ThrivenotSurvive
Not sure why I am posting this here except that maybe it has been on my mind too much.  And I think it embarrasses me that I haven't made a decision about what to do about it, so I don't want to talk about it with friends who normally see me as strong and decisive.  So... here I am.

And honestly, in the big scheme of thing, this shouldn't be a big deal. But for some reason it feels like one.  

So here goes.  I realized about six months ago that the Ex-OW has been stalking my Instagram page.  In the early days after DD, I'll admit I stalked her page a lot - trying to recreate a timeline - trying to get a sense of what I had missed when I met her, etc.  But after 4-6 months I decided this was insanely unhealthy and rarely visited.  I blocked her account on mine and my husband's profile and called it a day.  Occasionally, if we had to travel to a city where I thought she might be I would look to reassure myself where she was, but mostly I tried to forget she existed.  However, somewhere during those sporadic visits over the past few years, I realized she had a secondary account she'd made for her pet.  

It never occurred to me to block that account, because by then it'd been over a year - maybe even two (I can't remember exactly when I realized it).  So, frankly I assumed that if she ever checked in on us, it was probably similar to the way I checked in on her - to avoid being blindsided by the other's presence when visiting cities we both have work/family in.  

But then I used Instagram Stories for the first time about 6 months ago.  As many of you may know - it tracks EVERYONE who looks at it - not just those who "like" it.  Since it is the only feature on Instagram that does so, many people don't realize it.  She clearly didn't, and I was shocked to see that she was checking my page almost every day.  

When I discovered the cyber-stalking, it was just after we'd visited the city where she and my husband had worked together and I assumed someone she used to work with had mentioned our visit.  Then out of curiosity, she'd visited my account.  No big deal, the attention would go away.  But it didn't - it was daily for weeks on end.  

So then I decided to post almost nothing for a while to see if she'd lose interest.  After a month blackout, I posted - and there she was.  Given that she doesn't follow me, it means she has to consciously choose to visit my page almost daily.  After almost THREE YEARS!  

While I love sharing pics and videos of my/our adventures, my husband is far more private - so he hadn't posted anything since a picture of our family in December 2017.  Very recently after being teased about being "old school" about social apps, he shared a post he liked on Instagram stories.  I couldn't help myself, and I looked.  Sure enough - there was a view by her secondary account.  Since she doesn't follow him either (I have had access to his social media accounts since after the affair), this also means she is STILL checking his account regularly - even though he hadn't posted on a year and a half!

This level of focus seems creepy as hell to me.  As much as I love my husband - if we'd divorced, I doubt I'd be visiting his Instagram account daily after almost three years. Partially out of pride - and partially because I would hopefully have a life of my own to occupy me.  

So, I realize that the smart, simple thing to do is make my account private.  But there is a part of me that is pissed off.  I've been slowly building a little following - and as someone in the marketing field - I've seen it as an extension of me professionally, as well as personally.  so to have to do that means that once again - I have to make changes because of her.  Which, just annoys the heck out of me.  I know that's small of me, but it is how I feel.  

Of course, my other option is just to block her secondary account.  But that has two downfalls - first it alerts her to my awareness so now she knows I am thinking about her (also pisses me off).  Plus, it doesn't really prevent her from creating another fake account that I am NOT aware of - and continuing to stalk me.  

I can't shake the feeling that someone is peering in my windows.  And that somehow she's found a new way of inserting herself in my life without being invited.  And that once again, I have to be the bigger person and choose how to deal with it.  

I know I am making a mountain out of a molehill - but can't seem to stop.  Can anyone relate?

Oh - and my husband is totally creeped out by it.  He thinks we should both just make our accounts private - but is willing to follow my lead abut how to handle it.  And I can't seem to decide.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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GingerHoneyBunny
She wants your life. 
Male BS, D-Day 22th September 2017.
Probably a 10 to 12 month affair (I think, cause no one seems to remember anything!) 
Bleeding heart...
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Sorry
Every day is a bit much. You are right and it says way more about her than You.

