Blog as Behavioral Tool

Awhile back I mentioned that my husband was going to be a co-blogger on the D-I-Y blog, so how is it going? I had wondered whether it would be a good or bad influence ….sort of the way remodeling projects can be in terms of stresses or satisfactions. Here is the assessment so far:

I post a bit less than I might in that blog, which for me is more ‘story recalling’, since the nuts and bolts of the remodeling is my husband’s venue. I’m the idea/cleanup person. He is not much of a tech-lover and regularly forgets how to post, but is a good writer and relates well to people. So he absolutely loves it when there is a comment on a post, and when it is slow… wonders why the flow of readers doesn’t keep coming.

It can be a mutual interest and source of communication and conversation if we are both working on making posts. I’m more invested in this blogging thing than he is, though. He does read my posts with interest and this is where I wonder what sort of behavioral tool it might be. ( yes, the little wheels of world domination are turning in my head!) i.e and to wit:

I posted about how much I really want a replacement refrigerator. we have talked about this for …oh maybe two years, maybe more… we have gone looking… we have “decided” to buy one without actually buying one, and during the worst of the summer heat seen food not keep quite so well (ahem). But I post, and voila… tonight we are going out to actually begin the buying process. It made me wonder, how did the dynamic work on this?

I think one thing is that in marriage you have this dance of desire and demand, and you don’t want to pressure the other person, while at the same time you want to let your desires be known. It often goes awry in the balance, but the blogging tool removes some of the intensity and gives some distance. That distance makes the desire more in context and less of a demand on the other person. However, because it is public there is the danger of making the other person uncomfortable with the amount of revelation to the outside world. I think that is always something to think about when blogging personal stories. How much is fair? It is your story, but it is their story, too.

In the case of the refrigerator, it was revealing my feelings of how much I would like that change (buying a new one) without it being a “nagging wife” situation. And sometimes women are driven to either nagging or going unnoticed because -let’s face it- many men just aren’t attuned to the wheel unless there is some squeakiness going on. Lots of times, women are afraid of letting their desires be known because they think it makes them seem demanding. Read that as a growing reservoir of pent-up need to express themselves and their desires. The written word seems to defuse some of that. Not that I’m saying we have to write notes to each other, but what makes the notes so much more effective, or what is it that helps define the otherness of the person in a way that makes it less of a threat of demand and pressure?

The experiment of the d-i-y blog has also been a way to more permanently express admiration or delight in a project, or amused recollection. Maybe in my case it underlines the positivity of my feeling or reaction in a way that my personality thinks is overdone in real life. Maybe I don’t realize the importance of the positive, and maybe my husband overvalues the positive balance of verbal statements ( both these things are true… but how to bridge the gap of two imbalanced sets of communication?)

Maybe one of the most important things is how this mirrors the situation for us in a way we can better understand.

The question is… how far to take it …how useful is it … and what does it mean in our communications in general? Why do we often need the distancing of something to make it something we listen to? I admit to a skewed set of male/female communication skills handed me by a dysfunctional family, but it seems very common to find this discomfort with intimate relationships, a lack of knowledge of how to share our needs and desires in a way that doesn’t carry lots of psychological baggage in getting the message from the others mouth to our own brain.

Maybe we should all blog more;)