The problem with marriage blogs is that there are always exceptions to what they say…
…and this can be particularly devastating to someone who finds themselves smack dab in the middle of the exception.
Like a blog on sexual intimacy could go on and on about how husbands hunger for more sex with their wives — words that feel painfully bleak to a wife whose husband never wants to make love.
Or a blog that says it is natural for a husband to want to work hard and provide for his family — words that are hopelessly foreign to a wife whose husband spends more time playing video games than earning a paycheck.
Or maybe a blog that says wives long for their husbands to be spiritual leaders — words that feel like salt in a wound to a husband who has tried to faithfully lead in his home, only to have his wife undermine him at every turn.
Or a blog that sings the praises of date nights — ideas that feel beyond distant to a couple suffering the horrendous weight of depression, financial devastation or adultery.
Every week I receive comments and emails from people in desperate situations.
And in a way, as they peruse the internet for a morsel of hope, they end up reading blog after blog that seem to cement their isolation and pain, rather than free them from it.
It’s not the fault of the bloggers or the ministries or any well-intended soul who is simply trying to parlay their experience into encouragement for readers.
After all, I write a marriage blog. And I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe it has encouraged some people in their marriages.
I just feel in my heart the need to offer kindness and acknowledgement to those of you whose situations have yet to improve, no matter how many suggestions or insights you try to apply.
My heart grieves.
It particularly grieves when one person in the marriage is committed to healing and growing and nurturing the marriage, only to have their spouse not offer even an ounce of mutual effort in the process.
Countless people have journeyed for years — sometimes even decades — in a lifeless union.
And that makes me sad.
The problem with marriage blogs is we don’t have solutions for all that ails troubled marriages or all that breaks fragile hearts.
If ever there was a reminder of our deep need for Jesus it is when humanly insight cannot reach all the crevices of our weakness and tragedy.
The problem with marriage blogs is they are not Jesus.
And oh how I am grateful for that.
When I as a marriage blogger am out of ideas… when my words run short and my encouragement and hope lose their appeal…
Jesus is still steady and strong, abundant with love and compassion and an everlasting promise.
Never will you and I be forsaken. Never will we be beyond His reach.
That truth makes me feel less sad. I pray it is a tender reminder for you as well, no matter how heartbreaking your situation may be.
Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
18 thoughts on “The Problem With Marriage Blogs”
Nailed it! Thanks for posting and sharing so eloquently what needs to be said.
Good post Julie! I really like how you ended it pointing to Jesus. Without Him none of us will ever be where we want to be.
I have gone through many periods in my life where I would read blogs similar to yours and feel pain because I didn’t have what was described as a good thing (whatever that great thing could be sexually in the christian marriage bed). No fun at all!!
There are also many periods in my life where I’ve done the same thing and NOT felt pain…but joy…not (necessarily) because I had what was described in the blog or article…but that I happened to be walking more in the spirit and less in my flesh at the time I read it…and I believe that God is able to transform my marriage into one that glorifies Him in every aspect (sexually and non-sexually).
I have a GREAT marriage…but since it is made up of two humans with their human baggage…it is by no means perfect. I am very thankful for a wife that I can relate to and who follows my lead and who is on the same page with me on most everything we face.
We did come from different sexual backgrounds and that has caused up issues and problems from time to time (read more here: https://intimacyinmarriage.com/2011/10/07/giving-my-body-to-my-wife-one-husbands-story/ if you’re interested in more background). But the more I trust in Jesus to change me and change my wife into His image the more I see us coming together and having a God-glorifying marriage.
Believing comes first…then seeing (the Pharasees wanted to see first so they would believe…but even seeing they didn’t believe…God requires faith first before He acts on our behalf).
