POSA™ Blog

PoSARC or The Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center educates, nurtures and helps partners work with the challenges of being coupled with a sexually deceptive, chronic cheater.

Is Your Partner Watching you on Social Media or other Online Sites?

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​By Lili Bee & Cassie Kingan

Not a week goes by when a partner doesn't e-mail us with requests that we start either a Facebook page that's private, or else create a Forum where members can share their experiences of betrayal trauma with one another. We get asked to begin (or approve of) online PoSA meetings so geographical distances no longer stop PoSAs from meeting and supporting one another. We very well understand the allure and need for that.

While there are other reasons we wholeheartedely recommend PoSAs meet in person rather than online, the single biggest deterrent to us setting up such arrangements is that it becomes very difficult to stay ahead of techology in such a way that members would always be guaranteed their anonymity will be preserved. One only need to see the News and look at the data leaks occurring with increasing frequency across many major networks.

And then, there are the internal "leaks"... 

PoSAs are amazingly open and honest on social media and "Private" Facebook Groups. We understand! It may be the first time you have been validated and affirmed by others dealing with PTSD from your betraying mate.

But we want to caution you that nothing you say on social media or Private Facebook Groups is necessarily guaranteed to stay private. Here at PoSARC we have worked with more than a few partners whose mates have used what PoSAs have written or posted on social media in the courtroom, with the children's psychologist, custody evaluators, family members, their own children, co-workers, church members, etc.

We PoSA's may feel some sense of privacy typing away in our own home, posting on our phones, iPads and computers, as if we are in our own little world. But the truth is that anyone with some determination and a bit of savvy can see what you are writing on social media sites as it becomes part of your permanent digital footprint.

Many hurting PoSAs don't realize that their personal lives become part of the public record when they share things on social media. It's rather ironic, since, in trying to help new partners I work with allay guilt over their wanting to sneak onto their husband's phones, computers, etc. to determine if he's still cheating, I often joke that any card-carrying PoSA can get a job working for the CIA by the time her betrayal ordeal is over. Everyone laughs nervously, yet...

How often do we stop to realize the spying we all unfortunately became so good at, may also be happening to us?

At the time of writing your post (even a Private Facebook Group) your betraying mate may be in counseling, going to 12 step meetings, etc. and you may feel some safety staying with him, imagining a rosy future together. But picture, if you will, 2 years from now if he is no longer in recovery or interested in repairing the relational damages-- your social media posts are still in that Private Facebook Group.

While it is disturbing to contemplate, we have seen it happen that someone you may trust today (perhaps a member of what should be your Private Group) screen shots and saves posts and sends them to your mate, even though those actions may have been well-intentioned. Since you yourself might never do that, you may wonder why anyone would.

In the cases we have observed, it is usually because the Private Group Member got hoodwinked into believing the betrayer was somehow the victim (which we know betrayers are all too convincing at portraying). The betrayer conveys a Poor-Me stance in an attempt to get a well-meaning other member of his wife/girlfriend's Group to feel sorry for him and she either lets him into the Group or shows him messages or e-mails. It isn't a common occurrence, thank goodness, but it does happen.

He may attempt to solicit a friend or associate of his wife/girlfriend to help him, claiming to be doing his best but just not being given a chance.

He likely paints a picture of how hard he is working to win back her trust, but now he fears he has been wrongly painted with a black brush by others in the community and all efforts to regain his connection with his wife/girlfriend are falling apart. He just needs a little help....

Or perhaps he uses a thinly veiled threat, such as "Well, since my wife won't talk to me anymore, I have no choice but to freeze all the marital assets now". Or he makes an ambiguous threat that involves custody of their children. A well-meaning associate or fellow Group member of the PoSA may become alarmed for her friend and attempt to intervene, thinking she can help circumvent a terrible outcome.

No...the only terrible outcome will be that the intervening friend will get played by the betrayer and everyone loses. Triangulating is what the character-disordered man does very well and very insidiously-- usually before anyone is even aware of his machinations.

We have also seen the Betrayer become an imposter in the Private Facebook Group watching his wife/girlfriend and what is being said about him. Or putting one of his female relatives up to becoming a Member so she can let him see the exchanges in the otherwise closed Group.

Therefore, we would recommend you never reveal online any steps you intend to take in separating or divorcing your mate. We know of more than one case where a betraying mate was a few steps ahead of his wife the entire time, thwarting all her careful plans to get as peaceful a divorce as possible with an equitable financial and custody arrangement in place.

How did he do it? He managed to install a hidden camera near her computer to record her keying in her password. From there, he used her password to infiltrate an online closed Group she was part of, where he was tracking her every "share" about her planned exit strategy.

