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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
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Friday
May112007

His Sergeness

There is a point in EVERY marriage where one person thinks to themselves, this was a mistake. Perhaps it was after that big fight during which someone said something they shouldn't. It was probably true, what they said, but still, they shouldn't have said it. Some things, especially within a coupling, are better left unsaid. Honesty is not always the best policy..

Sometimes, after those moments crop up you may find yourself, almost involuntarily, weighing your spouse up against a former lover. And of course, with the inevitible passage of time the glaring faults of previous lovers have diminished. Often, only the good times remain etched in your memory. You forget about those annoying habits he had... or that time he called you a bitch in front of your friends or the inability he had to simply apologize. Just say you're sorry, asshole! It's not about who's right - it's about being the bigger person! But you always had to be the one to cave.

The longer you're married the easier it is to forget the flaws pockmarking former relationships. The scars have faded. The past seems rosier, easier and your perspective of your current relationship becomes skewed. You feel dysfunctional. You may look around at other couples for confirmation that you aren't the only one feeling these emotions but they all seem to have their shit together. Those fuckers. Sure they're probably faking. Sure they're probably sparring with steak knives at home - but NOBODY EVER TALKS ABOUT IT! And you sink lower and think maybe I AM with the wrong person. Maybe we are mismatched. So you start distancing yourself and stop communicating. And pretty soon you're lost. Confused. What constitutes a good relationship? What is normal? What isn't?

Then you start comparing your mate with those around you. Maybe you unconciously run a side by side analysis of your spouse and the hottie in accounting that is SUCH a flirt. Of course, you don't have to attempt to brush your teeth after the accounting hottie has just finished with his morning constitutional, nor do you have to argue over which channel to watch, whether to go out, what to have for dinner, who should do the dishes and that old dealbreaker; financial responsibility. You just have to wile away a few boring hours while stuck at work where everyone is generally on best behavior.

Within the daily minutia of marriage it's all too easy to forget what you love about your mate. It's frighteningly simple to transform those factors that drew you to them into annoyances. Ain't that always the way? What you're initially attracted to, the characteristics that seemed cute, exotic or endearing end up being the things that make you want to accidentally-on-purpose slam his fingers in the car door.

ATTRACTIONS: His free spirit. His passion. The courage it took him to follow his dreams and tell conventional life to get fucked. His disinterest in materialism and luxury...

ANNOYANCES: His free spirit. His drama. The instability of him following his dream. His disinterest in monetary concerns.

See how that works? That's not very fair of me now, is it? I suppose underneath it all... if I get my hands dirty digging to the very bottom - I love the very core of that fucker even if it sometimes seems rotten. I am passionate about who he is, not how he acts. I mean, sure, his actions are crucial, but we all say and do shit we don't mean and if we're lucky enough to be with someone who understands who we really are then it will all be okay. And in the end I'm not with Serge for any other reason than who he is. I love the person he inherently is in this world. The essence of Serge. His Sergeness.

Reader Comments (100)

Man I love the honesty! Sometimes I think you spy on Rob and I. Great post Monica.

May 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle

Monica,
I am 100% rooting for you and Serge to make it. You've had a lot of obstacles in your short marriage that many could not withstand (including that psychotic ex and her foolish blog). It's so obvious how much the two of you love each other and when you shut out the lights at night, that's really all that matters. I hope you have a wonderful homecoming tonight.
~ Laura

May 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Stick it out--you both have something that cannot be simply replaced....I'm sure you know this...your honesty is refreshing...

May 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercb

I really enjoy your blog and appreciate your honesty. But I bristle when the "crazy ex" is mentioned. I read her blog too, and I fail to see how she has any less of a right to express her experiences than you do. I mean, obviously there are two sides to this story--good on you for presenting yours, but in doing so you seem not one bit less 'nutty' or somehow more truthful than she does. At least not so far.

May 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSerra

monica - Thanks for sharing this. This is beautiful. and so freaking true. The thing that attracts you the most inevitably is what makes you insane about a person later on. But still - I think "the right one" is someone who makes you a better person for knowing them - and it's obvious (or as obvious as it can be from a one-sided blog conversation) that you and Serge do that for each other. Best of luck.

May 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteremily

Hey Serra, you say you enjoy my blog.. then you'll know I'm the first one to claim I'm nutty and quick to cop to fucked up behavior. But I'm also a lot more honest than Caroline will ever be.

