Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Thursday
Mar012012

Wherein I Now Get Paid To Argue With My Husband

Our evil plan to take over Babble worked! Thanks to all your super excellent comments on this post and this one we have landed our very own column over on Babble Voices.

We are thrilled! You will now be seeing a He Said/She Said video once a week. Weekly! Which means you will also see my embarrassing attempts to style my short hair painfully chronicled. How will she screw it up next week? we'll all wonder. The suspense... So fun! Which, by the way, ran into a dude I haven't seen in a couple months yesterday and he said, "You cut your hair! That's too bad." Swear. To. God. Who says that? Him, apparently.

So yeah. But listen! We still need your help. Yes, still! Your work isn't done. What? You want an allowance? Leave a comment and we'll see. A video a week means four videos a month which means I can add and also that we need ideas, people! Ideas! What aspects of our relationship do you want to hear us talk about? Or hey! What's going down in your own relationship that you think we might be able to brilliantly illuminate for you? And by 'brilliantly illuminate' I mean yell back and forth at each other, of course. It's what we do best. And now we're getting paid for it. SUCKAS!

Reader Comments (27)

a couple ideas : in-law relationships, household responsibilities (including shopping duties), childrearing disagreements (how much to involve your kid in, what to expose them to, etc...)...

AWESOME that you guys are doing this! Babble was smart to hire you two!!!

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHanni

Money...always money! My husband doesn't know the word budget!

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlya

How about why we always argue about the same stuff? That drives me crazy...you know expecting a different outcome when you have rehashed it 3000 times already! Topics like chores (who does what and who is pissed about it), money, in-laws (not me but I know others would care), time-off from the kids (how do you figure it out or do you), date nights, should kids do chores for allowance or because THEY LIVE HERE TOO (can you guess where I might stand), what are they allowed to read/watch/listen to, as the kids get older the topics will naturally change into other issues - oh joy!...I think you will find infinite stuff to ahem discuss.

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Division of chores, who does what? Do you take care of the kitchen and him the yard? Who takes the cars in to get serviced? I think it's my husband's job. He says he will and then doesn't. what the...?

things like that..:)

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercharity

Just a few suggestions:

1. Depression - You both, as well as myself, have dealt with it. How does it affect your marriage and parenting? How do you each individually (and as a couple) fight these fucking demons?

2. The "Favorites" Game - Do parents really have a favorite child? I know that you (Monica) have written about this before, but a video of both of your opinions would be valuable.

3. Politics - Even if you're not much into this upcoming presidential election--none of us can escape it. What are your opinions and thoughts?

4. Bambino Bielanko #3? - Also something that Monica has written about, but would be interesting to hear your pros/cons of the decision and what you each think.

5. Being raised by single parents - Both of you were raised by single moms. How did this affect you individually and how has it driven you to stay together and become better parents to your children? (I understand that this may be a sensitive issue - but I bring it up as so many of us are in the same boat)

6. Life after destruction - The unavoidable topic: How are you guys almost 2 months after the fire? You both have written about it. But how have you overcome the fear and anxiety and rebuilt your lives step by step? How has it affected your marriage and what have you each taken from it?

7. The Damn Fan - I love reading about this. Would love even more to hear you air your grievances and/or bitch at each other about it. Jus' saying.

8. Share the love - What do you admire about the other person as a parent? We've seen the "Helicopter vs. Laid back" parenting styles, but what do you appreciate about each other when it comes to raising your children?

9. Music - Does Surge still have his passion? Any plans for Marah? What was it like going from a guy in a rock band to raising a baby girl at home? What was all this like from Monica's perspective? etc.etc.etc. (Anything music related)

10. Religion - Most of us here know Monica's story, but what about Surge? How does it play a role in your lives now and how you raise your kids? Anything on the subject would be interesting, really.

Phew. Damn I hope some of these make the list! A for effort?? :)

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

For me, it's this whole question of how close a friendship does one keep with an ex girlfriend. Do you talk every month? Every week? Text constantly? Or is any of that (or all of that) totally off limits? When is it okay? When is it inappropriate? If it really is "nothing", then why not just, you know, STOP IT??

(Clearly I have this issue with my husband. And yes, I'm on the side of not-keeping-a-close-intimate-friendship-with-one's-ex. He, on the other hand, thinks it's possible to do so. PLEASE DISCUSS.)

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Talk about money..its a tough one for my husband and I sometimes and I would love to know how you guys deal.

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

Holiday traditions: did you pick one side's or the others or make your own, and why? Example: the spouse's family has this traditional Easter and Christmas dinner that we do ourselves and/or with his family, but there's no reciprocal tradition that we've adopted from my family.

How much do you let your extended family (parents, siblings, etc) be involved in your decisions? Do you ask their opinions about anything or tell them what your plan is (ranging from simple-ish like where you spend holidays or what new kitchen gadget is best to complicated like parenting choices)?

Privacy/what's oversharing: do you consult each other before blogging about something, under what circumstances, and do you have any rules to govern writing about each other/the kids?

What will you tell the kids about your personal history together and as individuals making... semi-questionable decisions (controversial decisions? like being in a band instead of having a desk job or what have you)? When will you tell them about your personal histories, and what parts should be left out (maybe of the other person's story)?

When's the right age for the "don't drink, do drugs, or have sex til you're 30 and married" speech? Who will be giving this speech to each child, why, and how might it go down?

