Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Coming out of the Blogging Closet

When to tell him? When to share the scandalous news? Will it scare him off, make him run away?

But I'm going to have to share it with him, at some point. 'Him' being whoever I one day am destined to marry. Marriage is about trust, and has no room for secrets.

The question is- when?

The answers I got on Twitter ranged from:

A. After 4 dates - "I would get a Kosher phone, just I need the Internet for Facebook, and for the anonymous account I have on Twitter, and for this blog I write. But aside for that I barely use the internet."

To:

B. After five years of marriage, or three kids. (Whichever comes first?) -"By the way dear, you should check out my site, I've been sharing there a lot of juicy details about our marriage. But don't worry, it's anonymous. Oh is that the baby crying?"

Why am I even worried? Any guy who's right for me will be cool with the idea of me writing a blog. Right?

Not quite.

The real issue isn't with the fact itself, of the blog's existence. Because I stand behind that decision, the same way I have no problem saying that I'm online on Facebook, and Gmail. And someone who can't handle that, not even the basic concept, I guess he's not for me.

No, what makes me tremble me is all the stuff I've written in my blog. Basically, despite y'all reading it, my blog is my diary.

And would you want the guy you are dating to read your diary? Would you want your husband to be reading your diary, for that matter?

There is the personal, the private. There is the sad, the shocking, and the sarcastic. There are the hidden thoughts that burst out at times, surprising even myself. There are the meanings that come across in a different way than I intended. Lines that are misunderstood, intentions that get blurred.

And the same way there are many facets to my character, there are many facets to my writing. So depending on whichever posts he stumbles on first, he can end up getting a pretty slanted impression of me.

It's dangerous ground.

I'm just hoping there comes a point in my future, where I'll be dating a 'him', and I'll be able to tell him about my blog. And whatever he reads first, and whatever impression it may give, he won't doubt me. He'll know me better than that.

So back to the eternal question: When should an anonymous blogger tell the person they are dating about their blog?

17 comments:

  1. Why do you expect a guy not to judge you by your blogging/Facebook, but you want to judge guys by fairly superficial things?

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  2. When you want to.

    If it is like a family history of a sickness or personal trauma that you would want your life partner to know, tell when things get serious. But as you said it is a diary. You can tell you have a diary but dont let him read it or in this case what the URL is.

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  3. There is nothing about myself I can't tell my husband- He knows every nutty facet of me. Not that he'd be interested to read it- In fact he doesn't, but I wouldn't be scared for him to see any of it. Then again, I'm quite an open person. That said you are under no obligation to tell -- none. Thing is, when you love someone, you want them to know all of you.

    Shosh

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  4. When to tell him? When he feels comfortable enough to tell you something truly personal about himself without prompting. And if he never reaches that point prior to marriage, it means that he's either boring or "hiding" something too.

    Seriously, it's up to you. I compartmentalize things easily ('cause I'm a guy, and we're good at that) and I can see myself not telling a spouse something like this until I felt really, really secure about our relationship (ie. 5 years into marriage).

    But if you feel as you'll burst if you don't share this, well then, take your chances and tell him sooner rather than later. And if he gets spooked enough to turn right around, well then, he wasn't for you.

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  5. i stopped writing my blog around a year before i got married. I never told my husband about it. Hes not computer savvy at all and is a very frum guy. I dont think he would get it.

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  6. Just like i don't plan on showing my diary to my future husband, you don't need to ever show him your blog. That doesn't mean it is shameful. It is just very personal.

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  7. This is EXACTLY why I was never motivated to blog. Sharing intimate feelings with utter strangers is one thing, but with those who we are close to is another. My instinct would be to do something along the lines of what the anon commenter before me said - treat it like a diary. My husband shows me some of his diary entries, but I'd never pick up the whole thing and read it. And he certainly didn't share it with me when we were dating. But maybe a blog is different because of its public nature? I dunno. Hence no blogging for me.

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  8. Do your close friends know that you have a blog? Have you shared your blog with anyone you are close to in your life? If not, then I don't see why your husband should be an exception, unless you want him to be, but wait until you're 100 percent sure he's the one. If you're OK with telling close friends, then treat it the same way- when the guy is close enough to you that you consider him a close friend, and you would tell him other personal things that you would tell a close friend, then it's time to let him know about your blog.

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  9. I think he should know. I personally would wait until shortly before engagement, when things are pretty much certain, or shortly after getting engaged. I would want my fiancee/wife to know about it, and me - as well as what I wrote. It would give her a sense of what I've been through and give us points for discussion.

