Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Do Blogging and Marriage Mix (Well)?

When I told my husband, Stu (that's him on the left), that I was thinking of starting a blog, he seemed surprisingly neutral about the idea. Surprisingly because he's always enthusiastically supported pretty much all my ideas.

A few hours later, he came to me with a serious look on his face. "Can I ask you something? Why do you need to write a blog? Do you feel you can't share your thoughts with me? Is there a reason you need to post your thoughts publicly? Aren't my input and opinions good enough for you?"

"Wow," I thought, "where did that come from?"

A gamut of emotions swept over me: shock, anger, rage, disbelief, a feeling of being suppressed, frustration.... but, I took a deep breath, and tried to understand if he was feeling intimidated or estranged, and if so, why.

A possibly important aside

[The company my husband worked for shut down unexpectedly this spring, so he's been home for the past several months. I'm hoping that our getting along whi
le he's been around portends well for our (very) future retirement years- we've been spending almost all day, every day together, and still enjoy each other's company. (Mmmm... then again, I spent all of May traveling around the States... and he recently spent a few weeks at our son's... maybe that's how we've managed?!)]

I took a moment to reflect on our marriage (after 35 years together, you can do that in a flash), and realized how much we've always valued each other's opinion and sought it out. Now, suddenly, I wanted to present my thoughts publicly before turning to him.

I explained to him that I saw this blog as a way for me to organize my thoughts, and also as a means to discipline myself to daily or weekly writing, with the goal of exploring career options in writing. I was writing this blog for me. I wanted to make it public because I felt that would push me to write, as if I was accountable to posting regularly. It would be very nice if I got some comments on what I wrote, but that wasn't why I would be writing.

He still seemed uncomfortable with the idea, so I suggested that I might approach him before each posting, to discuss what I wanted to write about- not to clear it with him, and not necessarily to give him a heads up, but to bounce around some ideas, get his input, and of course, his opinion.

Uh, oh.

The feeling of suppression came back. Did I just suggest that my writing be censored? That I not be able to express my deepest concerns? That seemed to be the sticking point- he didn't understand why I had to post publicly. I'm a reflection of him, he said.

Talk about feeling censored! Talk about repression!

What was going on?

Being the strong-willed woman I am, and being the wonderful husband he is, we ....well, I'm not sure what we've done...

I'm blogging. He'll receive an email with each entry as I post it. I'm not publishing my last name, and I might consider a bit of self-censorship, in our son's interest (our son is a pulpit rabbi).

When you've got lemons.....

This may actually turn out to be a great thing for our marriage- it may open up yet another avenue of communication. Maybe seeing my thoughts in print will bring a new dimension to our relationship.

He joked tonight about starting his own blog, 'in competition' to mine. Well, OK- I don't see the need for a competition, but what the hell. Heck, maybe we'll have 3 blogs- his, mine, and ours.

So, honey, if you're reading this (and I know you are) - why don
't you set up your laptop on the other side of the table, and let's see how my ten-finger typing skills match up to yours.

Note to our son:

We're doing fine. Madly in love. Walking around town holding hands. And laughing.

See you soon.

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