anyway, I only give virtual hugs to females here... unless I forget who I'm talking to.
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace."
I'm just glad I'm not alone in thinking this.
I'm a BGF, and while I understand most of you are giving a virtual hug to relay comfort and understanding, that's not the case for everyone. AND even more important, it's not always the way it's received.
It scares me to think my WBF is finding comfort and understanding in a virtual hug from another woman. It doesn't matter that it may have been sent with complete innocence. HE may not see it that way. There is a VERY good chance he is reading this as:
* Wow, she really understands me
* Why can't my BW/BGF see my pain
* It feels good to have another woman see my side
* Maybe I will PM her, and we can talk more about this
And then BAM! It starts.
The reality is, as much as I appreciate SI, and ALL the wonderful advice/support here... I also see the dangers in it. We are all trying to heal, in one way or another. We know first hand how the virtual world has made things so much easier to cheat/betray/and cover up adultery. We are told to respect boundaries and live by them. So why are we defending ourselves, when we give virtual hugs, just because we mean nothing more than comfort by them. If people are saying it makes them uncomfortable, we should start respecting that...
And realizing it's not nearly as important how someone means a virtual hug, as it is how it could be received and interpreted.
[This message edited by TrulySad at 4:49 PM, August 12th (Monday)]
The reality is, as much as I appreciate SI, and ALL the wonderful advice/support here... I also see the dangers in it.
I 100% agree with the above.
Additionally, I said things in text messages to OW that I would NEVER have been comfortable saying in real life. Never. But since it was through texts, it felt like it wasn't really. But it WAS real. VERY FUCKING REAL. And now my family is suffering the very real consequences.
I'm glad you posted this thread. I have been mulling it over since you wrote it.
I'm pretty sure I have been guilty of giving a virtual hug to a male member or two. Sometimes when a read a post that fills me with compassion for the poster I try to write something that conveys my empathy in words and it never seems to come out right. I end up deleting what I have written and just sending a virtual hug because I just don't feel I'm good with words.
I am from the south and was raised to hug although I think I'm less "huggy" than many people I know. My raising aside, given what I have done, I do NOT feel comfortable IRL hugging men I'm not related to. I'm not smooth at getting out of it but I'm getting better with practice.
After reading this thread I see how virtual hugs can be a slippery slope. Even though in my mind it is intended to show empathy. It could be interpreted on the receiving end differently.
In the future I will be reserving virtual hugs for female members only. It wont hurt me to work a little more at using words anyway.
Thanks Aubrie and other posters for sharing your thoughts.
I think hugs are very much a personal preference but given that most WS's (me included) were looking for any level of validation from others could be a slippery slope.
I stay signed into SI. QS can track my every move here. Threads, posts, journal, PMs, the whole kit and caboodle. I also clicked the option to send copies of PMs to my personal email. That way we are able to "screen" my PMs before actually reading them on the site. If anything is hinky, I can delete it without actually showing it read here. (make sense?)
I've had one instance where someone was sorta questionable via PM and I slapped them upside the head. Never had another issue.
Thank you again for your opinions and insight. It's interesting.
I know that when you're alone and hurting, the healing power of virtual hugs is strong. Probably stopped me from doing some really bad things to harm myself in less stable times to think that SOMEONE cared.
I hugged a guy here tonight. He lost his cat and it was so sad- the story elicited such empathy. I thought about it for a couple of hours because of this thread. I posted without a hug, but my words just seemed cold without it, so I deleted that post and thought about it some more. Then, it just really felt like the right thing. I meant nothing by it other than, "I hear you, I feel your pain and I'm sorry you are suffering."
Our group of friends IRL always greet each other with hugs. It doesn't matter if we saw them just a week ago. And if we walk into a party with 30 people, we're going to be hugged 30 times! And it's been that way for 30 years. We've known each other since we were kids. It would be strange to switch it up now. To my knowledge, there have been no affairs in that group. My H is a WS, yes, but not because he hugged someone. And I think he's the only one in the group.