    I don't think anyone should ever post something they might regret later, no matter who reads it. Sharing private thoughts and feelings to get responses of strangers can be a beneficial thing, and I would think that kal v'chomer you'd want your husband to read those posts to better identify and understand you.

    Granted, there are private matters that you probably don't want to or shouldn't share with your spouse - there is no need to tell a spouse absolutely every minute detail of everything that has ever happened to you. But I don't think you'd want to share those things on a blog, so it's a moot point.

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  10. The comments comparing a blog to a diary are a little off - because it's like saying "The whole world can read this stuff, just not you, honey." A diary is for no one else to read.

    So, when to tell him? When you know enough of his personality to think that this is something he'd be okay with. ie after a few dates. If after some time of getting to know him, you reckon that this blog is something he'd never be okay with, then he probably isn't the right one you're looking for.

    Here's a question back to you though. Would you prefer your future husband not read the blog even if he were aware of it? I think if I were to marry you, I'd make the gesture to offer to never read the it, if that's what you'd prefer.

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  11. There is a dilemma here. On the one hand, the longer you wait the more it looks like you have something to hide and the more disconcerting to your partner to discover that you withheld the information. On the other removing your mask is an act of intimacy which like any other needs to be done at the right time and not too early.

    Treat this as an act of intimacy, being prepared to lay yourself open to another, to risk all, to be ultimately vulnerable. If it is not this, but a bombshell that needs to be detonated or neutralized at the right juncture, then maybe the person is not right. The time is right when you feel that you can lay yourself open like this. The person is right if they can handle this with discretion and understanding and if the revelation will build your relationship, not destroy it.

    Definitely do not hide it as your dirty little secret waiting to be uncovered. This can only cause hurt.

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  12. I told my date right away at our first meeting about my lifestyle after the divorce, and that he could read all about it on my blog. That impressed him immensely, and we eventually got married. The existence of the blog was never an issue, and he actually did not read ENOUGH before the wedding, which I think was important. If the blog is all about you, then an honest guy will always appreciate it and you for what you are. B'hatzloho.

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  13. This is the least of your worries. Maybe you've just run out of things to write about.

    Must-tell things to a potential spouse include children you have, debts, genetic conditions, etc, etc. A nice, clean, anonymous blog? That's not even on on the list. The analogy to a diary is the best. It's inaccurate to say that you're sharing yourself with the whole world except for "him", as we don't know you, so you're not sharing "yourself" with us at all.

    If you must you could mention it nonchalantly after engagement (after all it's not exactly a deal breaker). And it doesn't mean that he has to read it.

    I think that this is cultural issue, as Americans are very into baring all. I love your blog, and am waiting for your book to come out, but in the big scheme of marriage and things it's really not all that important.

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  14. I think pretty soon after things get serious, b/c it's an important part of you. Although I'm not exactly an anonymous blogger, so it's different for me :) it also depends on if he'll be the type who actually gets what blogs are...

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  15. The fact that you have a blog could be mentioned pretty early on, after a few solid dates. It's an important part of who you are and and I would think you would want him to know that. The opportunity to read it, however, should probably be offered somewhere between deciding to get married and actually getting engaged (there is often a gap). At that point the couple is fully committed to each other, falling in love and excited to learn all about one another. I think any guy would be interested in reading a blog that shows how complex a person you are and would appreciate it. And sometimes it's easier to convey this complexity and your inner contradictions and nuances in writing. It's rather soulbaring but you would probably feel relief after it, and he would gain a greater appreciation of who you are. If he reads it and doesn't like what he sees - well, it's good you didn't get engaged yet and you can stop while you're ahead.

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  16. I have to agree with the 2 anonymous comments above. The blog should be an important record for an caring hoson/husband to understand the normally complicated stimuli, aspirations and impressions of a woman's soul. If a man does not understand this, he is less likely to understand your blogging, as well as your writing. These are very important parts of your self-expression - speaking as someone who's been keeping a diary from the age of 12, and shown it to important men in my life.

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  17. Hi F&F:

    I love the blog and find your writing highly entertaining as well as quite insightful. That being said I would suggest that you refrain from post details of your married life on this blog.

    There was a young man that used his blog http://frumpter.blogspot.com/ to deal with all of his problems, from getting married to school to issues he was having with the wife. Eventually his wife found out about the blog and read some of the very harsh posts. This (along with other issues) almost costed him his marriage. He now has the blog open only to invited guests.

    Don’t fall into his trap and have to lead a double life or risk your marriage. Also hopefully when you get married you will have less time to spend on the blog (not only taking care of kids but life in general).

    Kol Tuv

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