Bottom line: hang in there all you who think all hope is lost…it’s NOT! One GOOD thing about marriage blogs (esp. those run by Christians) is that the author of the articles (and a lot of us who comment) are part of Jesus’ body here on earth and we have been given authority and power to minister just like He did! 🙂
I completely understand this. My marriage is happy now, but for years it was a painful struggle, crushed and destroyed by mental illness. Early 2012, my husband still hadn’t sought help for the severe depression he had been struggling with for years, and I began reading marriage blogs. I read about the joy of sex….and he wouldn’t have sex with me. I read about the importance of communication….and he wouldn’t talk to me. I read about fun things to do on date night….and he wouldn’t spend time with me. I was horribly lonely in my marriage for a long time. For days upon weeks upon months upon years, I walked around with a heavy weight on my heart, and my entire body ached with the pain of his depression. It even hurt to move, and “even smiling [made] my face ache.” We were both utterly broken and brokenhearted. Added to that my own mental illness – severe bipolar I disorder and anxiety disorder – that caused horrible problems for us well before his depression set in, and we had a rough road.Fortunately, I’ve been stable for a couple of years now (with short periods of time where I’m a little bonkers, when we need to tweak my medication a little bit), and he has been on an anti-depressant that has worked miracles for a few months now. So we are at a wonderful place now, but we understand the pain of a broken marriage. Perhaps I should write a post about that. I would have to put a lot of thought into it, to think of exactly what to say – the grief was so deep, and the heartache so heavy.
Yes, much of what you say is true, which is why people ought to find face to face counsel first if at all possible.
Also, one of the difficulties I find with Christian marriage blogs is that the teaching is coming from experience as opposed to Scripture. Not only do we not really know the people giving the counsel, but they tend to give from experience in their own situations rather than experience from years of counseling others or from a really solid, biblical position. There are also some blogs where I don’t think the individuals have been married long enough to be counseling anyone.
Thanks for this, Julie. I found your blog and some other Christian marriage/intimacy blogs last year while I was looking for some answers regarding my husband’s lack of interest in intimacy. I continue to read these blogs for encouragement and the strength to keep working on intimacy (I have lots of my own issues too).
However, like you say above, it’s hard to read blogs that extol the wonders of married sex in the hopes of getting wives on board. It sounds petty, but it makes me all the more aware that I’m missing out on something amazing and it’s out of my control. It’s also difficult to read comments by husbands because I can relate to their longing for more passion in their marriages – it’s hard not to feel inadequate as a wife and as a woman when your own husband seems to lack that desire.
Thank you for the reminder that Jesus needs to be the focus and that, although One Flesh may always elude some of us, He is enough.
I agree..there are lot of marriage advice that you can scrape on the internet. And I am not saying that all of those will work or the other way. Without the guidance and assistance from the Almighty everything wont sustain.
Thank you. I needed to hear this.
We need to remember that our first marriage is to God. We are his bride and if that marriage is not healthy it will affect all other areas of our lives. Thanks for the great post Julie.
Great post! I just wrote recently about how sometimes we spend too much time trying to understand and talk about “men,” “women,” and marriage as though they are just one group that operates in the same way all the time, instead of taking into account the individuality of each person and each marriage that accounts for the fact that there will always be exceptions.
Julie – A great reminder for all of us.
The one thing that helps is a multitude of bloggers. Get enough voices, and you will have one that is close enough to each persons’s reality to address their pain, give them some hope, and maybe even give them some direction.
Thanks for being one of those voices!
Thank YOU Paul! You and Lori really were the trailblazers that set much of the groundwork for those of us who followed…
Really appreciate your wisdom and support!!
Great post. Thanks for the reminder of at the end of it all, each marriage basically need Jesus.
Julie, My wife and I have followed your blog for a few years, and we’ve never commented. But your sentiment and your heart are right on the money. Throughout our personal and married lives, Jesus should be at the core. People will always let us down or fail, whether intentionally or not… but Jesus never does. He IS the answer and the source; He is faithful. Matt. 6:33. G
Thank you Greg!
People don’t like listening to the truth. Some people are so happy when you mislead them, but this shouldn’t be the norm. We must always say the truth no matter what.