And regardless of whether you believe her "side" or not - doesn't the simple fact that this chick wrote an entire blog dedicated to trashing me and my husband and then tracked down all my readers and his fans seem like, oh, perhaps one of the most insane things an ex-girlfriend could possibly do? Sure, she has every right to start up a blog and tell her story in her own little corner of the internet - but tracking down everyone that knows me and linking to them and hate bloggers and even paying for ads for her blog on my colleagues websites? Come on...

May 11, 2007 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

I guess the way I see it, if Caroline felt that YOU had terribly misrepresented HER as she seems to have then I can understand why she would want people to know her 'side' of the story--it was her life too and she spent 4 years of it with your husband. Her story isn't pretty, she doesn't make herself sound anything like a saint, and doing what you describe is not exactly smething she could keep a secret, so it doesn't seem so awful to me. Also, she DID think about google and the fact that no one in a year's time will be able to find her 'side', having not used your real names. You on the other hand have made a different choice. You feel you are more honest than she is--well, we'll never know, but as far as this 'story' goes, it doesn't feel that way. It feels like you both did fucked up things and screwed with each other's heads pretty equally. It sounds like Serge did not take much if any responsibility, which is also his choice. I understand where you're coming from but your righteousness about it all smacks of a certain...i'm not sure how to put it exactly. I do think you're often self-deprecating here and generally seem to feel being truthful is important, but where this 'story' is concerned, you seem driven mostly by vengeance and insecurity. Look: You have a great life and the devoted love of your husband.You have readers who adore what you do. You have healthy family and loyal friends...seems to me you 'won' this war a long time ago. The way you write about the whole thing seems to lack an awareness of all that. It's what I think and just that--but you do invite the analysis by maintaining the drama, and in a lot of ways exacerbating it.

May 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSerra

I invite the analysis. Absolutely. If you can help me make sense of it then I am grateful. There is no war. I don't like Caroline - that's no secret. But man, if you think I am self-righteous you just don't understand. Yes, we both did some silly stuff - but apologies were made and everything was fine. I thought. Ultimately she went too far because she was too wrapped up in Serge's world more than two years after our marriage. She knows she did. And Google? Please. I don't care about Google. I did nothing I am ashamed of. She meant to embarrass me and she knew all of my friends and readers she was linking to would know exactly who I was. She accused me of stuff I didn't do, revealed personal stuff about my husband's childhood, implied my husband cheats on me, tried to turn his fans against him and even talked shit about my writing. All for what? In the end, what was she so pissed about? That I looked at her MySpace page?

This blog, it's always been about my marriage. Initially I wrote next to nothing about her here. Not until she began to send degrading emails to me and my husband. But so what if I did write the odd sentence here or there? Ex-girlfriends are often mentioned in your average blog. Why did this girl feel it necessary to continue to monitor - FOR NEARLY TWO YEARS - every single sentence I wrote?

May 11, 2007 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

it sounds like you respect and love your husband so much. it's great.

it's interesting how we all fall into roles. with the sexpot in accounting, you'd be the creative eccentric, head-in-the-clouds passionate artist writer, wouldn't you?

with Serge, maybe you're relegated to the more practical role--which aside from involving more headspace committed to the fiscal shit--also involves
supporting him in his art.

i'm definitely not implying that it doesn't seem like he supports you. as a reader of this blog, i just think that you have a lot of talent, too, and am just commenting on the roles we all play in different contexts.

i loved reading from mormon to manhattan. such a passionate and beautiful story. turn it into a screenplay!

also, two quick things:

1) divorce isn't the WORST thing on the planet. sometimes people don't want to consider it because they don't want to deal with the notion, idea, or image of their spouse with another. at first glance, that seems petty or dumb or irrational, but maybe that inability to allow a spouse to "end up" with another is actually fueled by LOVE, not pettiness. Love is the opposite of indifference. indifference probably causes more divorces than anything else.

2) "A long love must often amaze the heart by being brief."

(just a nice quote)

3) I agree with serra - i HATE to think or write in these terms, but it would seem like you "won" the war long ago. but i can imagine how annoying and "icky" it would be to want to write honestly about your marriage, all the while thinking that this girl could be smirking and saying "I told you so! ha! ha!" from a computer screen in london.

