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Hi and welcome back to Coffee with Clare every Thursday! 

Dear Clare:

My husband, Bill, and I are in our early 30’s and have been married for six years.  We are happily married, and have a thriving relationship … or so I thought.  Now I am not so sure.  Recently, I saw on “Facebook” that his old flame, Shirley, is listed as one of his friends.  It seems that I am seeing him use his I-phone more and more during dinner and after evening meals. I have questioned him about this, and Bill gets annoyed and says, “You are on Facebook, too.  I am just catching up with today’s events.” I am just uncomfortable with him communicating one on one with his ex-flames.  Am I just being too paranoid?  I feel like all this social media is taking away from our relationship.  It doesn’t feel like we have quality time or are communicating with each other, especially in the evenings after work when it used to be our time together.  Maybe I am just overreacting, am I?  Please let me know. I need someone else’s opinion besides my own!

Signed –

Fretting in Phoenix.

Portrait of unhappy adult couple having problems

Dear Fretting:

I think you need to have a heart to heart talk with Bill about your relationship and “boundaries”. First, ask yourself, “do I have a tendency to become a little more ‘jealous’ than necessary?”  Do you two, in your relationship, have trust issues?  If you are that concerned about him being on social media, then you need clear rules for your relationship.  There is no clear right or wrong answer here.  And sometimes, unfortunately, talking with people online can be a form of “flirting” and can open up the door to temptation and intrusions into your relationship.  But the key, I think, is being open and honest with Bill about how this bothers you and makes you feel very uncomfortable.  Be up front with him that you are concerned that he is engaging in “sneaky stuff” on social media, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc.  We all know nothing is really private on the internet anymore. 

So I would explain to Bill that (1) you are concerned with him talking online or on social media with his old girlfriend; and (2) that you are concerned you aren’t getting enough quality time with Bill uninterrupted from social media. 

So as a suggestion, you may want to discuss possible limits such as:

  • You are very uncomfortable with him talking one on one with old girlfriends online and ask him if he will consider stopping. 
  • No I-phone use during any meals at home. 
  • No I-phone use during your quality time together – special outings, date night, dinner out, fun day trips. 
  • No I-phone use while you are at home having one on one conversations.

Bill may find this too restrictive or doesn’t want social media “rules”.  Be sure to ask him how he would feel if you were “talking” online to some of your old boyfriends.  But, wait about a month and see whether you see any positive changes. Obviously, this is a big point of concern for you and I would suggest going to see a couple’s therapist to discuss this one on one if you see no improvement over time.  


Readers – any suggestions for “Fretting in Phoenix”?

Thank you for stopping in today!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at:   I would love to hear from you and all inquiries do remain anonymous! 

Until next time~


Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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