I think I need to issue an apology to my readers.
About six months ago or so I thought I’d start a Reader Question of the Week, where I post a question from a reader, and then let you all go at it. I don’t have time to answer all the emails that come in, so when I get a variety of emails about a particular topic, I thought it might be nice to give you all a chance to answer. I’m pressed for time, and it seemed like a good idea for a weekly feature.
In the last few months, though, these posts have caused me a considerable amount of stress because often the comments get nasty. Commenters start accusing other commenters of things; they make assumptions that aren’t warranted; and they just plain are not gracious to each other.
And often the advice that is given is really hurtful.
Yesterday, for instance, I posted about a woman who had gained 25 pounds since her kids were born, and her husband now doesn’t find her attractive. One of the comments said that gaining 25 pounds was sinful, and she was defrauding her husband.
I attempted to deflect this by writing an update, but I can just imagine how hurtful that comment was to read by women who are really struggling with their weight.
This is just the latest in a series of problems on these posts. A few weeks ago I had to delete about 35 comments from the thread because a disagreement broke out over what submission was–and basically one man was arguing that women have no right to ask anything of their husbands, because their husbands are the leaders.
Again, I can just imagine how hurtful that was to read by a woman who was genuinely hurting in her marriage.
So I am suspending the Reader Questions. I had already decided yesterday, after seeing the direction of the comments. I talked to my assistant about it and she agreed. And then today I received several emails about it, emails talking about how hurtful those comments were.
Quite frankly, I don’t want my blog to become a place where people can leave comments that are hurtful to others. I want it to be a place where people can hear good thoughts and good advice, and it seems that I can’t trust people to do that.
So instead, on Saturdays, I’m going to post one of my Facebook graphics from the week, along with links to older articles you may have missed that address that issue.
Here’s a graphic I posted yesterday, for instance:
I think that’s a little more helpful.
I just want to say I’m sorry. It was not a wise thing to open up the comments to people’s questions. I thought I could trust readers to be kind and gracious, and obviously I was wrong. I am sorry for rubbing salt into any wounds, and I don’t want to give people a forum to do that anymore.
I guess we learn as we blog. Please forgive me, and I’ll try to be more helpful from now on!