Sunday, 25 April 2010

Is blogging bad for your relationship?

Well is it?

I need to know what you think.

I need to know that I'm not the only one out there who, and I quote a very famous blogger here, is prone to say,

"Not tonight darling, I'm just in the middle of tweaking my avatar".

I read a very funny article recently on Fuel My Blog which stated that the number of blogging-related problems has risen by more than 3000% over the last three years.

But aside from mental health problems brought on by paying attention to visitor counters or hurty fingers for people who can't touch type (both of which were quoted as symptoms), the real problems that I'm talking about are those which concern relationships, specifically marital ones.

Now it's no secret that I've been a bit down in the dumps recently (don't panic - I won't bore you with all that again), besides my husband would never forgive me if I told the world that we've been having marital problems.  But, you know what, we have.

So there.  I said it.

But what I want to know, is if it has anything to do with blogging.

As the Fuel My Blog article recommends,

"Involve your partner with the process.  For instance, get them to make you a cup of tea while you're blogging and say 'thank you' nicely."

Now, all jokes aside, how many of us have spent an entire evening (or erm, evenings) in front of the computer reading about other peoples' lives while ignoring that very person who we've chosen to spend our own lives with?  And how many times have we preferred to stay in and blog rather than go out and, erm not blog?

Are our other halves happy that we've found something to keep us occupied and supportive in our writing, or are they hurt and upset that they don't have quality time with us anymore and exasperated that we prefer our virtual friends to our real ones? 

I'm not saying that blogging is solely responsible for the friction within my marriage.  I mean the fact that we've seen each other for ten days out of the past 64 could have something to do with it. But seriously, as much as I love blogging and all the things that it's brought me, wasn't life just a little bit simpler before I discovered it?

I'm not sure. I'm still thinking about it.


  1. I think it's really hard, and I think blogging does impact on a relationship in different ways. I really hope things pick up for you soon and your holiday helps you regain your spirits.

    For me, blogging (even in the silly light way I do it) can make me more introspective, prone to analysing things more than I usual would. And within this little vacuum that is the blogging community, things can take on a significance they might not have otherwise. Sometimes I have to consciously make myself step away and clear my head, and regain perspective.

    I have an absolute rule that I don't blog about my relationship. I think it would be disrespectful to him and I wouldn't want Flea reading it when she's older, and I don't really want to share that level of detail with the world and my stalker.

    Like you, we don't see each other every night, so I don't blog or Tweet when he's here. I might Tweet while he's making dinner or having a shower, but when he comes into the lounge, I turn off the laptop and we're together. For me, that's just manners - I think about how my Dad used to sit slumped in front of the football when we were kids, and I think me sitting on my laptop while the chap is sitting next to me would be on a par - it's just bad manners.

  2. Certainly food for thought. I suppose we may turn to blogging when we should be turning to our partners, plus the fact there are so many demands and distractions in life already...

    Yet sometimes a good sound off online can save a conflab with the other half. As you can see, I too am confused. But one thing I do know, distance can put a strain on things and I am reminded of that as my hubs also works far away yet again. Best wishes to you Emily, I hope it all works out.

  3. I think it can be if one lets it, but not necessarily could be other things.

    Personally, I know that when I feel the pull of blogging or reading up on blogs greater than the pull of curling up on the sofa watching dvd box sets with my other half then I have to re-assess what's going on. We have had a few issues with it. A few sarky comments. I deliberately don't have Twitter on my phone because I know I would be checking it when we're out together.

    I'm sorry you're having a rough time of it. And that you make it through the other side.

  4. I'm not really a fully-fledged blogger as yet, so can't really comment on blogging specifically, but I know that the Internet in general can have a pretty negative impact on a relationship.

    Tricky though as I find that if husband is away a lot/ working late I get into my own routine of doing my own thing and then when he is around, it's almost like he's in the way.

    I think that as with most things it's a question of balance. We're currently trying to set aside evenings to spend together without phones, laptops etc. Not very spontaneous, but it helps a bit.

