to be proven wrong. Like perhaps if I had run into this friend and she’d said that she’d met someone else, or that it had ended just because they decided they were better off as friends than lovers. But of course, that isn’t what she told me when I ran into her this weekend.

She told me he’d been conversing with an old high school sweetheart for the last year on Facebook. He left after she gave him the ultimatum to stop all correspondence with her, and he refused. I guess you can’t blame him, he’d already booked the trip out west to meet up with her and his ticket was probably non-refundable. And of course, the woman had likely already arranged childcare for her kids, so what is a cheating couple to do other than move ahead with the deceitful fornication?

I felt terrible for this friend. Her family life was abruptly altered based on the man she trusted for 15 years getting a friend request over Facebook that spiralled into a life altering relationship. Years ago, a spouse would have to get out of the house to cheat. Leave the family at home to go out for drinks, or away on business and happen to run into an old flame, or meet a new one.

But in the world of social media, we have instant reconnection powers at our fingertips. He was able to forge that relationship while he was at work, while his wife was reading in the next room, and while his daughter was watching her favourite show. The problem with this wonderful technology is that it’s so easy – his ass doesn’t even need to leave the chair, and the next thing you know he’s got a plane ticket in his hand and on his way to extramarital sex. Casual banter and reminiscing can move into intimate conversation, which can lead to a warped sense of thinking you know a person you really don’t know anymore. To leave your family for a Facebook friend, no matter how many virtual “pokes” you’ve shared, is pathetic and sad for everyone involved.

So thanks to the ease and accessibility of social networking creeping into marriages….another one bites the dust. Women leave to be alone, men leave for other women. I hate that I always seem to be right on this one.

My dear male blog readers: feel free to try to bring me into the light on this, but you better make it good. I’m a hard nut to crack, and bitter too, apparently.