Dear Margo: Paparazzi in Your Home

Margo Howard’s advice

Paparazzi in Your Home

Dear Margo: I am not a fan of Facebook, although I know that many people my age (58) use it to stay in touch with friends. I suppose you could call me a dinosaur, because I use the telephone and letters to stay in touch.

Here is the problem: My husband and I have finally realized that when we entertain (which is often), some guests are taking photos in our home and posting them on Facebook. The other day, a friend walked in and just started to take pictures in our living room (I am in the process of painting and remodeling). I asked her to please not post anything on her Facebook page, and she became very cross that I had made that request.

When we have parties, I’m busy hosting and never noticed all the photos that were being taken and subsequently posted on Facebook. My husband and I, while friendly, are also private. While I realize that what these people are doing is a form of flattery, we also feel our privacy is being violated by guests who do not ask permission to post photos they’ve taken in our home. Do we just have to accept this behavior as part of the way technology has changed the world? — Old-fashioned

Dear Old: What a coincidence. I, too, am a non-Facebook fellow dinosaur! I think maybe you need new friends — or at the very least a little sign that says No Photos Allowed. For one thing, the intrusion is not just that guests are posting pictures of your house; they are also telling other people you may know that they weren’t invited. As for the friend who walked in, started snapping away and then was put out that you asked her to desist, well, see above about “new friends.” And no, I don’t think you have to accept this behavior. We all still have the choice of what to do with this world-changing technology. — Margo, stubbornly


Dear Margo: I have been married to my husband, mostly happily, for 16 years. We hit a rough patch about a year and a half ago, and it was then that I strayed. It didn’t last long, and the issues my husband and I were having got settled.

He has no idea I was unfaithful. It is gnawing at me, and I feel as though I should make a clean breast of things. The guilt is not doing me any good. I have discussed this with no one, feeling that is the only foolproof way not to have it repeated and find its way back to my husband. To tell or not to tell, that is my question. — Mrs. X

Dear Mrs.: Confession may be good for the soul, but it is very bad for a marriage. Just as you say the guilt is not doing you any good, your admission of infidelity would not do your spouse any good. While you might be relieved to get it off your chest, it could very well do in your husband and possibly the marriage.

Because things are back on track I would recommend remaining silent, forgiving yourself and sparing him the pain. With such confessions go manufactured visual images that can be very destructive and hard to shake. I suggest you consider yourself lucky that your single mistake did not become another “issue.” Probably the best way of staying on track with your marriage is to let the past stay in the past, chalk it up to a hard-won lesson, and make it up to him by being as loving of a wife as you can be. — Margo, forwardly

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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.


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50 comments so far.

  1. avatar redhead says:

    LW#1 Geez, the biggest Facebook haters are the ones who have no idea what it’s about. Maybe you can join the 21st century and at least check it out? It’s easy to add your friends, converse privately with them, and even be able to send out invites to your parties you love to have. Not every one who snaps a picture posts to Facebook.

  2. avatar NicoleDSK says:

    Why would a cuckolded husband need to know he’s been cheated on?

    Um… so he can get tested?

    There’s more than feelings at stake here, people.

  3. avatar Hikerdude says:

    Wow. The commenters here are quite different than the ones on Slate. Over there, it doesn’t matter much what the situation is now. What matters is the husband is being deprived of the information he needs to make an informed decision on whether or not he wants to stay in the marriage. Not that I agree with that, but that’s the predominant voice over there. The whole “built on a lie” and “right to know” outweigh how good the marriage has become.

  4. avatar central coast cabin home says:

    Thoughts on “self disclosure”, who is it for….you or him? If it is for you then I firmly agree that YOU get therapy. If it is for him….ask why and who asked you to tell all anyway? Keep it silent in your heart in that wee lock box we all should have. Forgive yourself and honor what you both have now.

  5. avatar John says:

    With regards to LW#1 – taking pictures is really dependent on the party.  For example, I throw a big Halloween party every year.  I have tons of decorations.  I fully expect people to take pictures of themselves and others in costume and with my decorations.  In fact, I often appreciate these photos as I’m so busy hosting to take pictures myself.  The same may be said of Christmas or other fun parties where friends are taking pictures with other friends.  Yes, some will be posted to FB.  If someone is not invited to the party, oh well.  You can’t invite everyone and there may be a valid reason not to invite someone.  However, if you are in the middle of redecorating and someone just starts snapping, you have every right to be offended.  I’ve never heard of such a thing.  I’ve seen people post pictures of their OWN homes being redecorated, but not that of others in the manner you described (for example, one may show a photo of their mother’s home being re-done, but not of their friend’s).  So I would heed Margo’s advice – time for new friends.