I guess maybe feel flattered, than she is than keen to find out what is going on, but I guess the creepyness is realising that you constantly have an audience.

It creates a sense of having to always remember that You are on show, conciously or even sub conciously. 

I think that it will remove some of your freedom to just be. I have only just three years out stopped dressing up when I know my exAPs wife will be somewhere, its no longer hugely deliberate. But its a factor, definitely. (Our kids are at school together and her husband and I still work together so I know when those occasions are likely).

I have never blocked her on facebook, but I also dont ever look either of them up.
The closest I have come to stalking is to check out everything I can about a new job opportunity either of them has when it come up, I think to check how viable the job is and how likely they really are to move...they are finally moving in june)

In your shoes, I would just feel flattered and make my accounts private so that you can live your live. Or send her a message saying you find the attention flattering but creepy and then block her. That was she will feel sufficiently awkward that the will leave you alone permanently. Fingers crossed
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hurting
What a creep... I agree, this says a whole lot more about the kind of person she is, than you. 

I don’t use social media any more, thanks to the AP. Neither does my husband, as he obviously had some boundary issues and a lot of his inappropriate and disgusting behaviours were linked to social media. 

If social media is important to your work however, perhaps like Sorry suggested, make the accounts private for awhile. I don’t know how that would affect your work, but maybe the inability to check would force her to stop looking all the time?
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MC
My wife and I both blocked her AP on Facebook.  I don't have a problem with the AP knowing that we have blocked him.  If I learned of another account of his it would be blocked too.  For me, the boundary has to be absolute and permanent.  It doesn't mean that I am constantly thinking about him.  Quite the opposite, it means that he does not deserve a place in our life and I have the right to tell him that.

In considering that social media is a virtual environment, I see my profile as my space.  With that, envision a physical environment as an equivalent.  If I was at a table at a restaurant and he came to my table, I would not hesitate to tell him to leave.  Blocking someone from your social media is simply the equivalent of telling them they are not welcome at your table.  
________________
Male BS
D-Day 3.15.2017


Taking care of myself, as we all deserve to do.
Encouraging all to bolster their: Emotional Health, Physical Health and Spiritual Health
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ThrivenotSurvive
Sorry wrote:

I guess maybe feel flattered, than she is than keen to find out what is going on, but I guess the creepyness is realising that you constantly have an audience.

It creates a sense of having to always remember that You are on show, conciously or even sub conciously. 

I think that it will remove some of your freedom to just be.


Thank you to everyone that responded.  I think I just needed to hear someone (other than my husband) say, you aren't crazy - this is a bit much. 

I kept trying to tell myself that it wasn't a big deal and ignore it - but I think Sorry nailed it.  It has been removing my freedom to just "be".  And I think without realizing it I was focusing more on not giving her the power to make me change (by making my profile private) and less on what is the most healthy for me. 

So thank you all.  I made my account private this morning after removing every account I did not personally know.  I will consider creating a separate business account at some point down the line but wait a while for the attention to dissipate.  

PS - Throughout this entire experience I have always sought to take the high road - never contacting her, never causing her any issues at work or otherwise, even trying as best I could to understand what would have driven her to make such a crappy choice for herself, etc.  HOWEVER, I did indulge my baser instincts a little before putting my account on private.  My husband and I just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary, so I posted pictures from the fabulous night we had (and it was a great night).  Then I posted this quote in my Instagram Stories "The best revenge is no revenge.  Move on.  Be happy.  Find inner peace.  Flourish.'  Under it I stated - A philosophy that has served me well."  After she viewed it, I turned my Instagram private.  Mildly petty - but I have to say it felt kind of good - my version of a mic drop 🙂
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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hurting
How fitting. Hopefully she gets the message and stops wasting her time trying to peer into a life she has no place in. Love the quote!
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Sorry
I wish you all of the success in the world wish managing to get your life back to the point where it only involves your family, and the AP becomes a complete forgotten memory of a time in the past. 

Perhaps you might even have done her a favour and forced her to get out of a slightly disturbing habit of slightly stalking you. Past affair habit do really tend to manifest in unhealthy ways.

