Online dating has replaced meeting in bars or being introduced through friends. You can video chat with your partner and never meet face to face while having a meaningful relationship.
And you have even more opportunity to share as much or as little as you want, though this concept might backfire on you. A Redditor found this out the hard way when they sought advice for their relationship online.
The original poster (or OP) posted under a throwaway account about their unique situation with their wife.
Their post title tells you everything, but also leaves out so much.
"Yesterday, I [M/40] discovered my wife's [ F/38 ] " secret " Instagram account, and I need help to cope ..."
The story starts out with the oncoming reveal hanging over the entire set up.
Secret for me, public knowledge for almost everyone else ... Bear with me :
So yesterday, my sister visited me at home as I needed help with some work. As we took a coffee break, my sister becomes slighty serious and says to me " You know, I'm starting to find it kinda weird that your wife doesn't have any pictures with you on her instagram, am I wrong ? "
OP is incredibly perplexed at his sister's suggestion. As far as he knew, his wife had an account she barely used with only about 10 pictures on it.
However, his sister says she's talking about his wife's "famous" Instagram account.
OP could not be more confused.
"She goes to her following list and shows me an account that indeed had my wife's face as a profile picture and a very shortened version of her " normal " instagram's user name. An account I've never seen before."
"She clicks it and that's when my life goes full 2020 : an account of my wife with more than 2.000 posts, and more than 250k followers. My mind can't comprehend what I'm seeing."
This reveal shakes OP's world. Especially since he tries to view his wife's secret Instagram on his own account, and finds he's blocked from seeing it.
This alone seems very suspicious to him, but what's on the account makes him even more worried.
"We scroll and scroll, from those posts, about half of them are sexy pics of her either at the beach, pool clubs, or backyard pools at some of her friends that I know and get along very well with personally, you name it."
"Wearing thongs, G-strings, thong swimsuits, topless covering with her hands, all the stuff you can see on an account like this."
OP admits that he's kind of a prude, but it's not something that's really been spoken about with his wife. Not in a way that might lead her to hide this aspect of her personality so totally, he thinks.
But hid it she does. Around OP, his wife wears what he describes as "normal swimsuits" and is always in a bra. But on the hidden Instagram, she wears bikinis, and goes topless covering herself with her hands.
OP tries to find out if she blocked anyone else, but between friends and family, no one else is blocked from access.
"Basically, I can say that I'm not even looking for relationship advices per se, because it will probably take me a very long time to even fully comprehend the situation and try to open the subject, I'm more about looking for support in order to cope with the thought that my wife considers me less important than 250k subscribers and whoever knows how many others saw her like in all these pictures, in real life, without me having a clue."
"Since yesterday, I'm in a full blown chat conferrence with my sis, parents and all those who didn't knew about this farce thinking about what should I do, while forcing myself in a ridiculous way to act completely oblivious next to my wife and the kids. I need any advice and any comments you guys have, and thank you for reading !"
The whole situation had people asking questions.
"Curious, is she wearing a wedding band in the photos? I know she actively hid the account from you but is she also hiding the fact that she is married from her followers? That would tell you more about how far this lie goes."
"Putting your kids faces out there on that kind of account is also a red flag. I'm sorry you are going through this." - Tiffalee
"Also is she making money off of this?" - Jamie12inch
"I don't understand why this is so extremely upsetting for you? Why is everyone jumping to the conclusion your wife is cheating on you?"
"I think it's more likely she has this instagram for the self-esteem boost, & has kept it from you because she felt you'd judge her or would object (which it seems like you would based on your reaction now?). This seems like a really harmless pastime, the issue is that she kept it a secret."
"You should ask her why she kept this from you. Indulging in mad speculation & sneaking around trying to "hack" your wife's work laptop is unbalanced behaviour. You'll end up digging yourself a hole & being more in the wrong than she is when this comes to an argument."
"Invading your spouse's privacy by hacking their social media & dragging personal issues into their place of work are bigger sins than having a finsta." - Isbll1
Others tried to offer advice.
"I would properly sit her down for a discussion and show her the account and ask about it. I don't think this is grounds for a divorce after 20 years, but definitely consider couples therapy." - ouibabe
"Your wife lied to you. It's not just the fact that she didn't mention this account to you, it's the fact that she deliberately blocked you so you wouldn't find out about it."
"It's a serious breach of trust and honestly if it were me, I'd be out of that relationship in a flash. If she's lied about this, then she could have lied about anything else - including cheating on you behind your back." - lightbulbmomento
"Yikes. I don't even know what to say. If this happened to me I would be extremely shocked. Might even be divorce worthy. This whole secret online life she has that she intentionally hid from you for years and everyone else know about it but you?"
"Yeah, I think this requires counseling or divorce. You're not going to get over this without ending it or getting help." - focusyou
It can be really difficult to handle secrets in a relationship. Sometimes they are a red flag, telling you to get out, but other times they can be a reason to have a conversation.
Perhaps that is what OP needs to do. Perhaps OP should explain to his wife that he's hurt by the lies and secrets and explore the emotions of their relationship.
Or perhaps he'll just spy on her, expecting to find evidence of her cheating.
"I'll try my best to go at her work and access her work laptop, although I visited her work extremely rarely so it will be hard as fuck to do. I don't want to bang on random passwords or to try to log in from other devices. That's my only chance." - ThrowRA-Instagram
"Don't do this. Just talk to her. Nothing good can come of sneaking around trying to access her account." - MrZibbles
"Nothing good can come from talking to her first. If she managed to hide a 250k followers account, who knows what else can she hide or delete if I tell her about this, before I check in probably years worth of messages ?" - ThrowRA-Instagram
Communication in a relationship is the most important thing to practice, and online connections allow for this with ease. But there's still a human component needed to follow through.
You have to make the choice to communicate, whether you're someone wanting a hobby separate from your partner, or you think there's something they should tell you.