• Wed, Sep 25 - 5:50 pm ET

Dad Says His Batty Ex Would Take Him Unfriending Her On FB Harder Than Divorce

unfriendFacebook — and social media in general– is clearly a sensitive landmine for many. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have so many unanimous Facebook transgresses and digital fight outbreaks, as well as addictions. But despite whatever awkwardness might assume your social media browsing, let us hope the happenings on digital mediums wouldn’t transcend actual dissolutions of unions or relationships. To one guy’s ex-wife, however, not being Facebook besties would hit harder than their divorce — so he estimates.

The father writes to “Dear Prudence” that his ex-wife tags him constantly on Facebook. And when she’s not doing that, he says that she’s commenting on nearly everything else — stuff that doesn’t have anything to them or the co-parenting of their two 8-year-old daughters. His girlfriend is understandably not pleased with this, but “Unfriendly,” as he signs his query, is hesitant to de-friend his ex-wife. Why? Because according to him, she would take that “blow” harder than she did their divorce..?

I’m a millennial, so the the notion that “de-friending” someone on social media can even be a major eff you was INVENTED by my generation (unfortunately). Therefore, I get it. But since when did non-digital friendships automatically translate into digital ones? I have all kinds of people in my life that are definitely not in my newsfeed, and for myriad reasons.

It’s unclear why “Unfriendly” and his wife parted ways (oh, but Emily Yoffe here has some guesses!). Not all divorces are drama fests and it’s unfair to assume that the dissolution of their marriage was an epic fall out just because they’re not legally bound anymore, especially since it seems that “Unfriendly” and his wife are happily co-parenting. But regardless of how you feel about your spouse, I would surmise that even the draining process of getting a divorce would greatly outweigh the “blow” of a Facebook de-friending.

(photo:  Oli Dunkley)

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  • Paul White

    I actually had a pretty nasty email spat with a former friend after unfriending them on FB. I still liked them well IRL, but on FB they were pedantic asses on a regular basis.

    • yup

      My friend hasn’t talked to me in 2 years because I unfriended her…. That’s when I realized that maybe we weren’t really friends to begin with.

  • gummykandi

    I got unfriended for disagreeing on the topic of abortion with a former coworker. Saw him I real life recently, it was totally fine. It may not be as bad as he expects. Then again maybe his ex wife is bat sh*t crazy. He could always limit what she sees with his Facebook settings. I do the same to certain irritating family members.

    • Muggle

      She’ll probably notice. I did that once to someone who was constantly monitoring my Facebook and would call every single time I updated my status and give me the third degree about it if it was too vague. She found out she was missing a lot from other people who could still see my posts.

      It was easier just to tell her to stop.

    • whiteroses

      Wait— who DOES that???!!!

    • Muggle

      A relative who just wanted to see how I was doing at college (this all happened during my first semester there). I was doing okay, but every now and again I’d post about something that was bugging me. Apparently that meant the end of the world.

  • Ruby_Ruby

    Facebook’s privacy settings are dreadfully underutilized. I live in a small college town and it would be super awkward if I defriended every obnoxious person I am connected with through Facebook. A much cleaner option is just to have a list of those people who never see more than an occasional super vanilla post about the weather.

    • Gangle

      Yeah. I like my in-laws, but they are seriously limited as to what they view on my fb page. That way I don’t have to worry about ‘slipping up’ and posting something that may or may not be gossip fodder.

    • yup

      I just unfriended my in laws. YAY me. I don’t care about the fall out. We all had each other on restricted lists so there was no point in being on each other’s facebooks.

    • Paul White

      But then why be friends with them in the first place?

    • Andrea

      Well for someone like the prudence letter writer, it would be a great solution

    • Ruby_Ruby

      Because they are my in-laws, coworkers, and people I see on a regular basis.

  • CMJ

    My MIL de-friended me and my husband. We’re awesome.

    • Blooming_Babies

      I’m guess that contrary to recent studies less contact with your MIL made your life a little happier.

  • doxgukka

    I unfriend people all the time, and then might re-add them down the track haha. I go through phases where I am like “boring..unfriend” “don’t really care.. unfirend” then down the track I’ll be like “hmm wonder what they’re up to…request”. though most of the people I unfreind are my husband’s friends because he doesn’t have facebook. So I keep the ones he keeps in contact with via email, phone IRL the rest, meh, who cares.

  • AmazingE

    I laugh because I know people like that. I unfriended a friend’s ex-wife (before they divorced) because I just couldn’t deal with all the preachy religious stuff she was posting. Well she freaked out and accused me of some pretty bizarre stuff, and I ended up just blocking her and tweaking my security settings.

    All I can really think of to say is that some people are just weird.

  • SDA

    I have never really understood exes that remain Facebook friends while going through and shortly after a divorce. To me it just seems that you would want time without each other in your direct life (other than dealing with aspects that you need to such as children), I think it would make it hard to move on. Take some time and re-friend each other later if you come to a point where you would want to share more with each other.

    • Muggle

      I can understand it when there are kids involved, as Facebook can make communication easier when phones aren’t an option for some reason. I certainly understand hiding each other’s posts in the newsfeed, but if the divorce is amicable I don’t see why the couple should unfriend each other.

  • Momma425

    I would love to know exactly what the ex wife is “liking” and tagging him in. If they are posts about their daughters with pictures, I can understand her actions. If it’s random…I would say she hasn’t let go.
    Also- are the two friends other than coparenting? I can see why she would be upset if they are friends and then all of a sudden he just removes her.
    The guy’s new girlfriend needs to realize that even if he removes his ex from FB, she is going to continue to be part of their lives. If she can’t handle the ex on facebook…I can imagine that there is going to be some jealousy issues to come later on.
    I don’t have my ex on my facebook friends because we are not friends in real life. I have my in-laws blocked, with the exception of his sister, who is not a facebook “friend” but we do message back and forth every now and again. As I recall, my ex MIL did pitch a fit when I took her off of friends even though we openly hated each other…but my blocking her on fb, e-mail, and my phone…I didn’t really have to hear about it.

  • nightshaderebel

    lol, i not only have 2 accounts because i have people i dont want to have see things, i also feel the need to hide certain political viewpoints from family members, how has he not noticed privacy settings?