Surfing your ex’s Facebook page?
Getting friends to let you take a peek because you’ve been unfriended?
Have you become…a cyber-spy?
According to an article by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on the World of Psychology* website…
Up to half of Facebook users use it to spy on ex-partners.”
Gathering information on your soon-to-be ex may be critical to your legal divorce
But beyond that…is cyber spying good for you?
I think not.
- Painful emotions are continually fed when you watch your ex’s life. Photos of your happy ex may feed your resentment. Images portrayed to the public may belie what you know to be true about that person and feed your frustrations. Images of your ex and a new romantic interest may stab at your self-esteem.
- Lurking around your ex’s life through social media keeps you emotionally tied to that person no matter whether that emotion is anger, lust or love. Healing from divorce includes emotionally separating yourself from the person who used to be your partner. Having contact with your ex, even through social media, makes it harder to put the past behind you and heal.
- Spending your time looking at how another person is living their life eats into the time you have to build your own life. Driving the roads of your life while looking in the rear view mirror all the time is dangerous. Doing so severely impedes your ability to find your own way and to discover the blessings God has in store for your future.
Spying on your ex may feed your need to know but that need to know is probably holding you back from healing and moving on with your life.
But how do you stop when you so want to spy? Good question.
How to Stop Spying on Your Ex
- Decide you want to stop spying.
- Recognize your triggers. What is it that makes you want to spy?
- Seek Devine strength. When you feel the urge to spy, stop, take a deep breath and talk to God. Tell him what’s on your mind and ask for his help.
- Identify a replacement behavior. What can you do to nurture yourself instead of spying?
- Enlist the help of friends. Some friends may enjoy the gossip dimension of helping you snoop. Tell them that you’ve learned spying on your ex is really holding you back from healing. Ask your friends to help you not to spy. Let them know it is not what’s best for you.
To move forward with your life when a relationship ends it is important to make a clean break. It’s important to process your pain but spying on your ex is more prone to feed that pain and to keep you tied to the past. You are worth more than that.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV
Talk with God
Ponder this reading and share your thoughts with God. Listen so that the Holy Spirit might fill you with wisdom and peace. What concrete actions do you need to take based on what God is saying to you?
Resources to Help You…
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About the Author
Renee Smith Ettline is author of the award-winning book, Peace after Divorce, and founder of After Divorce Ministries, LLC. Her Christian divorce recovery blog posts every Friday morning. Church-based divorce recovery workshops based on her work are offered around the country.
* World of Psychology article can be found at this link.