January 13, 2012 at 10:10 am , by Lauren Piro
Oh, love in the time of Facebook. Such innovation. Such connectivity. Such possibility … that your high school flame will friend you and want to reconnect in a more-than-friendly way. (We’re onto what that “poke” button is for, Mark Zuckerberg. How sly of you.) That’s what happened to Jenny, 38, wife of Tom, 36. Her old sweetheart Grant came-a-clicking and before she new it, she was in a hotel room with him. Read on to find out what transpired, or check out the full story in our February issue, on newsstands now.
Jenny’s turn: Jenny was feeling trapped—Tom is a workaholic, and all the couple ever talks about these days is how to homeschool their kids. All the parents at their church do it, and the couple was supposed to take it on together, but now Jenny basically does all of the work, and occasionally Tom makes a bossy suggestion. With all of this on her plate—and all of the housework—Jenny doesn’t have time for the gym, Bible class or coffee with friends, so she started spending hours on Facebook to feel less lonely. That’s when Grant sent her a message. They started talking and texting, and Grant made Jenny feel like herself again, which she really missed. Eventually, they decided to meet up and spend the day together. Jenny lied to Tom and had dinner with Grant. Every step of the way, she knew it was wrong, but couldn’t help it—until her kissed her in their room at an inn. Jenny immediately felt awful and told him to leave, and she went home the next morning and told Tom everything, sobbing. Will she be able to convince him that he’s the only one she truly loves?
Tom’s turn: First of all, there’s no way he believes that Grant didn’t spend the night with Jenny. Does she take him for an idiot? He was shocked when Jenny confessed, but looking back on everything he can’t believe he missed the warning signs. Their cell phone log shows 300 pages of calls between Jenny and Grant, and Tom always thought she was just excited to reconnect with her friends on Facebook—not her ex-boyfriend! He knew the homeschooling was hard on her, but he didn’t think it had gotten this bad. If he ever cut Jenny off when they were talking about the kids, it was only because he hates arguing. He can’t believe she’s done this to him—and he’s not sure he can move past it.
The counselor’s turn: When they went to see the counselor, Tom was, not surprisingly, still furious, but they needed to focus on what each of them had done wrong to start rebuilding trust—Jenny was responsible for her actions, but what caused them? Their relationship had combusted at some point, but they were in too deep to really see when, so the counselor had them make a marriage timeline. After doing so, it was clear that a spike in tension occurred after Tom started working more and Jenny started homeschooling the kids. They’d both become super stressed out, and stopped taking time to spend with each other (and, of course, the appearance of Grant threw an even uglier wrench in the mix). They decided to scale back. Tom would shave off an hour here or there from his work schedule and leave a bit later to spend mornings with Jenny, the kids would go back to public school (a huge relief), and Jenny would cut all ties with Grant. They now have couple-y rituals like calling each other when they’re apart and taking bike rides to help remind them how to feel like a husband and wife—and it’s working. After counseling, Tom and Jenny renewed their vows, promising to each other that they’d continue to tend to their marriage.
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