What are To Love, Honor and Vacuum readers like?

One thing readers of the blog may not know is that I send out emails on a regular basis. The blog goes out daily to those who want it, and then I send out weekly and monthly emails with extra content to those who want them. Recently, I hired a new assistant to help me with emails (you may remember her from the post in March on Why I Rushed to the ER on Tuesday). She and I decided to try sending out weekly surveys to the folks signed up for the weekly newsletter and we’ve had SO much fun with it. We wanted to know our readers better so that we could plan some upcoming posts and just know more about where everyone is with their marriage.

We thought we’d share the results of the last several surveys with you.

If you’re not getting any emails from me, sign up here! My subscribers get extra video content, behind the scenes looks at what’s going on in my life, and more! And I am starting to answer more reader questions in the emails as well. And I’ve got about 40,000 of you reading now at least on a monthly basis!

I’m going to hand this over to Joanna to explain our survey results (though I may interject a bit, too!) Here’s Joanna:

Why do you read Sheila’s Posts?

Why do people read TLHV?

First off, we wondered why people read the blog: is it because they want help working on their emotional connection with their spouse, or because they have questions about their sex life? And also… how many unmarried folks read the blog?

Here’s what we found: the vast majority of those who responded are married (94%)… but there is a group of unmarried folks (6%). And while there were big groups for both emotional connection and sex life, sex life won the day with 60.6% of married readers choosing it.

How long have you been married?

Graph: How long have TLHV readers been married?

Next we wondered how long people have been married. And we found that we have lots of readers who have been married for less than 5 years (hi, newlyweds!) AND we also have a small group of subscribers who have been married for more than 50 years (we all want to be like you!)

Sheila says: I’m in the 21-30 years group myself, and it’s interesting to see that that’s still a fairly large group. I wonder how many of you have grown with this blog? 🙂 But if you add the 0-5 to the 6-10, you get a group that’s larger than 11-20 (we broke the newlyweds down by 5 year segments to tease out who are TRULY newlyweds). But I think it’s safe to say that most of you are under 20 years married, though not all. Which likely means that only slightly less than half of readers actually have kids at home (I asked that question before Joanna came to work for me, so she didn’t do a pretty graph!; we’ll have to look into that again!)

Interlude: Adjusting to marriage

Because of the big group of newlyweds, we thought we’d ask about the biggest adjustments to marriage – and those results have inspired a series of posts we’re running later in the summer on personality types and marriage (a LOT of the responses had to do with adjusting to the differences in personality types.)

The reason I’m bringing this up now is this: filling out the surveys or letting us know what you think when we pose a question via email is incredibly helpful! It allows us to come up with new ideas on the blog and lets us know who our readers are! So a huge THANK YOU to all those who have been responding and who have responded to the emails as well.

A big perk is that every week we put those who respond to our survey into a draw for a prize! Most weeks we do a $25 Amazon gift card (fun, right?!) but this Thursday we’re doing a draw for a care package from Sheila that will include her favorite novel.

Who has the higher libido in your marriage?

Graph: Who Has Higher Libido?

Interestingly, we had nearly the exact proportion of libido breakdown in marriages that we’d expect! About 30% of wives have higher libidos than their husbands (and therefore 70% of husbands have higher libidos than their wives).

If you’re one of the higher libido wives, I hope you saw our series of posts last week! And if you’re a wife with a really low libido, then do check out Sheila’s Boost Your Libido course!

Sheila says: When I initially did the surveys for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I found that 24% of wives had the higher sex drive. I think it’s up to 30% now on this blog for two reasons: first, husbands losing their libidos is an increasing phenomenon; but second, I think because I actually do talk about wives with the higher libido, I do attract those readers, too. 

One more thing: If a wife has the higher libido, then their marriage has issues that are almost the polar opposite of marriages where HE has the higher libido. So every now and then it is important to write posts that have to do with that scenario (that’s what last week was for!). But I did have some people complaining there about when the husband has the higher libido. Just remember that not every post has to apply to every marriage. Sometimes I have to write things to help the marriages in an opposite situation from you, and don’t worry–your turn will come soon! (And likely sooner if you answer emails or comment so that I know your issue is an important one! 🙂 )

Who does the housework in your marriage?

Graph: Who Does the Housework in Your Marriage?

Next, we thought back to the responses we got to our question about adjusting to marriage and realized that a lot of the results were about the split of housework in marriages. So we thought we’d ask about how the chores are split up in marriages! We found that for about 60% of our readers, the wife does more of the housework. In 35% of marriages, the housework is split evenly, and in about 5% it’s the husband who does more.

I don’t know what your stories have been – but I know this is a question that’s changed considerably in the season my marriage is in. I just recently had a baby and my husband and I found ourselves transformed from the even-split student life we’d shared when he was in law school and I was getting my Masters degree… and suddenly I was working from home and caring for our daughter and he was working long hours at a law firm. I now do the majority of the housework… though as I type this he’s making dinner and watching the baby 😉

What do you and your spouse do for work?

Graph: Who Works Outside the Home?

We got the housework data back and thought about our own marriages and how important who was employed where affected how the housework duties and so we thought we’d ask about how work is split in marriages. We found that in about 50% of marriages among TLHV readers who responded to our survey, one spouse works outside the home but the other doesn’t. Another 45% have both spouses outside the home, while in 4% of marriages neither spouse works outside the home.

Again – thanks so much to all those who’ve responded to the surveys! I think you can see that the survey results we get from one week really impact what we ask the next week AND that the survey results are shaping what we’re putting up on the blog. So please, go ahead and respond away!

Thanks, Joanna!

And now I just want to say a huge thank you especially to the 40,000 of you who are signed up for my emails. It really is such an encouragement to me personally. 

I get a lot of hateful comments on the blog. This last week I’ve been having some absolutely horrible ones on the post I wrote last month about Steve Camp and the awful Twitter interactions I had with him. The comments had swearing in them, and were so derogatory towards my husband I can’t even print some of what was said (it was very sexually perverse). And in these comments the people are also quoting Bible verses telling me how I’m evil and leading people astray. That’s difficult. To tell me I’m wrong is one thing; to be rude and hateful and then use Bible verses? That makes me sad for the world, and often throws me into a funk. How can Christians act that way?

Then my daughter Rebecca (who works on the blog) reassures me that I’ve got it all wrong, because Jesus very clearly says that there will be evil ones in our churches, and that this will increase in the last days, and that we shouldn’t assume that everyone who can quote a Bible verse is a Christian. So she makes me feel better.

I eventually closed off comments to that post, but the comments do get depressing because so many are hateful. And then there are the reader questions and comments that are heartbreaking for other reasons–just how terrible many marriage situations are.

So when I get people reading my emails for years, and encouraging me and telling me how I’ve helped them, well, I can’t tell you how much that means!

Next week I have something I’m so excited about to share with you. One of my long time readers has written a two-post series on how she finally learned to reach orgasm. She’s going to remain anonymous, but she’s been with me for a long time, and things are finally working for her! And she’s going to share exactly what she learned. That’s awesome.

So there you go–a little bit more about my regular readers! And I’d love to hear from you, too. Where do you fit on any of those survey results? How long have you been reading? Let me know in the comments and introduce yourself!

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