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Facebook Misinformation Alienates Son

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I have two sons. My older one was always a source of difficulty growing up. He loved to read encyclopedias and science-related books. This led him to correct his teachers at times. Needless to say, this did not go well for him and made him an object of bullying in public school. I sent him to private school where they recognized his gifts, and he blossomed.

Fast-forward 40 years. He is married (no children) and has a good job. Recently, he scolded me for forwarding items on Facebook that I found interesting. He said they were not factual and that I should fact-check before I pass something on. I agreed.

The last straw occurred when I asked if the birthday check I sent to his wife two months ago had arrived. I asked because it had not been cashed. I received no answer. After three more phone calls, all of which went straight to voicemail, his wife texted me that my son did not want any more contact with me because (she says) I have disrespected him.

I have been unfriended from all social media contact with them, and calls to him or her go straight to voicemail.

My other son has been cut off also.

I wonder if my older son is sick, and I don't know if this is truly coming from him. He lives 3,000 miles away. What can I do to find out if he is OK and if there is a chance to be reconciled? -- Mother Missing Son

Dear Mother Missing: I am very sorry that you have been cut out of their lives. Obviously whatever you forwarded from Facebook really bothered him, so you might consider writing him and his wife a letter of apology. Social media can be dangerous if we unintentionally embarrass or anger loved ones. You might have to wait it out for a while, but in the meantime, I would stay clear of social media, especially any messages that involve your son or daughter-in-law.

Cultivate your relationship with your second son, and invite your oldest son and his wife to visit during the holidays. They might say no for a while, but if you keep telling them how much you love them, there is a possibility they will change their minds eventually.

 

Dear Annie: My husband of 18 years recently reconnected with his ex-wife on social media. They exchanged phone numbers and started talking almost daily.

This started bothering me when I realized that the calls were always when I wasn't home. When I asked him about it, he admitted that she was telling him that she still loves him. He also admitted that he loves her. However, he says he only loves her as a friend, though he hasn't clarified that point with her. She only knows that he loves her back.

I asked him to stop speaking with her, and he refused. When I threatened to leave, he finally deleted her number and social media contact information. He now feels resentful toward me about this but has, so far, not contacted her again.

How can we get past this? Or should I just leave anyway? -- Feeling Like a Fool

Dear Feeling Like a Fool: With the help of a professional marriage counselor, you will make a decision on what to do.

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"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

 

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