6+12 – random notes on marriage, online personas, and love

12:33 Have been getting a lot of work done today. Also had a lovely call with a beloved family member that was long overdue.

There were a lot of tech-related things I’d been putting off for years, due to overwhelm and lack of knowledge, combined with a touch of laziness, and in the past week I’ve been working towards getting them done.

Last weekend I experienced some kind of nervous breakdown the likes of which I couldn’t remember ever having before. It brought a lot of things into clarity, however. Value system affirmed (for me personally; not saying this is the be-all and end-all for anyone else with different circumstances):

  1. Family relationships — develop them/maintain them
  2. Face-to-face (i.e. IRL) friendships — develop them/maintain them
  3. Protect privacy as reasonably as possible, though of course, privacy these days is often an illusion
  4. Social media is smoke and mirrors; fine if it helps stay in touch with nearest and dearest but certainly don’t waste time on it (“likes/follows” are illusions); it should take the minimal amount of time in a day
  5. Household tasks: make lists, do get them done, they ultimately make a good life.
  6. Money: it’s important to have enough money to feel free to have the basic things without stress: food, shelter, clothing, basic comforts, rest and relaxation, education, entertainment. Beyond that, more money doesn’t make you happier. Any of us can see this time and time again by simply looking around.
  7. Deal with problems in a thoughtful way as they arise (don’t keep putting off solutions).

An example for number 7 — problems with kids and their school experience (possible bullying etc) — I have faced a couple of these head-on quite recently, and they have since alleviated. It’s always scary to draw attention to unpleasant things, especially from a child’s perspective, because one can become afraid that they might then worsen. But in this case, I’d regret something I hadn’t done more than something I’d done to stand up for any or all of the kids in the school. So far my intervention has had positive results. Keeping fingers crossed it will continue thus. If not I will go back, again and again. Worst case we will change schools, but then the problem remains for the kids left behind, which is why I will keep going back before doing any such thing. Those in charge need to know that something needs to change.

* * *

Oh right, was going to talk about marriage. That’s what my title said, anyway.

So. A few facts:

  • I love my husband, and greatly admire his good qualities; quite honestly I don’t think I could have ever “done better” in choosing a life partner for myself.
  • I spent a long time deciding upon him as a life partner. I believe it was the same for him in my direction, though he is far more decisive and thus more efficient (he planned out what he wanted long in advance, when he saw these qualities in someone, he went for that person). Took me longer to “come around” (several years, basically).
  • As much as I resisted the institution of marriage in the younger years of my life, I like solid monogamy as a relationship and family-raising model, it works for me. I went into it understanding pros and cons.
  • Although I believe in “soul-mate” models, I also believe that there are not just one but many potential “soul-mates” out there for each of us.
  • I “chose my love” (as he chose me — it was in fact “love at first sight” for both of us, though it took us ages to act on it) and after spent some serious time and thought confirming it was in fact love and not just lust, I fully intended (and continue to intend) to “love my choice.”
  • I knew his “weaknesses” as well as his “strengths” very well, by the time we married. I loved his strengths enough to know that the weaknesses needed to go hand-in-hand with those, and so I could live with them.
  • My husband and I have different ways of thinking and acting but we both agree that honesty is the best policy, even when it feels scary. This is the glue that has united us for nearly 25 years, even spanning an early (pre-marital) breakup (—my idea—) in which we never saw each other nor communicated (—his idea).
  • He considers himself to be an introvert while I believe myself to be an ambivert. I have more social needs than he does. I can’t get all my social needs met through my relationship with him, nor would I imagine that to be reasonable. In the past year, this combined with other circumstances (e.g. attempted continuous sobriety, to fight mounting anxiety and other mood issues, perhaps related to peri-menopause) has resulted in me blogging my heart and soul to the world-wide interwebs.
  • Between the two of us, I believe I am the social link between both of our families as well as many friends, including his. I believe he benefits from this even though he claims to be an introvert. So although my semi-social nature can at times be seen as a bane from the introvert perspective, it also can be seen as a benefit, not just to me but to our entire family.
  • We don’t always see eye-to-eye on things, but we both have similar viewpoints on politics, religion and other potentially divisive topics.
  • I don’t like his way of doing certain things and he doesn’t like mine sometimes.
  • We drive each other batty every now and then. But so far we both put the needs of our family as a whole before any one of us as individuals.