    Hope you work things out

  5. Hello,
    Gosh it feels like ages since I've had time to sit and read your blog or anyone elses for that matter.
    I didn't blog when I was married, but I did write poetry.
    Unfortunately since I started blogging, my ex did find it and was very brutal about it. This discovery definitely affected how I talked (or not) with him.
    But in terms of my current relationship, I'm dating, it has so far not had any impact as yet.
    x jo

  6. Rather than just blogging, I think any computer related activity has the potential to damage your relationship. So many computer games and websites are addictive. I usually blog when my husband is doing his own thing too. I think it's tricky if one of you has an interest and the other one doesn't. I think it's about finding a balance and giving each other space to do what you want while also appreciating each other and making time to be together. It's tricky as most things in relationships are. I hope you manage to sort things soon x

  7. I stopped and paused about your question. Does it? In some ways yes, in some, no, I think. I think when we become serious about anything that we work on at home, it can be a challenge to our relationship. Often our husbands and partners work outside of the home and we work inside (with children). When they come home at the end of the day they want to be with us and they expect us to return the attention. I know that I am quite focussed on my writing - and blogging is a part of that. I am creating a new marketing consultancy and writing career and I grab every spare minute I can to try and further that. My husband is in the main extremely supportive and understanding. Every now and again it can cause friction. Recently I've tried to step away from the keyboard and focus on spending time together as a couple. It is hard (blogging is addictive!) but I am really enjoying the perspective it's offering me and the time with my Englishman. I hope things get a little easier for you hun, I really do. xx

  8. Hmm. Actually, I think blogging has - if anything - improved things between the husband and I. He is literally my biggest fan: he reads my blog religiously, is always telling people about it, and laughs at every post (even when I think no one else will). It makes me feel good that he enjoys and is proud of it.

    I normally write my posts while he's at work, though, so there's no competition between him and blogging. Maybe things would be different if that was the case. Who knows!

  9. Reading others blogs helps my relationship (I don't write...just enjoy reading) when the really funny stuff surfaces I share it and we both have a laugh! Can't have too much of that. Good luck to you and I hope you come out on the right side of things! If it helps know that everyone goes through this at one point or another and hard work and LOTS of honest communication can get you through it. Hang in there! By the way I really enjoy reading your stuff and it's on my fav's!

  10. Really sorry you're having troubles. My wake-up call was when my son mentioned that I was addicted to my computer! I immediately stopped posting and commenting on other blogs because I didn't want him thinking the computer was more important to me than him and apart from anything else, I felt I was setting a bad example! Hope things improve x

  11. Like anything in our lives if it is affecting our relationships, then it needs to be addressed and things need to change.

    Sorry you are having issues, it's never fun and never easy, but hopefully things will pitter patter out and the troubles will pass!

  12. Sorry things haven't been going well recently. I think anything that becomes an obsession, such that it takes someone away from people and relationships, is a problem. For some its alcohol or gambling, for others it's the internet or blogging.

    For my son, it's the DS.

    Then again, it is also essential to have a stress relief valve - and if that is the blog (rather than the alcohol or the horses!) it cannot be dismissed.

  13. I just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear you're going through some tough times, but it's lovely to have you back blogging again. My husband steadfastly refuses to have anything to do with my blog. This is probably a very good thing ;o) He lives in happy denial, while I blog in my own little world of madness. I have to say though that I think it helps that I a) mostly blog in my lunch hour, and b)type at 90wpm, so each post takes me about 30 seconds to rattle out. (Ah, the thought, the care ... !)

    At the end of the day, different things work for different people. If something doesn't work for you, and it's making one, or both of you, unhappy, then something needs to change. What that change needs to be, only the two of you can decide.

    I wish you the best of luck x

  14. I try and balance it, I do the majority of my blogging when BG is napping. To be honest OH is really good about me being on the laptop, however I only go one two nights a week and he gives me an afternoon on one of his days off.

