Originally published in our Laudable Life advice column in the Lakelands Leader
Q: My wife is constantly posting about our relationship on social media. Everything we do together ends up on Facebook or Instagram. I feel like I’m losing my privacy, and I’m uncomfortable with so much of our lives being online. How do I tell her I want her to stop, or at least cut back on her posts about our relationship?
A: It’s understandable that you want to keep certain aspects of your life off of the internet. Marriage is supposed to be one of the most intimate bonds between two people.
Dr. Elizabeth Carr, Senior Adult and Couples Therapist, suggests one of the best ways to talk with her about this issue is to “share the bind.” Let her know that you want two things that are in conflict with one another. On the one hand, you want her to enjoy her use of social media to stay connected to family and friends and on the other hand you want a greater level of privacy in your marital relationship. By framing the problem this way, you demonstrate your commitment to seeking a win/win solution by solving the problem together. Dr. Carr says that most of us make the mistake of framing these discussions in an adversarial win/lose framework; often resulting in feelings of being misunderstood, devalued, and an entrenchment of our positions. Conversely, when we frame the discussion in terms of a bind seeking a win/win, we immediately articulate that our partners needs and feelings are valid and important to us. We are also forced to put into words our own needs and feelings. As a result we are much more likely to use the collaborative language of “we” and “our” in the discussion, to reflect on shared values, and to struggle to resolve our competing needs to the satisfaction of both people.
So don’t be afraid to speak-up, but do it with grace.