I recently made the transition from a full-time career woman to a stay-at-home mom (my choice completely to stay at home with my youngest child). I suffer from a number of mental health issues – OCD, anxiety, and slight depression, for which I receive regular therapy. I’ve worked my entire life, so this transition from the working world, where I had a pretty well-respected job, to staying at home has been a difficult one for me. One of the things I thought may give me a bit of a sense of identify was starting a blog. I thought it could be somewhat therapeutic for me and helpful for others who are suffering with the same afflictions to let them know there is hope.
Anyway, 2017 wasn’t the best year AT ALL for our marriage to say the least, so I mentioned to my husband that it’s possible some of my posts may indicate that our marriage isn’t all flowers and roses but that I would not mention any specifics whatsoever. He got quite a bit upset and said he did not want anyone to know that our marriage was anything but perfect. I said that’s the point – it will NEVER be perfect, as there is not a single perfect person – so to put ourselves on a pedestal and make it seem like we all have it figured out is not okay. I respect that he doesn’t want his dirty laundry aired (no one really does, do they?) but that wasn’t my point.
So, do I just act like I don’t have a husband as a part of my blog and never make reference to anything that would indicate he may be anything but perfect? I’m part of a family, which includes him, so this really frustrates me. Part of our issues as I alluded to above were very much about control over me on his part, and I almost feel like this is somehow a form of control that I can’t quite put my finger on. Anyway, any advice on how I should proceed would be great. — Stay-at-home Mom Blogger
Last year was a terrible year for your marriage and you think publicly blogging about it when your husband has explicitly expressed his discomfort will be helpful? Really? You’re wrong. And you’re also wrong that his telling you he doesn’t want you to blog about your marriage is a form of control. It’s not. Now, there may be other examples of control in your marriage, but this is not one of them, I promise. It’s normal, sane, and principled to ask your spouse not to publicly blog about the imperfections of your marriage, especially when your marriage is rocky, there are multiple mental health issues at play, and there are children in the picture. Why would you even entertain the idea of blogging about your marriage when your husband has expressed his discomfort?
Do you really think that confessing that your marriage isn’t all flowers and sunshine while not sharing “any specifics whatsoever” is helping anyone? Or do you think such a confession might create some interest around your blog and keep people reading to see if you will share some dirty details eventually? Vague blogging, after all, is a tactic lots of people employ to generate interest and boost pageviews. Is that what you’re after? Because you don’t need to even talk about your marriage if your point is to help people and give hope to those who also suffer from OCD, anxiety, and depression. You don’t need to blog about your family at all, and, in fact, you shouldn’t if your family has expressed desire for you NOT to.
Are you really more concerned about what strangers reading your blog might think versus how your own husband feels? If so, that’s really shitty. You say it’s not “ok” to present yourselves as a couple who has it all figured out. Ok, so don’t. If you can’t figure out how to NOT do that without blogging about the imperfections of your marriage, just don’t blog about your marriage at all. Is there nothing else for you to blog about? Ok, then, so maybe don’t be a blogger. Maybe write a diary instead. No one can tell you what you can and can’t write in a diary. But if you’re just super intent on helping people and you think blogging is the best way for you to do that, figure out your niche, create a posting schedule, think of some topics to focus on (independent of your husband!) and take it from there.
Don’t blow up your marriage because you want to help a few strangers on the internet. It’s not worth it. I say this as blogger and stay-at-home (-ish) mom myself. From day one, I have been respectful of my husband. Any time I share anything particularly personal about him or our marriage, our kids, and our family life I get his ok first. If he’s not comfortable with it — and there have been times he hasn’t been — I nix it. Even when I think the topic could be really helpful to others. Even when it’s something I think is well-written and I’m proud of. I don’t complain, I don’t whine, and I don’t mope or act passive-aggressively. I simply respect my husband and his privacy and keep my virtual damn mouth shut. And I have never once regretted anything I didn’t publicly share. There have been enough times I’ve regretted things I have publicly shared (even with my husband’s blessing) that I think exercising caution, getting an “ok” from your partner, and even sitting on a sensitive topic or post for a few days before publishing it is a wise practice.
I appreciate that the transition you’ve made from full-time career woman to stay-at-home mom, all while juggling various mental health issues, is not easy. I think finding or creating something in your life that gives you a sense of identity, purpose, and meaning outside the day-to-day slog of stay-at-home motherhood is a great idea. Maybe blogging isn’t it. Or if it is, maybe redefining the purpose and the niche of your blog will help you create some healthy boundaries. But bottom line: I can’t think of anything much more important than one’s marriage, and if your husband is uncomfortable with your blogging about it, don’t fucking blog about it. He’s not a control freak for not wanting his marriage to be publicly shared with anyone else.
Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.