We at PoSARC don't want you to find out the hard way that what you say and do on social media – post, repost, tweet, like, comment, friend, follow – can potentially be used to hurt you in a divorce or custody case, or even in your workplace, neighborhood or religious community. This also applies to phone and text records, emails, dating sites and more.

If you or your spouse has filed for divorce, don't assume you can remove any of your social media history without potential legal consequences.

Don't think you can fake "nice" or use PTSD as a reason for your Facebook posts, after the fact. Unfortunately, most of our society doesn't understand or recognize PTSD and trauma caused by the chronic cheater.

It's a mistake to underestimate the power of social media evidence in the courtroom or with those in your personal life. Family, friends, and Judges consider social media and other online evidence just as persuasive as other "concrete" evidence – sometimes more so. A post may be worth a thousand words.

If you are not contemplating divorce or separation, don't panic. NOW is a great time to take down any posts that could be disparaging to your mate. It may not be a bad idea to take down any profiles or sites that you do not need for work purposes.

No matter which circumstance you find yourself in, compassion for yourself is always called for. We know how unfair it is that any of your attempts at reaching out for stability and sanity could ever be used against you.

Therefore, extend yourself much patience, kindness and compassion that you even find yourself in need of support for betrayal trauma at all! We know how crazy-making it can be.


From our experience… when it comes to Social Media including Private Facebook Groups:

Don't share anything you wouldn't want a judge, lawyer or your mate to see. If it's out there, opposing counsel, your mate and/or his friends and family will usually find it.

Live your life as if cameras are following you and taping what you're doing at all times. Social media provides a direct window into your private world; only post positive, truthful thoughts and photos.

Lose the mindset that says, "I don't care what anyone says or thinks about me. I'm tired of protecting his sick lies!"

While that may objectively be your truth today, you don't want to swallow the bitter pill later, of facing lengthy court battles due to your "lifted" online posts being used as evidence of parental alienation, defamation of character or any of the assorted other charges that can be brought against you.

Assume everything you do online can be found and can be used against you.

If you're debating whether or not it's a good idea to share, comment or like something on social media, just don't do it. Really, just don't.

You'll thank us later.

Have you had any experiences where something you've written has been used against you or a friend going through betrayal trauma? Alternatively, have you found a safe, non-traceable way to find kindred others you could connect with? 

Please share with our community in the Comments section below. And yes, you may share anonymously. Joining our Commenting Community anonymously is a great way to receive and send support safely. 

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Comments 8

Guest - P.J! Parmar on Thursday, 27 July 2017 21:01

We need to have courage. If we all hide, this society wrecking disease will continue to hide. My situation maybe different because my higher power has given me the courage, resources, and platforms, which I can use to advance this dialogue. Also, as a male POSA there is no brotherhood of support (can anyone point me to a male only POSA forum or in person group, anywhere?).
https://medium.com/@pjparmar1/i-was-married-to-a-female-sex-addict-3af4c95a4e26

We need to have courage. If we all hide, this society wrecking disease will continue to hide. My situation maybe different because my higher power has given me the courage, resources, and platforms, which I can use to advance this dialogue. Also, as a male POSA there is no brotherhood of support (can anyone point me to a male only POSA forum or in person group, anywhere?). https://medium.com/@pjparmar1/i-was-married-to-a-female-sex-addict-3af4c95a4e26
Guest - Firesign on Sunday, 23 July 2017 00:12

I met a couple and the husband told me he worked in undercover for 20 years. He said that law enforcement can HEAR what you are saying through your smartphone. Technically, they need a warrant to show criminal intent, but who knows? The only way they can't hear anything is if the power on your phone is completely turned off.

I met a couple and the husband told me he worked in undercover for 20 years. He said that law enforcement can HEAR what you are saying through your smartphone. Technically, they need a warrant to show criminal intent, but who knows? The only way they can't hear anything is if the power on your phone is completely turned off.
Guest - Kate on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 18:09

Although I am very aware and careful of everything I say online because I know NOTHING online is technically "private", and I advocate for women being aware of ALL dangers.... Online private groups for spouses of sex addicts have SAVED MY LIFE. Literally. All the in-person meetings in the world couldn't have helped me like these Facebook groups have helped me, nor could they have helped as fast. And while counseling is also a lifesaver, meetings and counseling are only once a week or every two weeks. I also needed support for those crazy times I wasn't in a meeting or in counseling. I NEEDED to talk to someone who understood my pain. And ain't nobody with kids got time for meeting up in person EVERY time something crazy happens with an addict ? (which could be multiple times a day).

There's something so comforting about knowing that ANY time day or night that I need someone to listen, a sister who understands my pain will ALWAYS be there.

Is it 100% safe? Nope. Nope. Nope. But do the benefits outweigh the risks? In my case I believe so. I mean, I could also choose to never get into a car because of the possibility I might get into a accident, but would it name my life easier or harder? There are risks in everything we do.

