My Facebook friends feed is starting to look an awful lot like Jerry Springer. At least two people are continuously posting inspirational graphics and status updates that are TMI about their divorce and it’s starting to piss me off. I haven’t been through a divorce myself, but I was at my partner’s side through his for nearly 3 years. It had started to feel like my own separation after about a year. I know how enraging and depressing it can be. I know how hopeless it can leave a person. I know how broke it can make a person.
We all know that the meat grinder people are put through in divorce is criminal… but that’s a really personal battle, and it doesn’t belong on social media. Even at the most aggressive and upsetting moments in my partner’s separation, I didn’t say a peep about it on Facebook. I mean, it wasn’t mine to talk about anyway, but you know what I mean. I made one tiny, vague allusion to it once about 2 years ago and that was it. But there are 2 individuals I have as friends who are doing everything in their power to destruct the reputation of their exes to everyone who will listen. They’re not retaining it as a private, personal matter and dealing with it like adults. No, they’re turning to Facebook to talk about what awesome parents they are and what shitty fathers their exes are. They’re posting WAY too much information about their legal proceedings. I finally had enough of it and messaged one of them the other night, opening with me basically telling her, “Yo, been there, done that… I know it’s hard. Here’s some advice.” And somewhere in that advice I politely slipped it in there that she should have some common sense about what she’s posting publically in the middle of legal proceedings. She didn’t respond, of course… but she’s still doing what she was doing, which enraged me because she’s acting like an idiot and villainizing ME for pointing it out. Whatever, the consequences aren’t mine to deal with.
Their behaviours remind me an awful lot of what my partner’s ex did to him during the separation, which might be why I feel such a divide between me and them. As far I know she wasn’t splashing it all over the internet, but then again how would I know? She was, however, making all the same fruitless allegations in the paperwork that I had become so familiar with. It seems to be a trend when it comes to ex-wives looking for money and custody. They’ve figured out that the best method to try to get everything they want is to slander the ex’s character, attack his suitability as a parent and dig up dirt on him to make a case for why she should be the primary everything. These are the same women who preach about what’s best for the children. Well, is telling the whole world about it what’s best for the children? Is using them as financial pawns what’s best for the children? Is sacrificing their time with their other parent, just so you can stuff your pockets with more child support, what’s best for the children? But usually that stays between the exes and the lawyers… not on the news feed of every person they’re connected with online.
I mean, I hardly know her anymore, and yet I now know some of the most personal aspects of her life. Who knows who she has on her friends list who’s reading this… professional colleagues? The parents of other kids her children hang around with? A BOSS?
The really funny thing in all of this is that they apparently split up because he got physically abusive with her. Immediately she posted photos of her black eye on Facebook. Let me stop right here for a second, before anyone launches some kind of accusation at me that I don’t support abused women.
Ok, if he laid his hands on you – the mother of his children – he’s a scumbag and he deserves everything he gets. No question. And obviously that will shake a person up real bad. But there are some problems with handling it this way. First of all, if your primary concern is for the safety of yourself and your kids, then what is the worst possible thing you can do to manage this situation? Maybe going on social media and talking about it and posting photographic evidence of it before any kind of legal action has taken place? Hmm, it’s only a guess, but I’d say something that defiles his character as a father and a husband is going to upset him a bit… especially if there’s a threat of him losing access to his kids. Putting such bold, personal information on a site like Facebook in the midst of all of that is really disrespectful to your family unit and to due process. Why do you think judges look so unkindly on people divulging this kind of shit publically? Maybe because there’s some kind of legal proceeding going on and sharing that kind of stuff publically kind of complicates matters? If he’s going through court for a criminal charge, he has the right to a fair trial… he has the right to be innocent until proven guilty. They’re especially aggressive about it when children are involved. Let the law do their job; and the law will tell you not to do stupid things like talk about it on the internet.
This is all the sort of stuff I was trying to convey to her in the private message I sent her. I know she saw it, because Facebook told me so. But just to make the point that she’s not going to be told what to do, she went right back to posting about it on her timeline. So I unfollowed her. I don’t want to see this bullshit.
It does anger me when people assume the 200 or so (however many people they have on their friends list) want to be inundated with this. I’m sure I post shit that people couldn’t care less about… like pictures of my cat, or mundane status updates… but I’m not really jeopardizing myself or anyone else with anything I do. So I can be mundane all I want, because the worst that’s going to happen is I’ll annoy people. But she’s doing a lot worse than that. She’s hurting her kids as a result.