Well, that’s all I have to say on that topic for now.

* * *

Not sure why I have this compulsion to blog rather than journal privately.

I tried journalling privately and then it just didn’t always feel worthwhile. I always wanted to be brave enough to blog.

I guess I learned so much from reading other folks’ blogs, and it helped me so much to feel less “alone” in the world, that my inner karma machine has me attempting to do the same, no matter how much my Inner Critic is telling me that everything I have to say is “nothing new” and “useless spew” and so on.

There is also the social aspect. I feel a connection with those of you who respond in some way. I love reading your own personal stories and I love the feeling of fraternity/sorority this story-sharing generates. “Solidarity,” is what the French call it. We are “solid” in our united outlook on a particular topic, we support each other, we thereby uplift one another when we have not found that support elsewhere, for whatever reason.

* * *

In recent weeks I felt my words on both blogs, but particularly my other blog, were being attacked. Because words seem to form so much a part of who I am, that made it feel like *I* was being attacked.  It was quite subtly done; someone would “like” or comment on my piece, I would as usual check out their blog out of curiosity, and to reciprocate-read/like, but find myself staring at a newly-generated, pseudonymed blog which seemed to have been created specifically to mock mine by twisted mimicry, or cause torment by means of particular imagery (both graphical and textual). There was not just one such blog but at least several. I watched as these blogs suddenly morphed from a few short posts to a huge list of posts that they had backdated, made to look as though they’d been established months or even years ago. At first I thought I was seeing things. But the more I saw, the clearer it became. And then, the muddier it became.

I didn’t know whom to trust anymore, online.

I have no idea if it was “all in my mind” or not. It hardly matters, since it felt real. I don’t want to go into detail but it traumatized me. I felt that I had compromised my privacy and that of my family in the amount of detail I’d gone into on my blog; thus possibly I’d compromised our safety. Yet detail is what matters most to me as a reader. Without details we are mere automatons.

I confided everything to my family, and my husband and I had some disagreements on the topic. Understandably, he doesn’t understand why it’s even an issue. “Just stop.” Or, if not stop, then “Just ignore.” i.e. Block and never look. Never attempt to reciprocate. Don’t take chances.

I’m actually incredibly grateful to him for this. To me he is rock solid. He had such a comparatively hard childhood that he really expects very little out of life and just gets on with things. Ever-efficient and action-oriented. To me he’s the real-life version of the guy in Die Hard. Except a bit hotter. (No offence, Bruce Willis.)

At first I thought he was right on this issue. Then I thought he was wrong. Etc. Etc.

Now I’m in some kind of aftermath state.

I love certain blogs here on WP. This means I also feel I love the persons or personas behind them.

But are they real? As real as me? Am I real?

What is real? Does it matter? What will I choose to believe?

Ultimately, when in doubt, habit-energy takes over.

In fact, I tend to love most people I meet in life. As Pa Larkin said in the Darling Buds of May, I only dislike people who for some reason don’t seem to like me, or who don’t seem to like others. Something like that. Lol.

I relate in so many ways to Pa Larkin. Not least in his love for a good tipple on just about any occasion. (Make that a double lol.)

My habit energy is to love, and to believe that people are who they say they are.

My inner Critic (which of course is a melding of certain real-life people I’ve encountered throughout my life) tells me this is naive, and pure stupidity, and what got me into any trouble I’ve ever previously experienced.

But still, I find myself choosing love.

And hoping that in the words of Glennon Doyle and others,

Love wins.


