Author Topic: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married  (Read 14830 times)

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wolfie

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #90 on: May 14, 2014, 11:53:32 AM »
For some reason, this thread keeps reminding me of the one about A, B and C, where one of the men keeps bringing someone besides his wife to their gathering, and it's making people uncomfortable.

Sure, there's a difference between posting photos on FB and showing up with someone you're not married to, but...what actually is the difference?  How does it get articulated?  This is why I totally disagree with people saying it's not about etiquette.  Of course it is.  The issue isn't about the morality of their relationship; it's about how to handle it vis a vis others in a way that's least likely to be hurtful.  In OPs scenario, sure the husband, the kids, his family and friends can block or hide, but by the time they know to do this, the damage has been done. 

The way I see it, it becomes the business of others when it gets presented to them.  Just a theoretical, but if you (general) went to a party and a married man showed up with someone besides his wife, and his wife is a fairly good friend of yours...does it become your business?  Is the guy at this party on solid ground because it's nobody's business what his marriage is like?  Sure, the analogy isn't perfect, but some basic principles still apply.   It's very possible people close to the husband found this distasteful or upsetting.  In that case, how can it be good etiquette?

I know my viewpoint is a minority one, but I still find the differing POV's pretty fascinating!

I think I love you!

(I won't put it up on Facebook, though.)

Thank you.  The last thing I need is more status drama!

I also agree that wolfie raises a good point.  The problem, though, is this runs into the same brick wall that popped up in that wedding re-do thread.   In other words, someone can feel that their marriage is over, and that's nobody's business.  But marriage in the US is not a state of mind.  It has legal, societal, etiquette and even religious definitions and significance.  So when the couple no longer recognizes their own marriage, fine...but choices should be made keeping in mind that other entities very much recognize it.

I don't mean to sound tightly wrapped.  Heck, I have friends whose stories could be made into movies and people would say it was unrealistic, because this would never happen!  So it's not about personal relationship choices for me.  It's about the potential to make others uncomfortable or, where the kids in the OP are concerned, even worse.  And I think that's very much an etiquette issue.

I think if you are telling people that your marriage is over and it is juts a matter of the divorce making its way through the system then it is all on you. I did start dating before my divorce was final. My husband decided to get a sex change operation and had been pretty much over for years before we decided to end things. I very much doubt anyone was shocked or upset about our divorce and I would have taken a very dim view of someone telling me I wasn't allowed to date yet because they hadn't processed our divorce yet. I also felt no need to pretend there was a chance to mend things or to deny myself a chance at happiness just because the courts are slow. So I am not willing to condemn other people for doing the same thing.

turnip

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #91 on: May 14, 2014, 11:55:54 AM »
I think bah has a good handle on things.  Look - marriages breaking up and new relationships forming are going to make people uncomfortable and hurt no matter how it is communicated.  There is simply no avoiding it.

So I don't see why the FB announcement makes this different.   

bah12

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #92 on: May 14, 2014, 11:56:32 AM »
For some reason, this thread keeps reminding me of the one about A, B and C, where one of the men keeps bringing someone besides his wife to their gathering, and it's making people uncomfortable.

Sure, there's a difference between posting photos on FB and showing up with someone you're not married to, but...what actually is the difference?  How does it get articulated?  This is why I totally disagree with people saying it's not about etiquette.  Of course it is.  The issue isn't about the morality of their relationship; it's about how to handle it vis a vis others in a way that's least likely to be hurtful.  In OPs scenario, sure the husband, the kids, his family and friends can block or hide, but by the time they know to do this, the damage has been done. 

The way I see it, it becomes the business of others when it gets presented to them.  Just a theoretical, but if you (general) went to a party and a married man showed up with someone besides his wife, and his wife is a fairly good friend of yours...does it become your business?  Is the guy at this party on solid ground because it's nobody's business what his marriage is like?  Sure, the analogy isn't perfect, but some basic principles still apply.   It's very possible people close to the husband found this distasteful or upsetting.  In that case, how can it be good etiquette?

I know my viewpoint is a minority one, but I still find the differing POV's pretty fascinating!