    Sorry you are having problems, I hope you work it out soon x

  15. If what stated was right, that the number of blogging-related problems has risen by more than 3000% over the last three years, then, yes indeed we have to pay attention to our blogging habit.

    For me, I won't sacrifice my lifetime relationship just for blogging. Hope that many others think of it that way, too.

    Relationship Advice for All

  16. You are right that there can be a problem. I have to consciously switch off the computer and leave the house so my family get enough attention. Especially when I'm feeling bad. On the other hand, they also need to understand that you need your escape. (I know it's my pet project, but what you and your husband need is weekly date night! As long as you don't check your email or reader on your phone while you're out. :-) )

  17. This is a really interesting subject and as others expressed, I'm sorry to hear you're going through a patch.
    As others have said, it's not the blogging per se, it's really being so immersed in something that you forget things taking place around you. I think with online stuff, it's also important to remind yourself that there's an element of illusions so it's important to keep life balanced otherwise it distorts things.
    As I work from home as a blogger, I have to switch off. I have gradually stopped using Twitter etc as much, particularly at the weekend and focus on me, home, family etc. It also ensures that real life relationships such as friendships don't get neglected.
    I don't really talk about my relationship, or at least not anything very personal and I wouldn't unless I had aired my thoughts with him as I think he'd feel a tad uncomfortable, particularly if people that know us come across it. Oh and I don't use my phone in the car - drives him mad checking emails and tweets!

  18. Yes! I think it causes a lot of friction because blogging is something for you. Its something they're not in control of and it confuses/fascinates/frustrates them. My OH always catches up on my blog at least once a week to make sure I'm not telling porkies about him but I have to admit that sometimes in the evening I think he feels a little neglected, and as if I should be looking after Lara rather than him (despite the fact that blogging is my me-time)!

  19. ummm, it's not something I've ever really thought of much before. I guess it can if you let it, like any hobby could really...I need to think about this some more...

  20. Firstly, it's so lovely to read a post from you after all this time and secondly, I hope you sort through your problems soon. Re the blogging/relationship thingy - hmmmm, good question. I'm quite boring and don't stay on-line a huge amount after I've posted and read through as many other blogs as I can before a child calls for more milk, but it has certainly given me an outlet which I wouldn't have otherwise had. I watch a lot less TV now - maybe that's the major relationship change in my life! Think I need to give this a little more thought....

  21. I agree with deer baby, "I think it can be if one lets it, but not necessarily could be other things." TV, electronic/computer games, alcohol, partying, our job, our kids ... so many things could potentially be a source of conflict with our spouse if we let it consume us.

    I've joked about it before. My husband is incredibly supportive of me blogging because he can immerse himself in his online computer games without guilt. But when someone is feeling the need to be close (usually me) even if it's only to watch TV on the couch together for an hour, we're not afraid to say it. I never feel like I'm being unreasonable to want to pull him away from the computer or his tv sports shows.

    I think any relationship where one spouse is away from home for long periods of time is a tricky one. I can't imagine it for myself and do not envy your situation at all.

    I don't know the details of why blogging has become the source of conflict with you and your husband but I think completely abandoning blogging would likely not solve your marital issues. Everyone needs an outlet. But blogging also doesn't have to be an all or nothing affair. Perhaps, there is a specific level of blogging activity that would make both you and your husband happy.

    I do hope you sort it out. I've missed you.

  22. Hi MT,
    It's nice to see you are back. I am sorry you are having a tough time. Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to the question, but I am thinking any self-absorbent activity can add friction to a relationship.
    Hope all is better soon!
    x Deborah

  23. Hi there you have totally nailed it, in one. I can't tell you the amount of times my husband has threatened to take my laptop outside, and drive the car over and back until it smashes into pieces. Ok I was also running the PACUB campaign at the time but I would remember looking at my watch, being 35 weeks + pregnant and busy at 1am in the morning on my blog! It should come with a warning - Blogging can seriously damage your relationship use in moderation xx

  24. Is blogging bad for your relationship? Yes. Is having children bad for your relationship? Yes. Is getting married bad for your relationship? Yes. But we still do it. Men, marriage and children make men into children and women into mothers to everyone. I spend hours with my husband, explaining to him - he's not my dad or my son - he's my husband and that means I am his partner not his child or his mother. Oh how the winter evenings fly by! But you know what - where would find all material if we didn't have them to bug us! What would your blog be - if you lived an alternative life - a single life where you hadn't met any of them?