May 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterleyls

You really did nothing you're ashamed of? That's impressive. I guess I feel like most people are ashamed of the kind of stuff you guys did-I know I have been when I've done fucked up stuff like that--and most of us have, if we're honest. Obviously it wasn't just a matter of looking at her myspace page, because, that would make no sense. Seems to me you both became totally obsessed--but, Monica you were always in power, because you always had Serge in your corner. Do you not feel Serge had some obligation to set things right with this woman, to not leave you in a place where you felt so insecure about things that you had to resort to the pseudonym and the activities conducted thereunder? I agree that Caroline wrote some things that had to be hurtful and were likely unnecessary, but when all is said and done didn't you and serge do your fair share of that too? Honestly, as someone who has had exes get married after dating me (though never so soon and so secretively)...it's pretty devasttating, even if you're seeing someone else yourself.

May 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSerra

Hey Serra.. I write this to you while drinking wine and barbequing with my Mom and Serge who, in all honesty, agree with many of your points.

Look - Serge made the effort to meet up with Caroline in London and tell her about our marriage. After that, he was done. I never have been insecure about Caroline or my relationship with Serge.


This stopped being about Serge a long time ago. And so, perhaps I should just leave it be and stop posting the story.. but it's already written. And it's the truth.. And a small part of me, fuck, a LARGE part of me wants it out there. For whatever reason..

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

I hear you, Monica, and if it were me in your shoes I am SURE I would feel compelled to present my side of things. It's completely human (as is all of this, really) very natural, and eminently readable. You are a smart, talented and insightful woman with what seems to me, despite its struggles, to be a great life. I wish you nothing but the best, appreciate your candor, and look forward to the next moment in your journey you decide to share.

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSerra

Thanks.. Really. It's been a long, strange, trip - this blog. And it's people like you that keep it interesting. I appreciate your insight and love discussing both sides of ANY issue.. Whether it is my ridiculousness with The Ex or marital trouble.. whatever..

Thanks.

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

In 20+ years none of this will matter. You and Serge will sit back and just laugh at this.

Sure there's going to be struggles, but what marriage doesn't? What relationship doesn't? You guys have been doing this for a couple years now. I'm impressed, happy for the two of you. Hell Monica you married a man just after a few short months of knowing him, that takes a lot of guts. Here the two of you are today still trying to make it work! I on the other hand can't make something work with someone that has been in my life for 13 years, the one person I never believed would give up so easily. That's just the way it goes.

There will be more bumps in the roa. I believe you and Serge will be able to overcome those especially after all of what you've guys been through lately!

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug

Mon, love this post! I think that you're probably the best at putting what some of us feel at times in regards to our spouses into words.

Serra, I read Caroline's blog too, and I was even sucked in for a while, but after reading a couple of posts it was obvious to me that she sugar-coats her "mishaps" and blows Monica and Serge's way out of control. It was especially infuriating to me that she insinuated that Serge had cheated on Monica at one point all the while knowing it wasn't true. I also read the forum where she picked that bit of knowledge up and it just takes another minute of reading it to figure out that "the cheating" was just misinterpreted. But Caroline doesn't tell you any of that. She's just about slandering them and their marriage. It's one thing to tell your story, but to question Serge's loyalty and just pick apart their marriage is another. I'm sorry you only see it as her putting "her side of the story" out there.

By the way, I'm one of the people that she linked to from Monica's blog simply to recruit readers. And she was never honest about that either.

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterfancythis

"but we all say and do shit we don't mean and if we're lucky enough to be with someone who understands who we really are then it will all be okay.........."


this is so CRUCIAL. It's so relevant to me now and it's 100% right on. This is what it means when you're with the right one. As green as the grass occasionally looks on the other side, aint nobody else who gets me like husband. Aint nobody else who can read me, understand me, and love me so unconditionally.

Good for you for learning this stuff NOW...not 10 years down the road.

Rock on His Sergeness...

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commentert

No to continue to beat the same drum here but I'm glad you're posting The Click By. The x's blog made ME so angry, I can't imagine what it did to you. From the beginning she has hovered around this blog and was overly concerned about what you were writing. Also, her tone is accusatory and self righteous and downright bitter and I never for one second believed she was trying to "clear the air." It was a full-on attack and I couldn't believe she was still concerned with you and Serge and your friends so many years later.

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWino

She's just about slandering them and their marriage. It's one thing to tell your story, but to question Serge's loyalty and just pick apart their marriage is another. I'm sorry you only see it as her putting "her side of the story" out there.

Well, sorry, but I don't agree--that's not what I came away from her blog with. I understand the criticisms of Caroline but I also understand what drives her or seemed to (she was, I think, emotionally shattered by Serge and his marriage to Monica and infuriated and betrayed by how that was revealed to her), just as I understand Monica. I can see myself in both women.

