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On blogging…

June 27, 2008

I feel caught in my web of lies!

No, not really. But I think the time has come to tell T about this blog. It started really as a hobby and I sort of anticipated it dying after a month or two. I mean, I’ve always loved to write, but how much could I write about personal finance? Read any of my early entries and you can see how much effort I put into it. (Heck, even read some of my current entries!) But it hasn’t died yet. I don’t see it dying any time soon. So… now what?

I have many good qualities, but being a completely open book simply isn’t one of them. I occasionally keep weird random secrets about things that don’t even matter. Like a book I’m reading, or a store I visited, or something totally weird. Not secrets, per se, more of a “if they don’t ask, don’t bring it up” sort of thing (and no one has asked “Do you write a blog?), for no reason whatsoever.Β  This isn’t to say I don’t try to be better about this. I do try to be open., though it goes against my nature. I guess I’m afraid of being made fun of for it, even though I know his character and I know he wouldn’t. I don’t know where I got this neurosis, but it is in my head that writing=weird, and writing on the internet for strangers to read = extra weird. And you know, maybe it is, but everyone is a little weird.

My desire for privacy is very much ingrained in me. Middle child syndrome? Perhaps. I’ve always had secret hiding spots for my diaries, poems and other writings when I was a kid. I don’t like to share my goals/dreams with people until I know that I’m really going to go after them. I simply don’t like people to know all my thoughts.

Maybe he secretly already knows. One day we were talking about some TV show, I think “The Office” as we were walking together, and he said something like “Why don’t you start a blog about it?” My heart jumped into my throat, and I wondered where it came from. Maybe I was just being opinionated about something random. Sometimes when my dad gets on a political rant, I tell him he needs to start a blog, “www.creedthoughts.com” (reference to the Office, again, which he loves).

It just is reaching a point where I should retire my blog or tell him about it. (Or maybe that point was like… 9 months ago.) Of course, this means revealing the nitty gritty details of my finances, which we haven’t exactly done, but isn’t a big deal since we’ve talked about it in non-detail enough.

So how do you do this? How do you say, “Honey, I’ve been writing a personal finance blog. For the past year.” Advice appreciated!

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2008 11:19 am

    This is a toughie. I totally understand where you’re coming from and why you haven’t shared it. I did the same thing with my BF when I started blogging. We’d been dating for like 2 years already when I started blogging, but I didn’t tell him until a few months in when i started to really get excited about it and I realized I wouldn’t quit anytime soon.

    He was all “why didn’t you tell me sooner??” and I was like “um, because I write about money and you are super-private and I thought it was just a random hobby that would die soon anyway.”

    We actually had a couple of our biggest fights (and we never fought) about the fact that I blog and that I blog about things he felt should be private. He was very concerned about privacy and security, and he took it as a difference in our core values that I wasn’t as concerned about that. It really drove a wedge between us as I got more and more into it but felt I couldn’t be open and excited with him about it.

    Plus as a practical matter I wrote about things we never even talked about (despite dating 3 years I didn’t even know his salary or net worth), so I knew it would be weird to have him reading about my financial goals, thoughts, and budget online. Which it was.

    Suffice it to say that no matter where you are in your relationship it might be best to share with him this passionate hobby you have but to respectfully ask him not to read it (or not to read it regularly), since you write about personal things that you would rather discuss with him in person rather than have him read online.

  2. June 27, 2008 1:31 pm

    Stacking pennies I have juicy news for you! You know how I had the same dilemma?Read my next post in my blog, you will find the answer for your question πŸ™‚

  3. June 27, 2008 1:41 pm

    @chicky – I did read your original post on telling mr finance… Looking forward to the next post!

    @Meg – I don’t think it’ll induce fights, but I guess you never know. That sounds unpleasant, maybe I should not share! I think I would not care if he read it or not, but I might delay publish on topics that we hadn’t discussed

  4. Michelle permalink
    June 27, 2008 2:33 pm

    You need to tell him. I never told my husband about my pf blog. He found it up on my computer one day. I continued on for several more months until he told me about three weeks ago to stop or else. I did not want to find out what the “else” would be and stopped.

  5. June 27, 2008 2:36 pm

    @Michelle – stop or else? Eeek!

  6. June 27, 2008 2:39 pm

    @Michelle! Here you are I was so worried about you. I am glad you are OK.
    @Stacking Pennies~Just posted the update about Mr.finance

  7. June 27, 2008 4:12 pm

    The best thing to do is just sit down and tell him about it. Tell him it started as a hobby for whatever reason (to help motivate you to get out of debt or whatever), and that it blossomed from there. Let him read it. Ask him his thoughts. Ask him if he thinks you’re a good writer. Ask him what he would change if it was his. And really listen. If he’s immediately offended, find out why; what part of it is it that offends him? You’re obviously a smart cookie and we all adore you, so he must too for the same reasons!

    The best part is when you get to ask him if he wants to guest blog πŸ˜‰ or even join as a co-owner of the blog. Yes, privacy is a must, but also keeping secrets from your spouse is unhealthy. If you feel like you’re lying, something must be done!