* * *

6 months, 12 days

~ sobrietytree

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com




34 thoughts on “6+12 – random notes on marriage, online personas, and love

  1. Well I’m glad you post on WP instead of journaling because your posts are always well thought out and written. I like reading people’s reflections, it often gives me insights into my own life.

    I wasn’t into marriage when I was younger either but I’m coming around. Monogamy has always been my thing but I didn’t see the point of marriage. The problem I’m finding now though is that if I’m going to get married it has to be with someone I KNOW I am in love with and I just don’t feel that way about people anymore… not the ones who are actually interested in me, anyway.

    My online persona is about as honest as I can get it, perhaps to my detriment. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So weird… this comment was in my spam folder! Thank goodness I actually received some real spam today which made me check the folder! :)) What a lovely comment… thank your so much, truly it means a lot. I feel the same way about reading yours and others’ personal blogs.

      Me too about marriage and monogamy…. always was a monogamist but had issues with long-term commitment basically until the point where I was ready to have kids. “In love” — I wonder if I’m becoming a bit cynic in my middle age lol but I think marriage might actually work better without being “in love” — at least, it has to be able to survive that heady first few months, and then romantic love comes and goes in waves inside the relationship. I think lasting love is something deeper and more “all-weather,” perhaps akin to mutual respect.

      Same with me about the online persona!!! I sometimes leave out details to protect the innocent and/or avoid boring people lol, but yes the point of this blog for me was to explore my honest self and make connections with people who resonate with that.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard from more than one person that the spam folder thing happens! I use the phone app so I don’t really check them in my email but I have noticed too that a few wound up there. I’m not sure what triggers that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes I thought it very odd too! Especially since your comment had no pinks [edit: *links!!!* not pinks!!!] or anything! The actual spam one was hilarious, advertising yoga leggings and — of course — booze. 😂


  2. Hugs!
    Yikes on the blogs that mimic yours! That’s just weird!
    My hubs sounds a bit like yours! He’s a get er done kind of person! He’d say the sane thing..block them, get off SM, etc! Lol
    I’m the over thinker!
    He’s the introvert. I’m the mixed up one! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment just made me smile so much… thank you Wendy 😄 I’m so in the over-thinker club! But it takes all types to make a world — or at least our type, to make the blogging world lol! ;))

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear about school and blogs that mimic yours! You’re such a good mom as an advocate for not only your kids, but others too! School can be so rough at times and some kids have no one. I once had someone mimic a fb post of mine. Really upset me. I’m a good, kind person. I love hearing about your husband, he sounds like mine. Well hopefully not just like mine as mine is snoring SO DAMN LOUDLY!!! 😂😆🙄 You know falling right to sleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, getting a rock solid nights sleep as I say “OMG dude, roll on your side!” while not being able to sleep myself. 🤣😜🤦🏼‍♀️🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂😂😂 I love this Jackie thanks for the husband-related chuckles 😴😆 my husband is the unlucky one in this regard, at least according to him I’m the snorer in the fam. 😉 That is brutal about the Fb post, was it someone you knew, did it seem out of intent to harm, and/or how did you deal? (No worries if you don’t want to give details; please do protect your privacy; we could somehow chat some other way/time) xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was about a year ago. I was really upset and promptly showed it to my husband who confirmed indeed I was being mimicked. I have known her for 25 years plus but more on a social around the town level these days. We don’t really hang out per-say but are friendly when we see each other. This particular person is known all through out our community. She shares everything on fb. She’s got the town practically as friends so her posts get high volume as far as reaction.
        Everyone knows me here around town as well and I say/receive lots of 👋 and good to see you’s wherever I go. I’m liked by most everyone, I just keep to myself more. Anyway, at first I was angry she mimicked me. She did it in a passive-aggressive way too to make her look all sweet. That just made me more upset and I just didn’t know why she would do that. If I possibly posted something to fb she didn’t agree with, why not just scroll on by? I hardly post anything confrontational. I honestly don’t think she meant harm by it, but she knew it would gain a lot of views/comments/and a lot of “you’re so awesome” type feedback, she thrives on that stuff. It was a very “me” thing to do.
        Anyway, I was stewing so much about it, kept looking at her post and comments underneath and some comments were attacking me too, but they didn’t know it due to her passive-aggressive sweet post. Only she knew and she knew I could see it. Finally my husband told me to delete her from fb. He said I’ve got to stop driving myself nuts. I was hesitant as you know deleting someone on fb can be like the breakup of the year and drama and negativity is what I didn’t want…..but I hit the delete button. My husband is right, don’t let her see my posts anymore, she’s not the kind of person I want reading them. I have since ran into her a couple times and we both said hi. Then recently she sent me a friend request. I was like “huh?!?!” I pondered it and accepted. So it appears she realizes I deleted her. So far so good with our fb friendship this time around, however if anything happens like that again I now have the confidence to delete her quickly ( and never accept another request ) and not let her rent negative space in my head. Anyway, did I ramble on and on? 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahh I remember what FB was like now hearing your story, I really was a bit too sensitive for it all… I do agree with the hubsters’ attitudes of “simple; block/delete” but I am like you it just doesn’t feel that simple! I don’t want to exclude or “oppress” anyone but on the other hand none of us is any use when our energy is feeling drained, so it boils down to survival mode when it comes to social media and basically focussing on all the wonderful positive stuff instead of letting possible hecklers take the stage of our attention! Thanks for sharing this Jackie. Meanwhile I’ve been blocked from my computer, kind of freaking out right now at the fact that all my files might be toast but I am grateful to have this phone and grateful for kind and friendly and generous folks like you and others here on WP! 💓🤗🌷🙏