The thing I appreciate most about Monica is she really does invite two sides of a debate and isn't afraid to get down and dirty with her own emotional life. It is tiresome and alienating when some of her readers cannot seem to do the same and view anyone who doesn't simply cheer for every word she writes as either on 'the crazy ex's' side or just a 'hater'. Life is complicated, very messy and Monica is about putting that on the page--her readers should respect that people will engage that messiness and if they do so with respect and good intentions they should feel as welcome here as anyone else.

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSerra

You know, the longer we are married the less I think "this is mistake" and the more I think things might, in fact, be MY fault. Sometimes. :-)

I, for one, am glad the press releases are on hold.

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEDW

I just started reading your blog, and I enjoy the hell out of it. But I gotta say, for me there's a difference between your regular writing and the stuff about the crazy ex. Those stories are interesting, but just leave me with a sour taste in my mouth.

I had a similar (but in no way equal in scope or emotion, I know) situation with internet lies. I'm living in Oaxaca, Mexico right now, and I periodically post on Lonely Planet's travel discussion boards. Now, Oaxaca has had some nutty problems this past year with lots of protets and civil uprisings and federal police being sent in, and there were many questions about what it was like here for visitors. Myself and others living here would point out that the problems were pretty easy to avoid, as all protests were announced well in advance, and in the 9 months of problems, only 9 people had been killed, all on the front lines of the protests. At times is was a little dramatic, but I never felt like I was in serious danger.

Anyway, there was one crazy guy living in Chicago, who had never been to Oaxaca, posting on the boards and accusing everyone in Oaxaca of spouting lies for one reason or another, referencing some uber-righty blog as a journalistic source for what he was saying. He was crazy, lying, and slandering people, including me. He got under my skin something fierce. I would spend hours (well, maybe not hours, but it was still too long), crafting scathing, fierce replies to illuminate for everyone what a crazy fool this guy was. Then it dawned on me: This guy didn't need my help; everyone could tell he was a wackjob on their own. Me responding to his claims only gave them crededence.

I think we're probably similar in that as vaguely jornalisticaly (probably not a word, but I'm going with it) minded-folks, the written word holds power, and should be representing the truth. I take it very personally when I see written lies passed off as truth, and feel responsible to fight it. However, as a bunch of your readers have pointed out in these here comments, an intelligent reader can often sort the truth from dementedly crafted lies pretty easily for themselves. I can understand the desire to put forth your side, but unless there's some truth in what she's saying, I think you should just ignore her. Let her and her nutters friends write their crazy stories in the corner, and let the intelligent readers of the world see her wackitude for themselves.

That said, I hope things get better for you on the Serge front, and for the love of god, please, please keep writing. I'm deliberating if I'm an innie roast beef, and I need some backup. Also, I can't handle watching the telenovelas here and need something to entertain myself with!

May 12, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersarita

Ok, but what about the fact that the entire Click By is based on hearsay and things Serge said at the time that Monica is taking at face value, even though he obviously had a stake in what she believed? At least Caroline was party to everything she wrote about; so far Monica has barely engaged anything she participated in and focused only on what she learned through other people about Caroline and Caroline/Serge's relationship.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMelody

That chick who dated your husband YEARS ago, and can't let go, needs to find her way into a straightjacket, now.

I have read both your blogs, only because of Violent Acres (REALLY smart advertising, there, by the way) and weird. But overall, the woman has problems.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterC. Eli

The other thing is this: perception is reality. If Caroline and Serge's relationship was entirely littered with infidelity (on both sides, yes) then wouldn't it be far harder for her to conceive of him having something otherwise with Monica? I can imagine that it would--she did not know or understand him to be remotely faithful so why would she assume he had suddenly and so dramatically changed? I am not saying that he hasn't--I'm sure he has, but if I were Caroline conceiving of that would be very difficult and very complicated for all sorts of obvious and perhaps not-so-obvious reasons.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEmmeline

"You really did nothing you're ashamed of? [...]Do you not feel Serge had some obligation to set things right with this woman, to not leave you in a place where you felt so insecure about things that you had to resort to the pseudonym and the activities conducted thereunder?"

