For some people, the ability to check up on their former spouse’s new life is too tempting to ignore. They compulsively check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, personal blogs, and any other social media where they might find out information about the once-love of their life. They may even stalk mutual (or once mutual) friends to see if a photo or clue about their ex pops up for them to obsess over. Sound familiar?
You may have successfully maneuvered your way through the legalities of the divorce process, but there are plenty of other ties that need to be cut at the end of a marriage. Maintaining links with each other online can create a false sense of connection and interfere with the necessary healing process post-divorce.
Admit Your Weakness
It can be particularly tempting to stalk your ex when they’ve blacklisted you from their online presence entirely. They’ve blocked you on Facebook. They’ve blocked your friends and family. That means you can’t even see if they exist anymore, at least on that one site. But this move can turn some people into amateur sleuths, skulking around the internet looking for signs of life. Are you prepared for what you might find? Will it really help you to know that they’re dating again or that they got a dog, a haircut, or a new car?
Let Logic Win
You are divorced. You have separated your life from another person. It’s time to start anew. It’s essential to accept these facts so you don’t hinder your healing process. No matter how necessary your divorce was, you have some regrouping to do, and neglecting to break up with your ex online – and their entire social network as well – will only complicate your ability to move on. One study found that you cause yourself more psychological distress the more time you spend on your ex’s Facebook page after your split.
Your real friends won’t use Facebook to communicate with you about your divorce; acquaintances however, will use their social media connection with you merely to rustle up some intel. You may be desperate to connect with people, but rely on the network of trusted friends and family who will answer your texts and phone calls and see you in person. Leave cyberspace behind for a while. You’ll be less tempted to stalk and can protect yourself from gossipmongers too.
Purge Your Photos
You undoubtedly have photos of you and your former spouse online and on your phone. Delete. If you can’t make the ultimate cut, at least save them somewhere that makes it more tedious to get to them every time you want to scroll through photo memories. If you can’t delete a pic from a social media account because it belongs to someone else, simply untag yourself.
Just Say No
In some cases, you simply have to cut yourself off from social media entirely. If you find you can’t stop cyberstalking your ex, it’s time to delete social media apps from your phone or suspend your account for a while. You’ll have more free time. More room to let your heart and mind heal. And you won’t be inundated with the happy relationship photos and updates of friends and acquaintances – comparing your life to others’ isn’t healthy either. And Facebook and its ilk can be a rabbit hole that syphons away your self-worth and inflates your regrets. Your hiatus doesn’t have to be permanent, and your self-imposed banishment will likely be accompanied by some withdrawal, but you’ll be healthier emotionally for saying no to social media.
When You Just Can’t Quit Cyberstalking
For divorced couples with children, it can be a little more complicated extricating yourself from social media. You want to see what your ex is doing with your kids, and you know they’re going to post every photo of their activities online. Can you stop them? Maybe. Talk to your divorce attorney about what you’re OK with post-divorce when it comes to your children and your former partner. Social media is a relevant element in divorces – it’s become one of the biggest sources of evidence in divorce cases – even serving as the root cause for some of them. It’s possible to set down rules about online behavior as part of your divorce settlement.
Give yourself permission to move on with your life. Plus, remember to keep your own divorce grievances offline. Contact Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens, MI, to schedule your no-cost initial interview today and ask all the social media questions you need to make sure your divorce is fair and final.