Thursday, April 02, 2009

Blarf on the Page: Catharsis up to a Point

In case anyone needed confirmation, here it is: relationship blogging is a stress relief, to some extent. It can also be more trouble than it's worth. Those of you out there who seek an audience of sympathetic readers and validation of your own situation/point of view have probably also learned that there can be unforeseen consequences which which to deal, as well. This is where the matter gets supremely complicated. Feelings and desires are complex organisms and if one doesn't impose strict boundaries and controls upon what is said in an online forum, one can easily end up playing with fire.

In my younger years, I misinterpreted the typical relationship frustration that goes hand-in-hand with every long term pairing as something else entirely. Instead of seeing it as purely a stress-reliever from whomever was writing, I interpreted the gesture to mean that breakup was imminent, and contented myself with the belief that all I had to do was bide my time until it did. Sometimes I was right. Most often I was wrong. Sometimes I learned that it was indicative of a woman who was in an unhappy relationship or marriage and quite willing to engage in an affair. More often than not, however, I was reading the words of someone deeply conflicted on all sides whose intentions, in the final analysis, were not nearly so cut-and-dried and were tremendously convoluted.

Lots of people take to the internet to voice issues and feelings they'd never feel comfortable expressing in public or face-to-face. The relative anonymity of cyberspace makes it a tempting medium but I honestly believe that a session with a trusted counselor is a much better option. As the article addresses, when blogging becomes a passive-aggressive medium for voicing concerns with a partner that one would never say to them in person, this quickly becomes problematic. We all have thoughts and desires that we withhold from whomever it is we're with at the time because they would do nothing but bruise feelings and create resentment but I often wonder if instead of to committing these feelings to an electronic medium, a private e-mail with a close friend might be a much better option. My two cents, of course.


Liberality said...

That was a good link Kevin. I hadn't thought much about it before but there are limits to what I'm willing to divulge online.

Mauigirl said...

Agree, I don't put really personal stuff on the blog or in Facebook, especially if the personal situation involves someone who is less open to social media and has no intention of ever blogging or being on Facebook themselves! (Which is why I never post pictures or real names of my friends or husband if they aren't doing the same already).

PENolan said...

Even though there is a bit of gut spilling on my blog, I always keep in mind that some people may be meeting me for the first time - and is this how I want to introduce myself? And what if my mom read some of this stuff?

I do think that in many ways, individual experiences have a universality that can make personal bs relevant to others, encourage reflection/introspection and establish a common humanity. Off hand remarks in others' blogs have given me helpful insights.

I have to wonder, however, if something has happened in your relationship . . . Inquiring minds want to know. When there are connections between bloggers, this is how we converse with each other about stuff that we're thinking about - personal, political, philosophical, yada yada yada

Comrade Kevin said...

Hey Nolan,

My relationship's fine. :) I just am sensitive to her feelings and don't talk much about her on a public forum like a blog. I have no problem talking about my feelings but when the involve her, I'd rather keep her out of it, if that makes sense.

PENolan said...

Makes perfect sense - I'd have linked to a post I wrote on a similar issue while you were moving (I think) except for some reason I still manage to get the link backwards.