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Not yet!!! It’s crazy, the withdrawal I’m having! I am facing the fact that I might have to wipe it to be able to use it again, nothing works and I’ve lost the recovery key. Just brutal. Years of writing. But still glad for the basics in life. The rest is frills really, no matter how important they feel in this moment… (she says, crying inside ;)). Thanks for caring Jackie, you really are a lovely person and I’m so grateful for your support. You’ve been wonderful to me and others on WP 🙏💗


  4. Sorry you have been having a hard time as of late.
    As you ask, what is real? What you believe to be real is your reality.
    I have been amazed at the positivity and sharing on the sober blogs. I decided to be honest online but keeping my privacy. It seems to work okay for me. Being sober and taking this journey is nothing without honesty. To be sensitive is to be open and to be open means being vulnerable. As Brené Brown says you cannot show courage without being vulnerable.
    You are showing courage. Don’t let anyone ruin that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love this thank you ❤️❤️❤️ and yes I agree on all counts and am a huge fan of Brené Brown and others on the same/similar track. “Sobriety Wp” is like an alternate universe in some ways. One which I’ve loved and felt at home in for the reasons you stated above. Thanks again 🌷🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Nadine, really sorry you had that experience of fake bloggers etc. That’s such a shame because mainly it seems you’ve had some positive blogging experiences. Don’t let a few weirdos put you off. Our personas on here are partial but I think, like you, you can tell the genuine from the not so and I think there’s a great bunch of bloggers that both of us encounter. Marriage I can’t comment on as I’ve been married three times so I can tell you how to have a good reception but not so hot on ingredients of a long marriage!
    Anyone as open and genuine as you is always open to someone abusing that openness and love, but if you put up your defences too much we lose what makes you unique and special, so my advice for what it’s worth, stay exactly as you are.🙂
    Jim x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Jim, this is a huge encouragement and yes you’re right, my WP blogging experience has been mostly overwhelmingly positive, I did just really feel afraid for a bit there, and fear is not good. But very grateful for your reassuring presence and that of others like you. 🤗 Lol about the marriage reception advice — we could have used some; I think we did ours all wrong!! 😂


      1. Of course any further wedding reception I embark on would have to be alcohol free😉 I’ve also just put in a massive home delivery order for a range of alcohol free beers and spirits. Should be fun knocking up some new mocktails!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Always good to plan for the future 😉😆
          Ooh that does sound good. Have you heard of Club Soda? It’s in the UK I think, and they do alcohol free socials, I believe. A bit controversial to some since they welcome moderate drinkers also but very positive and aware outlook it seems. xoxo