I am grateful for articles like this that show women the dangers so they can become more aware, because many women honestly don't know that nothing is safe online or that their husbands might stoop to spying on them (seriously, don't ever underestimate an addicts ability to spy). This is something we ALL need to be know. So thank you for this!!!

But for all the wives reading this, please also know that an online group could be very beneficial, especially for those late nights when you're husband was just an A-hole and fell asleep under a min (how the crap do they do that?? ?) and you're feeling an urge to smack him with the pillow. Instead, you could put the pillow down and message women online who COMPLETELY understand what you are going through. ??Always ask yourself "Do the benefits outweigh the risks". ???

Although I am very aware and careful of everything I say online because I know NOTHING online is technically "private", and I advocate for women being aware of ALL dangers.... Online private groups for spouses of sex addicts have SAVED MY LIFE. Literally. All the in-person meetings in the world couldn't have helped me like these Facebook groups have helped me, nor could they have helped as fast. And while counseling is also a lifesaver, meetings and counseling are only once a week or every two weeks. I also needed support for those crazy times I wasn't in a meeting or in counseling. I NEEDED to talk to someone who understood my pain. And ain't nobody with kids got time for meeting up in person EVERY time something crazy happens with an addict ? (which could be multiple times a day). There's something so comforting about knowing that ANY time day or night that I need someone to listen, a sister who understands my pain will ALWAYS be there. Is it 100% safe? Nope. Nope. Nope. But do the benefits outweigh the risks? In my case I believe so. I mean, I could also choose to never get into a car because of the possibility I might get into a accident, but would it name my life easier or harder? There are risks in everything we do. I am grateful for articles like this that show women the dangers so they can become more aware, because many women honestly don't know that nothing is safe online or that their husbands might stoop to spying on them (seriously, don't ever underestimate an addicts ability to spy). This is something we ALL need to be know. So thank you for this!!! But for all the wives reading this, please also know that an online group could be very beneficial, especially for those late nights when you're husband was just an A-hole and fell asleep under a min (how the crap do they do that?? ?) and you're feeling an urge to smack him with the pillow. Instead, you could put the pillow down and message women online who COMPLETELY understand what you are going through. ??Always ask yourself "Do the benefits outweigh the risks". ???
Guest - Carol on Saturday, 19 August 2017 21:15

Hi...what is the name of your online group. I heard every word you said and wish I had exactly that. I see someone once a week and now during the summer holidays I've seen her once.
Just need someone to talk to when I feel so alful and it's after-hours etc.

Hi...what is the name of your online group. I heard every word you said and wish I had exactly that. I see someone once a week and now during the summer holidays I've seen her once. Just need someone to talk to when I feel so alful and it's after-hours etc.
Guest - Geode on Tuesday, 18 July 2017 02:15

Lili,

I appreciate the mission of you, your site and your thoughtful writings during the darkest hours of a partner's life. But how you can write about the mechanisms and lengths that these "Sex Addicts" easily employ in such a clinical manner without advocating as JoAnn Russell at SOS, Sandra Brown or Chumplady do, for a partner to JUST GET AWAY from these monsters continues to amaze me. I am 16 months no contact and 5 months post decree and I can honestly say I am truly on the road to happiness. I just hosted a "bangin'" grad party for my son with 68 people who have ALWAYS treated me with love, kindness and respect. That doesn't come from these men, many of whom have far worse mental illness than a dubiously treatable addiction caught up in an industry who keeps the money rolling in by keeping the partner from recognizing how she is being abused.

The saddest moment in my 2 year SA train wreck was at a POSA meeting, where a tearful 78 year old woman shared of her husband's renewed betrayal and resignation that this would be the rest of her life because she hadn't left him 15 years earlier upon discovery.

Please to all who read this: GET AWAY. Those of us who have can FREELY share with you how wonderful it is on the other side.

Lili, I appreciate the mission of you, your site and your thoughtful writings during the darkest hours of a partner's life. But how you can write about the mechanisms and lengths that these "Sex Addicts" easily employ in such a clinical manner without advocating as JoAnn Russell at SOS, Sandra Brown or Chumplady do, for a partner to JUST GET AWAY from these monsters continues to amaze me. I am 16 months no contact and 5 months post decree and I can honestly say I am truly on the road to happiness. I just hosted a "bangin'" grad party for my son with 68 people who have ALWAYS treated me with love, kindness and respect. That doesn't come from these men, many of whom have far worse mental illness than a dubiously treatable addiction caught up in an industry who keeps the money rolling in by keeping the partner from recognizing how she is being abused. The saddest moment in my 2 year SA train wreck was at a POSA meeting, where a tearful 78 year old woman shared of her husband's renewed betrayal and resignation that this would be the rest of her life because she hadn't left him 15 years earlier upon discovery. Please to all who read this: GET AWAY. Those of us who have can FREELY share with you how wonderful it is on the other side.
Guest - Ann on Monday, 17 July 2017 17:01

