Today’s guest post is from Julie Sibert, who blogs at Intimacy in Marriage. I LOVE that she wrote this and sent it to me to publish. See what you think:
It’s the annual “Have You Thanked Your Marriage Blogger” Day!
Well, not really. I just made that up.
It’s actually just another day in the world of being a marriage blogger. Below are seven insights on what that looks like. (I imagine my fellow marriage bloggers, including Sheila, are nodding in agreement).
1. I am passionate about what I do.
Otherwise, I just wouldn’t do it. Seriously. Wouldn’t do it, because it is tireless work. Heart-wrenching work. Actual work. Time-consuming work. BUT, I stay the course because I care about you and your marriage. I genuinely do. I’m not trying to be a martyr about it. I just want you to understand the depth of the passion behind it.
(Sheila says: Totally agree! Grew up in a single parent family. Watched divorce hit so many of my extended family–including impacting the kids. Positive change for our communities starts with families staying stronger.)
2. I want to respond to every comment and email.
I just can’t. Sometimes because the opportunity to have sex with my husband presents itself and who really is going to choose the email inbox over making love? Not me. Too much irony… you know, throwing my own marriage under the bus while I try to save others. Not a good approach.
Other times I get really delayed in following up on comments and emails simply because I am not indispensible. I have kids who need to get to baseball practice, an empty fridge that needs to be filled, dog puke that has to be cleaned up, and bills that have to be paid. You get the picture.
My life looks a lot like your life. Messy.
All that being said, I GREATLY appreciate when you take the time to comment or email me. And my heart is always that I want to respond…. and sometimes I actually do!
(Sheila says: You betcha! You wouldn’t believe what I’m doing today and tomorrow. I’ll show you–with pictures and maybe video highlights–later this week. But it’s personal, not professional, related!)
3. I’m not greedy if I occasionally find a way to make money from my blog.
I know we all are a bit skeptical about offers and products that come from our favorite bloggers. And for some reason, when a blogger begins to make money from their online presence, people begin to question their character.
The reality is, though, that being a blogger actually costs money. I spend money regularly on hosting fees, computer programs and equipment, all to actually give you something for free. So, if I make a little money from an eBook or an affiliate product or something else I believe in, please try to see it as a way that helps me keep giving you what you want… free blog posts that may help you heal or strengthen your marriage.
(Sheila notes: My costs at this point for this blog and for my assistants are over $10,000 a year. So that’s why I have ads! 🙂 )
4. I am regularly asked to promote stuff that doesn’t jive with my beliefs.
Most ethical marriage bloggers, myself included, must weed through a bunch of requests. I am asked to review books, promote other posts and websites, sell stuff – and much of it just doesn’t jive with what I believe from a Christian standpoint.
When I find the stuff that does resonate with me, I try to pass that along because I care about your marriage. You are worth this kind of discernment and time on my part.
(Sheila says: That’s why I have a “Dear Weird Internet Marketers…” feature on Facebook. Some of the things I get asked to tell you about are truly ODD).
5. I am regularly asked for insight on things I haven’t personally experienced.
I am always humbled by the emails I get where someone courageously pours out their story to me. Sometimes those stories are from people in marriages suffering intensely under the weight of porn addiction, infidelity, abuse, manipulation and depression.
I take all of this seriously, even though some of the circumstances are things I have never personally experienced. Obviously, I keep all these email conversations in confidence. I share this with you to offer you a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes of being a marriage blogger.
As much heart as I pour into the writing that you do see, there equally is as much of my heart going into privately pointing people toward resources. You wouldn’t believe some of the sadness happening behind closed doors. Maybe even in your own neighborhood. Likely even within marriages in your own church, workplace or circle of friends.
6. My own marriage is far from perfect.
I blog about sex. I know that some people think that because sexual intimacy is a mutually held value between my husband and I, that we can’t possibly have any other marriage struggles. Oh. How. I. Wish.
Truth is we are like any other married couple. We are real. We disagree, disappoint each other and struggle with many of the same things you likely do… finances, parenting, in-laws, home projects and full calendars.
Personally, though, I think the realness in my own marriage is what makes it possible for me to be a marriage blogger. Readers like yourself want to know you’re not in it alone, right? There are other people out there like you, navigating the ups and downs of matrimony. I’m one of those other people.
7. It helps to hear “thank you” every now and then.
Nothing blesses me more than when I get an email or comment from a reader who genuinely says thanks. If even one piece of insight from your favorite marriage blogger has helped your marriage, please know that when you say “thanks,” that gives us all encouragement to keep doing what we’re doing.
Sure, there’s no such thing as an annual “Have You Thanked Your Marriage Blogger” Day. But if there were, what would you say?
Julie Sibert writes and speaks about sexual intimacy in marriage. You can follow her blog at www.IntimacyInMarriage.com. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, their two boys and one rambunctious German Shorthair Pointer dog who refuses to stay in the fence.