          1. Yes I’ve heard of them and I know they also do alcohol free drinks festivals. Anything that encourages less drinking or helping people move away from alcohol entirely sounds good to me. 👍

            Liked by 1 person

            1. 100% agree Jim. 👍 For anyone reading this thread I believe the URL is https://joinclubsoda.com – “the mindful drinking movement.” Wish I could meet up with some of y’all at one of their events but no plans to go to UK at present… though that could change. :)) BTW I heard about them from another amazing blogger on WP, DrunkVsLife. Do check out her blog (and please mention me if you stop by there), I have mentioned her blog a couple times before, she’s fantastic (though seems to mostly keep to herself here on WP). xoxo


  6. Sorry about the fake bloggers – that sounds weird and really unsettling. Whenever somewhere or someone that’s felt safe suddenly isn’t it’s going to throw us and bring doubt and confusion about ourselves and our judgement. I know that I’m more honest on here than I am in my ‘real’ life (except with C) so that would freak me out too. It’s so hard when your kids are struggling but they have you and your husband strong and together so they’re going to be ok I think – I agree with you about not going for the move school option – it can bring a whole different set of issues so what you’re doing in facing it head on and expecting resolution is the best way imo – sending love hugs and more cake! 💞💞🎂🎂🎂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve said it all exactly… that bit about the self-doubt is major and though I’m finally working through it, it nearly killed me a short while ago, virtually at least. Truly you are wonderful and I appreciate you so much DGS… I believe your clients must be so very lucky to have such a perceptive, empathetic and wise healer in their lives. Thanks for being here, and thanks for all your words. 🙏❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. whooooa, I see how having these weird potentially fake mimetic commentators/bloggers could be extremely unsettling for one’s sense of reality! It’s great you have a rock solid husband you can lean on when in times of doubt. I know how easy it can be to get sucked into an “is it all in my head?” loop, and having a stable exterior no-nonsense and loving presence to help you re-center is a blessing 🙂 So yeas, in so many different senses, love wins! (Oh, and the joy i experience every time i read your posts is as REAL as it gets! 🙂 xoxo Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey mate, I’ve missed your posts so much and just found this blog by chance. I’m more of an Al-Anon member than AA, and sober by choice. That was a wonderful read for so many reasons, including the reminder re primary importance of IRL people and activities. It was your own generous spirit that helped entice me from my scaredy-cat snail shell, so to hear of others’ meanness is heartbreaking. I joined NaNo this year while riding the wave of solidarity, and I’m so thankful to you for that.

    You’re a treasure, and all I can think is that this other person senses the power of your posts and your friendships, and is jealous. There’s nothing so appealing to me in a friend as emotional vulnerability.

    I worry that I’m intruding here, so shall stay quietly appreciative, henceforth. 🙂 Kia kaha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg, so happy right now!!! How awesome to see you here, dear DB… this warms my heart so much. And y’know what? I kinda had the feeling you might be an alcohol-free type of person… due to the beautiful honesty in your amazing blog.

      I just re-read this post of mine to see what it was about… and man, it is crazy to remember the state I was in. I don’t remember ever feeling that way before. Happy I mostly got over it now… it’s like night and day. I had to make a conscious decision to take a mental trust-and-love pill every day, instead of feeling fear electrify my insides on a daily basis.

      What you said about NaNo is such a gift to me… such amazingly kind and generous words, they make my day… and if the only benefit I get out of having half-arsedly participated in NaNo this year besides furthering a blogging friendship with you and others, is possibly getting to read your book one day, then I will count myself a ridiculously fortunate person.

      You’re a brilliant writer, as I’ve said before on your blog, and likewise, “a treasure” (love those words 🙏🤗🙏🤗🙏🤗). Thank you mate, and g’day for now 😉😘💖

      Liked by 1 person

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