Sidekick?

            Have you noticed I rarely write about my husband?  If I do, it is an offhand remark necessary to the telling of a story about someone else (usually one of our children).  He is not often the subject of posts.

            This is not because he is not important to my life.  He is my partner and my friend, and over the past fourteen (sweet heavens, has it been that long?) years since we met, we have grown together in all sorts of odd ways.  We always know where the other is going in a conversation, we often have the same idea at the same time, and we generally have developed a shorthand form of communication.  There are lots more things I could say, but I try not to write too much about him or our relationship here on this blog.

            I fear if I did, it would permeate our relationship.  We would both become self-conscious, knowing that the things we do together or our conversations could become blog fodder.  More to the point, he would never have the comfort of knowing our relationship is completely private.  Our marriage needs to be a safety zone, where we can say anything without fear of public embarrassment.  If I wrote about him, we would lose that place.

            Writing about my kids is different.  I have certain rules in place – pseudonyms, no pictures, nothing that will cause trouble in the Jr. High locker room.  But, the fact is, they do not know I write about them, so it is not a cause for anxiety or self-censorship in our relationship.  I can write about them, record their lives for them, without fearing that it is affecting how we relate to one another.

            Of course, there is always the mommyblogger fear that they will hate me for it later or that I am invading their privacy, which is why my husband vets my writing, acting as their advocate. 

           But him?  He is an adult, he knows what I am doing.  And I just cannot see how our relationship would be the same if instead of being two tired people sloughing through life together I turned us into the observer and the observed.

20 responses to “Sidekick?

  1. A very valid point, although I obviously speak with a forked tongue as I do write about mine, not hugely, but bits from here and there.

    I’m impressed that yours vets your blog, I’d be happy if mine would just read what I write!
    Best wishes

  2. Interesting stuff to ponder. In theory, my husband blogs on our joint blog, but it’s mainly just me. Every once in a while I’ll share funny stories about him. And every so often to one of those stories he’ll say, “Are you sure people will know I was kidding?” Of course I assume they will, but what if they don’t. 🙂

    But I try to keep things pseudo-anonymous too. I check every so often to make sure you can’t find our blog by googling either of our names. You’d have to know about it or find us through the blogosphere.

  3. This is a very good post for me to read. I had noticed you rarely mention your husband.

    My husband has been written about at times in the past, but I’ve stopped for the most part (of course, today he’s in my post!). I’ve been confused about this. On one hand I feel like the blog is my space and I almost need to write about him because it’s become a method of processing things for me. But, he doesn’t have much of a sense of humor about himself and he takes things very literally and very seriously, even when I’m just being silly. I don’t want to offend or upset him, but I’ve realized I could do so easily without intending it.

    I like your reasons for keeping your husband off the blog. This makes sense to me and I shall keep it in mind going forward.

  4. I sometimes write about my husband but I always show him the post in advance and he always has veto power.

    I don’t write about my husband very much, though, b/c he no longer has a huge impact on my continually emerging sense of self. It’s the kid who has me at sixes and sevens trying to figure out who I am and who she is. That’s why she gets more play than he does. Besides, there are social codes in operation here: if I write a poetic post that tries to convey the complexity of my love for my daughter, my readers will say “awwwwww!” If I write about my love for my husband, they will say nothing but likely think, “get a room.” Similarly, if my daughter makes me angry, my readers will sympathize. If my husband makes me angry, my readers will shift in their seats and worry that they may have to witness adult emotional yuckiness. Oh yes, I think social codes reign us all in.

    Mainly, though, I write about me because that’s where I have exclusive ownership rights.

  5. I don’t write about mine much either, for the same reasons. I do write about my kids and post a few pics, but I’ll likely stop doing that soon….cept the baby. But the girls are just getting too big.

  6. I write about my Children but do it knowing they read (and comment) on the blog. There is an awful lot that doesn’t get written so the Children on the blog are really more characters – not the full and complete (and complex) human beings they really are. I started the blog to write about my late husband, but I know the person I presented, the stories I told of him, were also not entirely complete. It’s not that I left things out (although I did – not everything is story-worthy), but just the act of writing touches things up, heightens things – tightens the drama or enhances the humor. I didn’t make anything up (what would be the point?) but I was increasingly aware that I was writing a narrative rather than a plodding, day by day, blow-by-blow account.

    I think that’s why personal blogs are so interesting – it’s not truly a journal, it’s not truly a story it’s… somewhere between those.

  7. i rarely write about my husband, either. you make excellent points as to why.

  8. I don’t write about my husband very often, either. My radar for what will make him uncomfortable is pretty sensitive, and so I’ve been careful.

    I like your point about The Observed and The Observer.

  9. that’s more or less the stance i take with respect to my husband.

  10. I mention occasionally that my husband exists, but if I wrote about him, there would be so much less room to dissect me!me!me!

    No, seriously, he asked me to keep him off the blog and so I do. And it feels right. I get uncomfortable reading about other couple’s fights unless the writer is taking responsibility for her actions. And like Mad said, I get really uncomfortable when people declare their love for their spouses. And I really REALLY don’t want to know about anyone else’s sex life (on their blog, I mean. Penthouse Forum, naturally, is another thing all together).

    (And I’m totally kidding about PF).

  11. My husband is generally off limits as well, but mostly because a lot of his clients read the site. We both think it’s important to document Alexis’ childhood accurately, but not even she needs to hear about some of the stuff he does. 😉

  12. thank you for this.
    I totally sent the link to G.
    I’m curious to hear his response to it.

  13. I do about the same with the Mr. I also blog a lot less about my oldest child who is almost 14. She knows I have a blog, but hasn’t read it yet (that I know of), but she is plenty old enough that when I do blog about her I try to be careful.

  14. Yes.

    Once in a while, he’ll say “are you going to put that on your blog?” and sometimes I do. He’s also told people about it, which amuses me and horrifies me, simultaneously.

  15. I don’t write about my husband much either and I haven’t really thought about why… it just hasn’t felt right to do so. After reading this post I feel like you’ve articulated what I was feeling in my subconscious.

    And PS, I love that you said “sweet heavens.” Are you also a fan of “good grief?” Two hugely underused phrases, in my opinion.

  16. Emily– your site is wonderful because it seems real. I read a couple of other ones ( check out lotsofscotts) and as much as I like them, I know that my life could never be that way and I could never be that type of mother. Another favorite site is holland and eden micropreemie twins. Billie (the mother) is amazingly candid about life with 2 special needs children. In regard to children and privacy issues, she did have a situation where another woman basically stole her daughter’s story and pictures and developed a whole fictional life with Billie’s daughter!.

  17. Sounds like a very wise decision.
    The only personal stories I write on my blog are about me. I just don’t feel like I should be writing other people’s (my boys and my hubby) personal stories for others to read. It’s not my place to do that. I do write funny or silly stories but nothing (hopefully) that would ever make them uncomfortable. I think it is a respect thing.

  18. Your reasons for keeping your husband off the blog sound very sensible indeed. I have to say mine loves being mentioned, but that’s because I generally do good PR and talk about the funny things he says. He’d be less thrilled if I published his errors and accidents!

  19. The characters on my blog are all smothered in so many layers of fiction and misdirection that I think they’re pretty much unrecognizable. Even to themselves. Especially to themselves.

  20. Hi. Stumbled on your blog. The topic caught my eye. I’m a long time blogger that has included (sometimes regretfully) my hubby in my posts.
    He is such a huge part of me that I find it impossible not to. Without him, I would not be acurately documenting my life.