I think I love you!

(I won't put it up on Facebook, though.)

Thank you.  The last thing I need is more status drama!

I also agree that wolfie raises a good point.  The problem, though, is this runs into the same brick wall that popped up in that wedding re-do thread.   In other words, someone can feel that their marriage is over, and that's nobody's business.  But marriage in the US is not a state of mind.  It has legal, societal, etiquette and even religious definitions and significance.  So when the couple no longer recognizes their own marriage, fine...but choices should be made keeping in mind that other entities very much recognize it.
I don't mean to sound tightly wrapped.  Heck, I have friends whose stories could be made into movies and people would say it was unrealistic, because this would never happen!  So it's not about personal relationship choices for me.  It's about the potential to make others uncomfortable or, where the kids in the OP are concerned, even worse.  And I think that's very much an etiquette issue.

Which is why I think that they shouldn't complain or be shocked when they feel social consequences for how they handle the ending of their marriage.  Making choices comes with consequences.  But people have the right to make choices and suffer the consequences.  On the flip side, I don't think etiquette allows us to tell people what they can and can't do or what the can and can't communicate on FB, simply because we don't like it.  Putting it on FB does not give us that right.  They have a right to do and communicate what they want, and we have the right to choose how or if we associate with them in the future.

Twik

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #93 on: May 14, 2014, 11:57:34 AM »
The trouble with putting things on Facebook is that it makes it other people's business, because why else are you telling them these things?

I think people have a choice - keep their personal lives private (which then gives them the right to be annoyed if other people butt in), or make them open for public consumption. The second choice, though, means that one cannot be offended if people don't agree with everything you've done, and discuss their disagreements in public, because you put the topic out into public view in the first place.

Which is why I don't Facebook, and certainly wouldn't be putting up relationship statuses if I did. There are very few people who need to know my romantic status, and those who do need to know will get it from another source than Facebook.
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turnip

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #94 on: May 14, 2014, 12:06:16 PM »
The trouble with putting things on Facebook is that it makes it other people's business, because why else are you telling them these things?

I think people have a choice - keep their personal lives private (which then gives them the right to be annoyed if other people butt in), or make them open for public consumption. The second choice, though, means that one cannot be offended if people don't agree with everything you've done, and discuss their disagreements in public, because you put the topic out into public view in the first place.

Which is why I don't Facebook, and certainly wouldn't be putting up relationship statuses if I did. There are very few people who need to know my romantic status, and those who do need to know will get it from another source than Facebook.

relationship statuses _are_ other people's business, though, if you have a social circle that throws gatherings.  You are effectively announcing that you are a social unit, and would expected to be invited to events together.

If someone disapproves of (hypothetical) you, they don't have to invite you - but at least they'll know what is happening and avoid an unpleasant surprise of you arriving with your unwanted boyfriend.

People don't have to approve of your choices - but speaking ill of someone behind their back is still rude, and confronting someone on how you disapprove of them is still rude.  So whatever you may think of marriage, separations, divorce, or time-lines, the only polite response is silence.

 

bah12

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #95 on: May 14, 2014, 12:12:10 PM »
The trouble with putting things on Facebook is that it makes it other people's business, because why else are you telling them these things?

I think people have a choice - keep their personal lives private (which then gives them the right to be annoyed if other people butt in), or make them open for public consumption. The second choice, though, means that one cannot be offended if people don't agree with everything you've done, and discuss their disagreements in public, because you put the topic out into public view in the first place.

Which is why I don't Facebook, and certainly wouldn't be putting up relationship statuses if I did. There are very few people who need to know my romantic status, and those who do need to know will get it from another source than Facebook.

Maybe when we talk about "peoples' business" we have different definitions.  Because I think the reason why people post of Facebook is for knowledge.  Knowing something about me, doesn't make it your business.

When I think of "business", I think that you have some stake in the outcome (beyond just having an opinion) and that your feelings and beliefs need to be taken into consideration when making decisions.  For me, the only people who's business my relationship is mine, my husband's, and my minor child's.  Yet, a whole lot of other people are aware that I'm married and they may have opinions about how I conduct my marriage in public, but they have no place to insist that I consider their feelings when making decisions in regards to my marriage.

