But I knew I wanted boundaries. After being on Facebook for a few months I saw how quickly everyone connected with each other. I also saw the debates, the chats, the teasing, the camaraderie that can be found on Facebook. And I knew that I wanted to be careful. I didn’t want to compromise my marriage in any way on Facebook.
I’m not the typical person on Facebook that has lots of high school classmates looking them up – there were only two others in my school with me, my brother and sister. I don’t have ex-boyfriends to look up – my husband was my first and only love. But I’ve seen marriages fall apart in ways that astound me, and frankly, that scare me. I’ve seen how little things build up into big things, how slowly over time relationships can start suffering without even knowing it. Tragically, I’ve witnessed first hand separation and affairs happen in marriages that I longed to believe would be solid and rock proof. So I don’t play around with my marriage. I don’t assume that we will always be madly in love. Effort has to be applied to relationships, most of all marriages. With this belief, I decided to be careful with my marriage even on something as simple as Facebook.
A few months after joining Facebook I made a rule for myself, and four years later I still have the same rule – I do not personally friend men on Facebook. Whether they are long time friends that I consider to be more like brothers, or wonderful friends from church that are friends with as a couple, I don’t friend them. My only exception has been if a husband and wife have an account together, I still friend them because I’m friending the wife on the account. I also have friended a few men’s business pages, whether it be for religious or homeschooling purposes, but it’s not a personal page.
You might think I’m extreme, but it’s been a good rule, and one that my husband appreciates. My husband is not on Facebook, and only occasionally gets on my account to see what is going on. This rule extends out of Facebook as well, while we both freely chat with friends at church that are male and female, we don’t call up the opposite sex on the phone for friendly chats and to catch up. My husband has had opportunities to grow his business through business lunches, but it would require meeting a woman alone for lunch, so he has declined. I’m profoundly grateful for that.
When I made this rule for myself, I simply went in my account and deleted the men on my Facebook account that I was friends with, and honestly they probably didn’t even notice!
I only have one chance at my marriage. Sure, there are wonderful stories of marriages coming back together again after tragedy has struck the marriage, but the painful memories of those times would never go away. I’m far from the perfect wife, but this is an easy way for me to show my love and faithfulness to my husband.
How do you protect your marriage online? Have you created online boundaries? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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