  8. Andrew Stevens permalink
    June 27, 2008 5:04 pm

    I’m really happy to see this post. I always tell people that if you plan to make a life with someone, trust doesn’t mean being allowed to keep secrets, trust means not keeping them. Be as private as you want with everybody else in the world, but insisting on your privacy with your spouse is asking for disaster. There are, of course, many things I don’t tell my wife because the details would bore her (she actually has only a pretty vague idea of what it is I do for a living, which involves mathematical modeling), but any time I start thinking to myself, “maybe I shouldn’t tell my wife this” (e.g. if I ate lunch with a female coworker who was obviously flirting with me), I make sure to immediately tell my wife about it. Keeping secrets is poisonous and the secrets you want to keep are precisely the ones you shouldn’t. Having a hard time at work, feeling depressed, “harmless” flirting, spending more money than you were supposed to or intended to, etc. All of these things can eventually lead to very big problems for both of you and talking about them early can ensure that doesn’t happen.

    I don’t think your boyfriend will be too upset that you didn’t tell him earlier, so long as you do tell him and he doesn’t find out accidentally. However, it wouldn’t shock me if he was a bit taken aback. If my wife came to me to tell me she’d been blogging for a year without telling me (or, worse, I discovered it like Michelle’s husband did), I would be more than a little disturbed by the secret-keeping as Meg’s boyfriend was. However, you and T aren’t married (or even living together if I’m correct) so the rules are a bit different. If he seems affronted that you didn’t tell him earlier, may I recommend that you apologize immediately and agree that you should have? I think that would do a lot to assuage the anxiety of virtually any man.

    I was very much like you were about privacy when I was your age. I really just had no idea how good it feels when you have someone who knows everything about you and knows all your thoughts about everything. It doesn’t make you weaker; it makes you much, much stronger.

  9. June 28, 2008 10:06 am

    The conversation I had with BF was nerve-wracking beforehand but it was good. He knew that I get really excited about financial stuff, and I shared a lot of the things I’d learned with him, but I was careful not to reveal blog-related minutiae until I was ready to talk to him about it.

    It went something like:
    “Uh, so you know I love financial stuff, right?”
    “Hah, yeah.”
    “Well, um …. *squirm* I didn’t tell you about this before because it was just for fun, and just for me, and not anyone else at all, but I feel like I’m lying to you by not telling you ….. and I get nervous about people reading my writing …. *squirm*”
    “okaaaaaayy…… what?”
    “Uh ….. I write a blog!”
    “A what?”
    “A blog.”
    “A blog? What’s a blog?”
    “You’re kidding, right? A blog.”
    “Yeah I’m kidding. Sort of. On money?”
    “Yes.”
    “Oh. That’s cool! Can I read it!”
    “No!!! I mean … uh, sometimes, maybe, I don’t know yet!”
    “Ok.”

    I’m lucky. He doesn’t have a problem with any of the stuff I write, nor does he really read it, so there’s no conflict. I think that’s because we’re not married, though. It might be different when we are, but since this is now status quo, it should be ok. Then to be perfectly fair to him, I say I’m lucky but because he respects me enough to respect my judgment, and vice versa, not simply that he doesn’t object to my hobby.

    When the ID scare happened, I was super glad that he knew because I couldn’t further compromise my anonymity by telling people I didn’t know!

    So I’m of the mind that it’s a good idea to be honest about what you’re doing and why, and why you haven’t shared it with him yet. Now that you know the blogging is likely here to stay, you’re sharing! Nothing wrong with that.

  10. July 3, 2008 3:52 am

    BF sort of knows, but sort of doesn’t seem to care that I have a blog and hasn’t been prying………… so *shrug* seems ok to me

    but if he found out, I’d def. keep it BF-comment-free πŸ˜›

  11. March 30, 2014 11:52 am

    I know this is a really old post…but I’ve been trying to figure out how to tell my boyfriend about my blog. Things are getting to a point where I kind of want to tell him, especially since I’m not blogging as much because he’s around and I don’t want him to see. I was holding out because I blog about things we hadn’t talked about yet, but he knows pretty much everything I blog about now, so I might end up telling him.

    I’m pretty sure my conversation with him would go like Revanche’s did. I also…I would really love it if he would write some guest posts! Or if I could blog about some of the money things we talk about, about sharing money and stuff. But I don’t want to do that if I haven’t told him!

    I think he won’t mind that I write the blog and might think it’s kind of cool. I’m pretty sure my last boyfriend would have tried to make me stop. It’s a bit different for me though since I’d been blogging for about 2 years when my boyfriend and I are started dating. I’m sure I’ll bring it up sometime soon πŸ™‚

    • March 30, 2014 1:19 pm

      Gosh, I’m kind of embarrassed by my horrible writing in this old post. Then again, I don’t actually think I’m less sloppy these days, so… there’s that.

      My conversation ultimately was similar to Revanche’s, although it was over the phone, and I refused to tell him any details and instead sent him a link so I wouldn’t have to talk about it. Despite being married for 5 (!!!) years, i still get a bit weird if he reads it while I’m in the room. He does read it, and I expect that, but I just can’t watch it. I still don’t like talking about the blog itself with him, but we do often talk further about topics in it and I sometimes bring up “my blog friend” when someone online writes about something I want to talk about with him.

      (Here is the equally poorly written follow-up: https://stackingpennies.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/secret-lives-of-women/ )

      Also, the impetus for telling him at that moment? I was going on my first blogger meet up, with Revanche and Well Heeled, and I didn’t want to lie about it! Haha.

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