Therapists and coaches often encourage clients to write about the end of their marriage to help process their emotions. Given how wired our world is now, the logical question then is, “Should I blog about my divorce?”
My current guest Liv writes a blog Live By Surprise – she started blogging after her divorce and after she had remarried. While much of her blog is about life after divorce and co-parenting, it’s impossible to write that without also writing about your marriage and your divorce journey. Here’s why Liv blogs:
It’s funny, I’ve always felt like I’m a writer.
Much of the work that I do, it’s more technical writing but I enjoy the process of it.
The first six months of after your child is born, you’re absorbed mostly with taking care of the child. After they get past that point and they’re not quite walking yet, you have a little more time to yourself. It was kind of a turning point for me to start the blog. It sometimes feels more like a journal to me.
It does give me the opportunity to vent my frustrations about my ex-husband. That is part of the reason I’ve tried to keep everything anonymous. I don’t want my ex to find out that I’m saying things about him. It’s not because I’m worried that he’s legally going to do something but more because it would be damaging to our relationship.
I also don’t want my children to ever find out some of the stuff that I have issues with from their dad. They don’t need to know.
It’s funny because years after my mom and dad split up, my mom told me she’d kept a journal during that time and that she been looking through it. She wanted to know if I wanted to look at it and I was like, “No! I don’t want to look at it. You kept us out of that at the time. I am not sure why you would think that I would like to know now. I do not want to know, that was between you and him and had nothing to do with me.”
I want my children to feel the same way.
I have two very close friends who know about my blog. Occasionally I will email them and say that I wrote a post and I am excited. I don’t think they read it all the time. My husband has been very supportive of my blog and he reads it regularly. It has been a good outlet for me, almost therapeutic. There have been a few times where I have written stuff down and then looked at it afterwards and said, “Why are you addressing it like that? You’re not doing it right and you need to look at it again because you are doing something wrong.” That has been very helpful.
I come across a lot of people who deal with the same kind of issues that I deal with but in different way and they have different relationships with their ex-husbands. Everybody deals with it differently and it’s nice that the Internet is out there. To have someone out there that has gone through some of the same things or who is a lot further past where you are and is doing very well is fantastic. It feels great to have that validation and to come to an understanding that there are people that make it through this.
Follow Liv’s blog at Live By Surprise.
The Divorce Coach Says
Before you get too excited thinking that journaling/blogging is what you need, there has been some research that shows post-divorce journaling may hinder the healing for some. If you have a tendency to brood over your circumstances then journaling may not be as therapeutic as other forms of therapy.
That being said, I think that writing about your divorce can absolutely help you face issues, identify and understand your feelings and find potential solutions and answers but should you do this via a blog or in a private journal?
If you’re doing this to help yourself get through your divorce, to learn and grow, then keep reading. If you’re thinking about blogging so you can rant about your ex’s wrong-doings, publicly shame them, and garner sympathy, stop here. Find a therapist or a divorce coach instead.
While platforms like Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr have made it easy to setup a personal blog, if you are technically challenged when it comes to computers then an old-fashioned journal may be much less frustrating for you and if it’s less frustrating then you’re more likely to do it. Similarly, if you spend all day working at a computer, sitting at a screen in your downtime to write your blog may be the last thing you feel like doing.
Some people find the physical process of writing by hand using a pen or pencil on paper is more therapeutic. There’s something about the movement of your hand, the forming of the letters that can be calming. Add in colored inks and it could be fun. If you’re artistic then a traditional journal would give you more latitude for adding artwork, doodles and mementos.
If you’re still feeling inclined to blog then the next question you need to consider is privacy. If you’re blogging openly with your name, then the fact that it is public may prevent you from covering some issues because you do need to respect the privacy of your kids. If you have even a minimally civil relationship with your ex, limiting the details you post publicly on a blog may be key to preserving that relationship. Those concerns can then defeat the purpose. You’ll end up sanitizing your writing to protect others and in the process won’t get the therapeutic benefit you wanted.
So then that would lead you to blogging with a pseudonym as Liv does – that means creating pen names for not just yourself but all the key characters in your life: your kids, your ex, your partner, your parents … . It also means a commitment from you to maintain your privacy – all it takes is an unintentional slip from a well-meaning friend on Facebook to blow your cover. What often ends up happening is that you form a whole new sphere of friends online and they are quite separate from your real life friends. It is like having a completely separate identity.
With respect to content, aside from the privacy of others, you’ll need to consider what you post from a legal standpoint. Clearly any legal negotiations or agreements that include confidentiality, such as mediation sessions, are out-of-bounds. Generally, blogs have been protected as free speech however, that’s not so say that a judge couldn’t rule that your blog was violating your children’s privacy and not in their best interests. And, if you are engaged in on-going legal negotiations then you have to consider that your ex’s legal team will be actively looking for anything you post online in any form of social media and will be looking to use that material against you. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Have I confused you?
Whether you choose to journal or blog about the end of your marriage and your post-divorce journey, I do believe it is an essential tool in the self-care toolbox. It’s one of the modules in my online divorce coaching program, My Divorce Pal and you can read more about the program here. I’d love you to join!
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