This post comes from mmiles, who has posted earlier at BCC (here and here), and who appears to have unilaterally extended an invitation to guest post to her husband. The BCC Subcommittee on Guest Blogging Ethics has been convened and is considering formal disciplinary action.
Last night my wife and I went to bed by eleven, but didn’t fall asleep until well after midnight. It began with those subtle hints and gestures back and forth, as each of us tried to determine whether the other had the interest and energy to see it all the way through. But one thing led to another, passion and excitement surged, and we soon found ourselves in the throes of a heated Bible discussion. It got a little rough and uncomfortable at times, and at one point she got sufficiently frustrated to stop everything and go to sleep. There followed a few quiet minutes in which I lay there anxious and unsatisfied. But this time I was persistent, and soon the intensity returned and built further. For her, climax of the discussion came a little earlier that it did for me, but the end result was the same for both of us. When it was all over, we lay side by side in silence, enjoying the lingering sense of intimacy. It had been weeks since we’d been in that place – those moments have become increasingly more infrequent over the last few years. I know what the problem is, I know it’s become widespread in society and in the church, and I hope some of you can help me find a path forward.
We used to have tons of great gospel discussions – sometimes more than once a night. When her interest appeared to dwindle, I thought it might represent a temporary distraction due to the stresses of child rearing, church service, and everything else. But then late one night I awoke to find myself alone. I found her in the dark living room, sitting at the computer, transfixed by images and words that flashed on the screen. That’s how I discovered her addiction to the Bloggernacle, and that she had welcomed a filth into the walls of our sanctuary. She’s tried to quit, but promises and restraint are inevitably stymied by the desire to fill that need that I can apparently no longer satisfy.
My wife’s blog problem erodes her self control and consumes much of her time. When she comes in through the front door, she heads straight to the computer. Sometimes she’s there looking at blog when the rest of us are at the dinner table, or when it’s time to put the kids to bed. Sometimes the kids are even in the room when it’s going on. A couple months ago she got a blackberry, giving her easy access to blog no matter where she is. Since then, I’ve actually caught her sneaking a glimpse in the foyer between sacrament meeting and Sunday school.
I’ve been ashamed to ask for help, but recently the situation has progressed to a disturbing new level. Several times now I’ve walked in on her and found her having scriptural discussions with herself. The first few times (as far as I know), this happened while or just after looking at blog online. But now it’s to the stage that if she can’t get to the computer she can intellectually satisfy herself. Sometimes I hear her, but usually she’s silent and I can only tell what’s going on by the intense look on her face (I apologize for being so graphic, but I think the details illustrate the scope of the problem). Just like when she’s looking at blog, if I catch her and try to say something, she’s so absorbed that she literally does not even hear me.
Blog addiction is a grossly antisocial behavior that corrupts the addict and drives away those that love her. There can be no middle ground. I’ve tried to have the same kind of pseudo-intellectual gospel discussions with her that I imagine she’s seeing online, but it’s always over quickly, and I’m left feeling fake, used, and a little cheap.
Some will say I have unrealistic expectations, or even label me a hypocrite. I’ve heard the claims that everyone, especially every man, has a blog problem to some degree. I’m well aware how pervasive it has become in our society. Sometimes you click on what looks like a link to a harmless news site, but then some blog pops up instead… But I’ve never sought it out, and I’ve certainly never made a habit of it.
So how do I show her that what she’s looking at online is not reality? That she doesn’t know those people, and some of them might not even be real? That blog is no substitute for healthy human relationships, nor does it resemble them? Finally, how do I convince her that blog can never satisfy emotionally and intellectually in the same way our marital relations could if only we would put in the effort?