Our six month anniversary was a couple of weeks ago, and I think I’ll take this time to reflect on this blog: how it began, how it’s affected Jeremy and me, and why I do it.
Writing this blog was a no-brainer. In fact, as I had already been blogging for the Forward about our engagement, it was a perfectly natural progression. I am a writer by nature, constantly narrating my life in my head as if dictating a really, really boring novel, and I’m not a particularly private person. Those are the two main ingredients for a blogger.
I was fortunate enough to find a man who is more moderate than myself in practically every way and who nevertheless has consented to humor me in most of my craziness. With the blog, then, as with most things in our marriage, the solution was a compromise: I was allowed to blog about our first year of marriage if Jeremy could read and approve all the posts before I sent them in. He has ultimate veto over everything I write. In truth, Jeremy was compromising more, allowing my desire to write to override his preference for privacy.
Writing this blog makes our first year of marriage somewhat unique. Most couples choose not to publicize their private lives; in fact, in the Orthodox world, the first year of marriage is called shana rishona and has special significance. Back in the day, men didn’t have to go to war in their shana rishona, and nowadays it’s often a year where the couple chooses to be more private; they might decide not to have friends stay over so that their first year together is really just together. Clearly, Jeremy and I have not chosen the private route. But the blog has meant more to us than just publicizing our lives.
For us, it is something that teaches us, again and again, that the two of us can be so different yet work to compromise in a way that makes us both happy and respect each other even more. Jeremy suggests changes for each post, and I usually make them. In only one instance has he asked me to remove something, and though it wasn’t easy, it made me appreciate that in every single other post, he has given me license to write as I wished. I took that part out and knew that doing something to make my husband happy was more important than publishing a paragraph. Every time he tells me he likes a particular blog post, it means more to me than any reader comment could. He is equal parts my best editor, my strongest critic and my most loyal fan.
For me, the blog is a way to communicate a lot of what I find important about marriage and relationships, especially within the Orthodox community, and especially because our community is so unlikely to discuss such topics publicly. There are readers who appreciate what I write, and, if the comments section is anything to go by, readers who truly dislike the blog. I’ve learned to appreciate the positive responses, and to focus on the critical comments that have value and try to learn from them.
In many ways, I hope this blog is a discussion. It is an ongoing discussion between Jeremy and myself, between our friends and ourselves, between my readers and me and between my readers and others. I am the one writing, but it is my intention to write about topics that matter to others. I hope to open the ideas up to the public and make them equally available for critique and acceptance.
In other words, reader, you are why I write. You can hate the blog or you can love it — either way, I hope you and I both learn something from it.
Simi Lichtman is a contributor to the Forward.
Pulling the Curtain Back on 'Just Married'