Hopefully it’s clear by now that at rockinmarriage.com our goal is to help you put the sizzle back in your marriage. Ed and I have gotten very good at rejuvenating the romance in our own marriage, but along the way in our work advising other couples we have discovered that it’s more than just coming up with good ideas for injecting romance and spicing up your love life. It is also about learning how to prevent the events and dynamics that can erode feelings of closeness and intimate passion in your marriage.
One of the things that’s come to our attention in recent years is the phenomenon of the return of old flames through social media like classmates.com and Facebook. The pervasiveness of these media make it all too easy to take that walk down memory lane when we get nostalgic thinking about the past. Before you know it you are either innocently searching for that old boyfriend or girlfriend
just to say “hi, long time no see! How are you?” or they suddenly show up in your inbox one day.
You start communicating with your old flame, and you become aware of old feelings you once had for that person resurfacing out of nowhere. Soon you find yourself communicating far too often and obsessing over that person and your newly found feelings for them. If you let it go too far, you find yourself in a full blown emotional affair and it has begun interfering in your otherwise happy marriage.
You don’t have to be looking for an affair, and you don’t even have to be unhappily married for this to happen.
Nancy Kalish, Ph.D. is perhaps the world’s foremost expert on lost love relationships. With 2 books and numerous articles and plenty of other press about her work on the topic, she notes that in her many years of work in this arena there are more extramarital affairs, ostensibly because of the Internet.
So what has changed with the Internet is how casual, even accidental, it can be nowadays to see a photo of lost love, or even a name, and have all the memories come flooding back. The old flame is right there, ready for contact, and what could be the harm? People who are happily married, especially, do not realize the risk they are taking, the Pandora’s box they are opening, just to say hello. But this began long before Facebook. A lost love could be found through Google, web sites like Classmates.com, or people finder sites like Zabasearch.com. Facebook is simply the newest medium to blame,” Dr. Kalish writes in her article “Extramarital Affairs in the New Millenium.”
Even if an innocent reconnection with a lost love progresses into an affair, the chances of it turning into a lasting relationship are slim when one or both parties are married to other people. Her research demonstrated that of the people who reconnected while married, only 5% actually stayed together. In the meantime, marriages are destroyed and hearts are devastated.
The moral of the story (and the tip for the day): If you are married and considering looking up an ex boyfriend or girlfriend just out of curiosity, DON’T. You’ll potentially save yourself and your loved ones a whole lot of heartache, and preserve your marriage in the process.