I sometimes wonder if my being on this forum, checking for posts etc is a slightly unhealthy way of staying lost in the past and "indulging" the fallout of the posts affair. I like to think my inputs help people...but I still need to check in.

Perhaps your husbands AP was just stuck in the rutt, and following your life was her new unhealthy behaviour. Probably not as sinister as you imagine.
Your action might have actually freed her from a very unhealthy and unproductive habit.

She might also be riddled wish guilt and watching that you had progressed so far might have brought her much joy...its not the most likely scenario, but it might actually be the case. 
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Keepabuzz
Sorry,
Your input here is appreciated. I can imagine that this place isn’t the easiest place to be as a WS. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Sorry
Thanks, but I dont take any of it personally. I often find that I now appreciate infidelity from the perspective of a BS (thanks to you all) and thanks to an awesome combination of therapists have managed to make up for most of my poor decisions.
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notemanj
Sorry: Please know that I value your opinion highly! Your comments have helped put me at ease often. 
Female BS Married 18 yrs
DDay 3/7/2017 through 5/15/2018 and counting. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
Sorry wrote:

Perhaps your husbands AP was just stuck in the rut, and following your life was her new unhealthy behaviour. Probably not as sinister as you imagine.
Your action might have actually freed her from a very unhealthy and unproductive habit.

She might also be riddled wish guilt and watching that you had progressed so far might have brought her much joy...its not the most likely scenario, but it might actually be the case. 

Thank you Sorry - and I echo Keepabuzz’s and the others sentiments.  I realize it may be difficult at times to come here and share.  Please know that I appreciate it.  It is valuable and helpful.  

And thank you for reminding me that the intentions of the ex-AP may not be unkind.

When I initially became aware of the attention, I did realize that there were a number of reasons she might be doing it -some far less nefarious (wanting to assure herself she hadn't destroyed our family, that I was okay, etc.) than others (checking to see if we were still together, if we seemed happy, if there might be a new opportunity, etc.)  Of course there is always sheer unadulterated curiosity... a powerful force in most of us.  

I considered messaging her and just saying "I don't know why you are doing this and am trying not to make assumptions regarding your motives.  But whatever your reasons are I don't think it is a healthy behavior.  I plan to make my account private but before I do so, is there something your need from me or my husband to move on?  Regardless of what you may think, I take no joy from your pain or discomfort.  I just want you to move on, as we have done.  If there is something we can do to facilitate that, let me know in the next 48 hours.  After that I will turn my account private."

But... after mulling that approach for MONTHS I decided against it.  Because I don’t really know where her head is at – and all I have to go on is an oddly intense on-line focus that feels a bit obsessive.  You’d think my husband would be able to provide some insight on what she might be thinking – but he’s realized that he never really got to know her as a person. The affair was much more about enjoying how she made him feel (she was junior to him in their field and looked up to him as far more successful) than getting to know and falling in love with a person.  So sadly, he can answer very few questions about her motives now. 

So, it seemed the safest course for everyone to just continue the no-contact that has been in place for a very long time.  And as you said, hopefully I helped her quit a habit that was holding her back from moving on.

FYI -  seeing someone like you here, Sorry, never shying away from telling the truth about the awful things you thought or did, but also showing how you view them now – is such a help.  It reminds me to stay true to what I have always believed, that people can and do change – if they really want to.  Goodness knows I have over the years.  Many won’t – or can’t sustain it because they haven’t dealt with the underlying issues.  But many will as you so perfectly exemplify.

BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Sorry
You are right that he did not know her. I WAS horrified last year when my EX AP the man I nearly gave up everything for misspelled my first name infront of a group of people, I mean for heavens sake it has 5 letters and he used it for 6 months to tell me how much he loved me.

I guess I also managed to reflect so many of my characteristics onto him. I imagined he WAS intelligent and caring and kind hearted. What a joke.

Affairs are between two people who like the way that them look reflected in someone elses eye. 

I remember facts about him, but everything else I once knew appears to have changed, if it even ever WAS true.
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