If by 'business' you mean the right to have an opinion and employ social consequences, then I agree with you.

As for discussing disagreements in public, I'm not sure we're on the same page...I'm sure there are some instances where discussion of someone's private life is warranted but in most cases, it smells a lot like gossip, which I think is rude.

miranova

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #96 on: May 14, 2014, 07:56:45 PM »
Call me an old fuddy-duddy but I think it is in very poor form to announce your new relationship publicly so soon and while still married.  I don't buy all of the "no one should ever judge anyone for anything ever" stuff.  That's basically what we do all day long on this board:  judge people's behavior.  I wouldn't say anything TO the person doing the FB posting (and yes I've seen something like this myself from a friend on FB) but that doesn't mean I'm not entitled to my opinion on it.  I do think it's tacky, and I feel I am just as entitled to that opinion as a person with the opposite opinion.  No one is advocating that the OP start sending this woman emails telling her that she is being tacky.  But discussing it here is as fair as any other thread that gets started.  I cast my vote for tacky and bordering on rude.  I won't even get into morality because for me that depends on other circumstances and this isn't a morality board.

TootsNYC

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #97 on: May 14, 2014, 08:04:54 PM »
I think if you are telling people that your marriage is over and it is juts a matter of the divorce making its way through the system then it is all on you. I did start dating before my divorce was final. My husband decided to get a sex change operation and had been pretty much over for years before we decided to end things. I very much doubt anyone was shocked or upset about our divorce and I would have taken a very dim view of someone telling me I wasn't allowed to date yet because they hadn't processed our divorce yet. I also felt no need to pretend there was a chance to mend things or to deny myself a chance at happiness just because the courts are slow. So I am not willing to condemn other people for doing the same thing.

The thing is, it's not that anybody is telling you not to date.

It's that Etiquette says, "don't make other people uncomfortable by putting them in a position of feeling that they have to choose between, on the one hand, being disrespectful to the institution of marriage or to all the parties involved, or on the other, being disrespectful to you by not acknowledging the important things in your life."

It's not about the state of your heart, or your STBX-spouse's heart. It's about how you make other people feel by your public declarations.

So when everyone around you is aware of how thoroughly your marriage is over, you don't need to be quite as discreet. And you might need to be more discreet with people who aren't as close to you (or maybe less discreet).

In the old days, it was easy: You did not, ever, push your new relationship into other people's view until the divorce was final.

It's not as easy now, because divorce is easier (and also harder, actually), and we don't have the same universal standards that we once did.

So now? I don't know. I'd personal argue that if you want to be believed to have "good form," you don't change your Facebook relationship status until your divorce is final--or at least close.

ladyknight1

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #98 on: May 14, 2014, 08:08:30 PM »
I'm of the mindset that once you have an official separation, dating is fair game. In the OP and in LadyL's posts, there is no official separation. That is when it is uncomfortable for your social circle, in that some of them won't know you are no longer in a couple with the ex, so it is confusing to see a status update that you are now a couple with new person.


miranova

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #99 on: May 14, 2014, 08:09:55 PM »
I think if you are telling people that your marriage is over and it is juts a matter of the divorce making its way through the system then it is all on you. I did start dating before my divorce was final. My husband decided to get a sex change operation and had been pretty much over for years before we decided to end things. I very much doubt anyone was shocked or upset about our divorce and I would have taken a very dim view of someone telling me I wasn't allowed to date yet because they hadn't processed our divorce yet. I also felt no need to pretend there was a chance to mend things or to deny myself a chance at happiness just because the courts are slow. So I am not willing to condemn other people for doing the same thing.

The thing is, it's not that anybody is telling you not to date.

It's that Etiquette says, "don't make other people uncomfortable by putting them in a position of feeling that they have to choose between, on the one hand, being disrespectful to the institution of marriage or to all the parties involved, or on the other, being disrespectful to you by not acknowledging the important things in your life."