  25. Ps: Your blog is brilliant, by the way. Super good! I have just moved from Dorset-shire to Shire of Hamp but south coast living is invigorating.

  26. For me it hasn't caused problems yet but I can totally get where you're coming from. I am acutely aware of 'it', forever checking emails, comments, tweets, fb etc. But I do try and be sly which I'm not sure is a good thing?! So I got a phone that allowed me to check things remotely and will sit in the car before I come into the house ! Oh god that sounds like I have a problem eh? One thing I have been dead careful of is only checking google reader once a week (his footie night) and posting one night to try and keep a balance. But that doesn't mean I don't sit on the sofa, sitting on my hands, and thinking about writing ....

  27. I think it can be bad for your relationship if partner hasn't got a hobby too - it can really take over so much time.I've been sitting her supposedly watching the live debate, and have had the laptop clicking away from 8.15 til now and my hubby has gone to bed.....about half an hour ago....oops!

  28. I tend to blog when there is football on the TV, that keeps us both happy. We both have iPhones and at times I think we both are using them when we should be spending time together but so far we both seem happy.

    Lovely to see you blogging again.

  29. I'm a relatively new blogger and I have to agree with those who say that it's 'computer-related activities' that can impact - specifically, blogging, tweeting, reading other blogs, checking emails, stats etc etc etc. I was obsessed for the first few weeks, but have made a conscious decision to pull back a bit. It might be bad for my blog, but it will be better for my marriage! Good luck with yours!
    PS: have also made a conscious decision not to get an iPhone. Too much 'connectiveness' can be a bad thing.

  30. I think Blogging can cause problems, it is a slightly secretive thing to be doing when one's other half is around, but so is almost any computer-based activity.
    I know Karen had problems with me playing World of Warcraft for hours on end, she used to sit around feeling ignored... HaHa, now the boot is on the other foot... sometimes I wonder if she's done it on purpose.

    We all seem to loose track of how we started out.

    TALKING, remember the days when we used to hang on each others words?
    EYE CONTACT, now it's with the screen.

    Two basic activities that are the roor of all relationships, whether they be between peers, lovers of parent/children (even teenagers although the eye contact can be a tricky with all the piercings to distract one)

    I hope you sort it out with JP, my thoughts are with you both.

  31. Great post!

    Yes - I think it could cause problems. Hubby has made a few (jokey) remarks about it. In the early days when I started my blog, I'd spend nights in front of the computer for hours at a time. Now, I might do a little, or, like now, I wait until he's out or in bed (he often goes to bed earlier because he gets up and cycles - so that's when I blog). I usually write a post during the day when the 3yo has his nap, and when he does his sports class on Wednesdays (a whole hour and a half sitting in a cafe writing - heaven!), so therefore I'm not sitting on the computer for ages in the evenings.

    I think the best thing to do is set aside time for it, and set aside time for him. Then everyone will be happy!

    I think they can resent it a bit if it cuts in to personal time.

  32. Hmmmmm food for thought. Luckily I tend to blog when my husband is at the football. What would I do if he ever stopped going? Shudder!

  33. So sorry you're having problems darling. I hope you get through it all and come out the other side OK. I think blogging has definitely effected how much quality time we spend together and and we've both had to adjust to it. I don't work so I approach it like it is my job - I need that thing for me and blogging about fashion has become it. OH is pretty good about it most of the time and its me who has to force myself to not gravitate back to the Mac some evenings! xx

  34. Oh yeah, us too... and he hates the blogging. loves the blog, hates the blogging.