What bugs you the most about the other person and would you change it if you could? What do you like most and would you want that trait shown off all the time or not?

Favorites: visual artist/musical group for kids (or should kids have separate art/music at all?)/philosopher/parenting guru and why the other person is also right/completely wrong

Pets: what pet request from the kids would be ok and what would never happen in a million years? Cats/dogs/rodents or no? Pets in family pictures under what circumstances? At what age is a child old enough to be in charge of a pet by themselves, and what happens if they start to fail?

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

my usual argument with the husband revolves around misinterpreting one another's words. we always reach the conclusion that men read "the message" (what was said) exclusively, whereas women are invested in "the metamessage" (how he said it, body language, tone, timing, etc) much more than in the content of what was said in the beginning.

i usually think he could choose his words more carefully so as not to sound negative, and he usually thinks i read between the lines a little too much.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranother monica

There's always the driving with the kids one, which you've touched on in the past. You know, where Serge thinks you drive too fast with kids on board.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter(london) Amanda

Laundry. My husband and I have all these stupid issues, with when to do it, how to do it, how to fold it, where to put it....aaak. It's. So. Stupid! My favorite thing I ever said to him about it was, "just because you use the delicate cycle doesn't mean you are the king of laundry!". Who says that??

Communication during arguments. Does someone fly off the handle? Does someone shut down? Does someone not say anything then have it come up later with snide comments? How do you know the argument is really over (hot sex? joking?)

How you find/manage your 'me' time. Do you get any, does one person get more than the other?

In-laws. Enough said.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Congratulations! I am not married, but it might happen one day (though I doubt it) but I'd love to hear about: monogamy, the expectations versus the realities of marriage, jealousy, the best bits about marriage, boredom, how to handle stress, how to communicate. Basically, everything :-)

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose

Cooking....cook something seperately, but the SAME thing! Then maybe cook something together in the kitchen and just video the dynamic between the two of you.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

All the ideas above .... ^ are so great. More importantly, my hubs to be and I are so thrilled about this. We now can enjoy your writings and viewings! :-) Cheers to you guys!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

How do you handle spending so much time together? I know I get an overdose of my husband sometimes - he talks A LOT.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKel

Music-your differences? Why he thinks he is right?

When he is/was away touring, what did you do to keep busy? Just me, or does your mind wonder ALL OVER THE PLACE when he is gone?

What did each of you want to be when you grew up?

Food? Are hotdogs considered a square meal by either of you? We ALWAYS disagree on what a balanced meal is. BTW-Cheetos are NOT a dairy!!

I'm so happy you two get to do this for our enjoyment! AND, even happier they are paying you for it!!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal

Pan! Creations!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra

I saw it up above, but I always wonder about household stuff cleaning cooking who does what and who dosent and like to bitch about the other not helping!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

See Nicole #9 above. Will Serge be playing with Marah again... here in America... soon... like tomorrow night?

What is your perspective of what happened that caused the band to break up? What was it like for you when the band broke up? How did it affect you and your marriage? (Hey, you asked for ideas!)

Is Serge still writing music? Have you and Serge written any songs together? Have you ever tried to put your words to music?

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStarsky

Hooray! My husband and I are still quoting Serge saying, "...fuego.....fuego..."

How could you not address the FAN?

Perhaps what Dan Savage calls "the price of admission," those little annoying things that aren't dealbreakers but still get on your nerves, like fidgeting or leaving the mayonnaise out or curly hairs on the soap?

I look forward to viewing new installments no matter the subject!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

So many great suggestions. Please do all of these and my tuppence worth:

Please discuss how you met. I know you have written about it, beautifully, but would love a his and her take.

Also, where in the world would you each like to travel to, that you haven't been? Can you ever see your family living abroad? Favourite places you've already been?

What does Serge really think of your new hair?

Definitely more on what music you both like .

What do you most have in common with one another?

Great gig guys. Really looking forward to these vids. Nice one!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterA

You could do a few "newlywed game" type questions...along the same lines, what are all of your "favorites", then the other person says what they think the others' favorites are. Kind of a how well do you know the other?

Also, each of you tellls the story of how you first met. Does one remember something differently than the other? The little things one of you thinks that the other doesn't know..etc....

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Idea:

A video that's about what Serge would like for you to wear (let him pick out your outfit, etc.) compared to how you feel most comfortable yourself. I'm sure Serge's will be on the sexy side. The whole thing could be hilarious.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie

So many great ideas up there! So excited that this will be a regular thing! Can't wait for the next one, I really enjoyed the other two.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkds

holy crap. i can't even get through the first few lines of your posts (no offense) but then i realized it's because i don't know you and your life is boring (no offense again) and then i saw that people read your words and then spend time listening to you and your husband? dear god we are doomed. no wonder people support obama, santorum, romney and the likes. or rather, they probably have no idea what's going on in this world nor do they care. this is truly the kardashian culture. wow

March 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa

I think this is a great idea, your last video was very amusing.
I don't understand why people have to post negative comments. It truly shows what type of person they are.
Great ideas above

March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSonya McConville

You have mentioned you are both readers--I'd love to hear what you both like and look for in your reading material, and how you plan to foster that love in your kids as well.

Gotta say, I think the short hair is cah-YUTE!!

Vanessa: RUDE!

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

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