Exactly.

turnip

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #100 on: May 14, 2014, 08:22:20 PM »
I think if you are telling people that your marriage is over and it is juts a matter of the divorce making its way through the system then it is all on you. I did start dating before my divorce was final. My husband decided to get a sex change operation and had been pretty much over for years before we decided to end things. I very much doubt anyone was shocked or upset about our divorce and I would have taken a very dim view of someone telling me I wasn't allowed to date yet because they hadn't processed our divorce yet. I also felt no need to pretend there was a chance to mend things or to deny myself a chance at happiness just because the courts are slow. So I am not willing to condemn other people for doing the same thing.

The thing is, it's not that anybody is telling you not to date.

It's that Etiquette says, "don't make other people uncomfortable by putting them in a position of feeling that they have to choose between, on the one hand, being disrespectful to the institution of marriage or to all the parties involved, or on the other, being disrespectful to you by not acknowledging the important things in your life."


Exactly.


OK.  So maybe no one is saying "Don't date", but are they also saying "We don't want you to bring your new partner around"?

I mean - they can, if their values are such that they don't wish to socialize with a legally married person and their new romantic interest, that is a clear and defensible position.  But it is also a decision that is probably going to affect their friendship.  Maybe it's worth it - it's not my place to judge.

But in all of this I still think FB is besides the point.  A FB status change is involving you in only the slightest, least intrusive way.  It is not a direct contact, it is not face to face, you have every opportunity to see it, determine how you feel, and settle for yourself if you wish to support it.  It does not in any way force you to confront the still-married person with your feelings.

Now when they see you or call you or show up at your doorstep with partner in tow - _then_ you are going to have to decide how to respond.  And frankly, in that case, wouldn't it be better that at least the FB status has given you advanced notice?

Goosey

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #101 on: May 15, 2014, 09:12:45 AM »
She has lost a ton of weight after weight loss surgery, started a new job, started hanging around guys that apparently complimented her;

The judginess of this gets to me. Deity forbid people compliment her appearance and she feel good and confident about herself.

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anyway, they are separated by just 5 months

5 months is a LONG time - especially if the marriage was emotionally over for them before they separated.

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(not a legal separation AFAIK)
So, you don't know the details about their separation, their reasons for separating, the state of their marriage before separation or the legalities of their current state, but you're going to assume anyways and judge her.

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Her husband suspected all along that there was another guy and apparently he was right
It's not "another guy" if they are separating with intent to divorce. It's a "new guy". Just because she started dating 5 months after separating does not in any way indicate she was cheating.


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(except that she and my daughter were BFF's and she kept a lot of secrets from my DD and now they're not as close)
Maybe she was afraid of your daughter's judgement of how she was handling her separation from her husband.

TurtleDove

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #102 on: May 15, 2014, 09:18:25 AM »
I agree with Goosey. Divorce is awful, but staying with someone who does not bring out the best in us is even worse. I get the sense the husband did not appreciate the woman, she decided she wanted more out of life and they separated and started the divorce. I cannot fault her for wanting the best out of life. Her remaining miserable does not bring joy to anyone else.

wolfie

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #103 on: May 15, 2014, 10:27:50 AM »
I agree with Goosey. Divorce is awful, but staying with someone who does not bring out the best in us is even worse. I get the sense the husband did not appreciate the woman, she decided she wanted more out of life and they separated and started the divorce. I cannot fault her for wanting the best out of life. Her remaining miserable does not bring joy to anyone else.

I agree. And I would also not be surprised if he thought they could reconcile because he was happy and didn't really think she was serious when she said she wasn't and wanted to leave and so now feels blindsided.

TurtleDove

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Re: Posting In A Relation-Ship on FB when still married
« Reply #104 on: May 15, 2014, 10:39:41 AM »
I think it makes sense to be aware that actions have consequences, but for me, I would choose my own happiness 100% of the time. Judgment from the mother of my best friend might hurt, but she wouldn't know the entire situation and I could never make her happy anyway. No one can please all people all the time, and I generally think it is best to know yourself, make choices that make you happiest overall (factoring negative repurcussions as well), and cut out people who are more concerned with judging a situation they don't understand than wanting happiness for me.