Prior to our divorce, my now exhusband sent 1,000s of emails and texts overs random intervals of time giving explicit details of more and more sexual betrayals. Repeatedly caught off-guard, I responded. I was terribly traumatized, and my responses were angry and disgusted.
We agreed to each delete all communication. Yes, I was still that stupid. I deleted messages I received. My exhusband saved and printed every response I sent, without his vile messages attached. He called the police and told them I was dangerous, out of control because he made a mistake and had one affair and I refused to forgive him.
Police filed charges. I was not able to have them dropped, and was forced to accept lesser charge. The day after the court hearing on my criminal harassment charge, we had final hearing on divorce. My exhusband the told judge, while laughing, that he had sent many more and far worse messages to me, and too bad I didn't save them.
I was sickened. He had calculated the entire plan, apparently with his attorney. He played me for 15 years. I could not previously ever have imagined such degrading abuse from a man who shared my life. Absolutely evil.

Prior to our divorce, my now exhusband sent 1,000s of emails and texts overs random intervals of time giving explicit details of more and more sexual betrayals. Repeatedly caught off-guard, I responded. I was terribly traumatized, and my responses were angry and disgusted. We agreed to each delete all communication. Yes, I was still that stupid. I deleted messages I received. My exhusband saved and printed every response I sent, without his vile messages attached. He called the police and told them I was dangerous, out of control because he made a mistake and had one affair and I refused to forgive him. Police filed charges. I was not able to have them dropped, and was forced to accept lesser charge. The day after the court hearing on my criminal harassment charge, we had final hearing on divorce. My exhusband the told judge, while laughing, that he had sent many more and far worse messages to me, and too bad I didn't save them. I was sickened. He had calculated the entire plan, apparently with his attorney. He played me for 15 years. I could not previously ever have imagined such degrading abuse from a man who shared my life. Absolutely evil.
Guest - Geode on Tuesday, 18 July 2017 02:18

I'm so sorry the abuse continued. This is what the CSATS should have told us after D Day.

I'm so sorry the abuse continued. This is what the CSATS should have told us after D Day.
Guest - Ann on Tuesday, 22 August 2017 00:11

Yes, absolutely get away. I listened to the sex addiction professionals and other counselors who advised giving the sex addict husband a year for treatment and recovery.
I was maliciously played, the sex addict pretending he was serious about saving marriage, but the entire time he was hiding assets, not paying the mortgage, and setting up legal attacks that cost me my pension.
All the while, he was secretly with another woman, although she was one among countless others. She recently even filed charges against me claiming harassment for the legal notices sent for collection of delinquent alimony.
IF my ex-husband had even minimal remorse, he would make financial restitution. He earns high salary, his new partner is wealthy, and I am now very poor.
Men attending many of the 12 Step SA / SAA groups share tricks about hiding money and legal strategies to enact against wives they traumatized. Until the perspective shifts to expectation for full accountability, partners of sex addicts need to protect themselves legally and financially as soon as the truth is known. It's very difficult when so shocked, but it only gets worse, particularly when financial security also threatened.
Regardless of what he says, he's lied about betrayal and will not stop lying just because a bit of his reality is exposed. For security, ask that accounts be transferred to your name, get an attorney and file a post-nuptial agreement, and if he refuses, you know it's best to RUN.

Yes, absolutely get away. I listened to the sex addiction professionals and other counselors who advised giving the sex addict husband a year for treatment and recovery. I was maliciously played, the sex addict pretending he was serious about saving marriage, but the entire time he was hiding assets, not paying the mortgage, and setting up legal attacks that cost me my pension. All the while, he was secretly with another woman, although she was one among countless others. She recently even filed charges against me claiming harassment for the legal notices sent for collection of delinquent alimony. IF my ex-husband had even minimal remorse, he would make financial restitution. He earns high salary, his new partner is wealthy, and I am now very poor. Men attending many of the 12 Step SA / SAA groups share tricks about hiding money and legal strategies to enact against wives they traumatized. Until the perspective shifts to expectation for full accountability, partners of sex addicts need to protect themselves legally and financially as soon as the truth is known. It's very difficult when so shocked, but it only gets worse, particularly when financial security also threatened. Regardless of what he says, he's lied about betrayal and will not stop lying just because a bit of his reality is exposed. For security, ask that accounts be transferred to your name, get an attorney and file a post-nuptial agreement, and if he refuses, you know it's best to RUN.
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