I don't think Monica acted perfectly (WHO DOES? This concerns her MAN....internet communications is new territory, by the way)...but she certainly didn't act out of bounds (although I have no idea what really happened).
My boyfriend's ex (from six-seven YEARS ago) still emails my boyfriend and finds him on myspace and has her friends IM her. They were pseudo friends after their relationship ended, even though she cheated on him. Until I came along (he wasn't even living in the same city as her, so obviously, he cut her dead...he was working, finishing school, starting a new realtionship...he didn't have time for her and of course, I didn't encourage him either).
My boyfriend once left his email open while in the shower; I was brushing my hair in front of the screen and realized I was looking at his ex-girlfriend's name (part of her email address). I met her long before I was dating my boyfriend. I was pissed (I had opened the email from her and viewed the pictures she sent him, captioned "Still SEXY" and told him he shouldn't email her anymore. But she told him that she was dying and moving to Vegas to do so (since he was not responding to her emails). We never talked about it again and I felt guilty that I reacted so terribly concerning a dying woman. Especially an older, uglier, woman. Well, like my brother (my boyfriend's best friend) warned me, the chick is a liar. She did not have terminal cancer. She is a whore and a liar, and still to this day emails my boyfriend and stalks him (with the help of her friends) online. I don't really care, but Monica's husband's ex reminds me a lot of my boyfriend's ex. Crazy!

Don't act like you know Caroline Lost. She is obviously a Mandy Moore wannabe slut who can't even keep a boyfriend because she is obsessed with a pseudo-rock star ex.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterC. Eli

"You really did nothing you're ashamed of? [...]Do you not feel Serge had some obligation to set things right with this woman, to not leave you in a place where you felt so insecure about things that you had to resort to the pseudonym and the activities conducted thereunder?"

I don't think Monica acted perfectly (WHO DOES? This concerns her MAN....internet communications is new territory, by the way)...but she certainly didn't act out of bounds (although I have no idea what really happened).
My boyfriend's ex (from six-seven YEARS ago) still emails my boyfriend and finds him on myspace and has her friends IM her. They were pseudo friends after their relationship ended, even though she cheated on him. Until I came along (he wasn't even living in the same city as her, so obviously, he cut her dead...he was working, finishing school, starting a new realtionship...he didn't have time for her and of course, I didn't encourage him either).
My boyfriend once left his email open while in the shower; I was brushing my hair in front of the screen and realized I was looking at his ex-girlfriend's name (part of her email address). I met her long before I was dating my boyfriend. I was pissed (I had opened the email from her and viewed the pictures she sent him, captioned "Still SEXY" and told him he shouldn't email her anymore. But she told him that she was dying and moving to Vegas to do so (since he was not responding to her emails). We never talked about it again and I felt guilty that I reacted so terribly concerning a dying woman. Especially an older, uglier, woman. Well, like my brother (my boyfriend's best friend) warned me, the chick is a liar. She did not have terminal cancer. She is a whore and a liar, and still to this day emails my boyfriend and stalks him (with the help of her friends) online. I don't really care, but Monica's husband's ex reminds me a lot of my boyfriend's ex. Crazy!

Don't act like you know Caroline Lost. She is obviously a Mandy Moore wannabe slut who can't even keep a boyfriend because she is obsessed with a pseudo-rock star ex.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterC. Eli

You clearly have your own issues and are projecting them on to someone else, C. Eli. There is nothing remotely resembling what happened to you in this story--from either side. Grow up.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEmmeline

I have to disagree with your generalizations. Not everyone looks at their marriage and thinks "this was a mistake". Likewise, not everyone is pretending that they actually get along with their spouse.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterlark

I'm with Lark.I have to respectfully disagree with the universality of your conclusions regarding marriage. I wonder if you deliberately use the collective "you" or the generalization "EVERY marriage" or "marriage is . . ." when you write about your relationship for some particular reason.

Each time, you're clearly writing about your own marriage but for some reason seem compelled to generalize and to insist that your experience happens in ALL marriages. And, you are so sure of this that you automatically accuse those whose experience does not mirror yours of lying, by saying that they are just pretending that everything is all right if they are not copping to having problems, as your marriage seems to have had and continues to have.

It's hard to understand where your certainty that all marriages conform to your narrow view of what marriage is comes from. Why is there no room for variation and diversity in your world view on relationships and marriage? Is is that hard to believe that some relationships are essentially or entirely trouble- and drama-free? That many couples never question their choice to be together, never even remotely or in anger consider it a mistake? That your marriage or others you are witness to are not necessarily representative of all marriages? (I'm sure many marriages are like yours, I am not doubting that by questioning your generalizations).

Why not just say "my" marriage instead of "EVERY"? Why not "I" instead of "you"? Why the fascination with insisting that your experience is so universal and why the insistence that those whose relationships aren't like yours are somehow less honest than you are?

I hope this will not be dismissed with the "why are you taking this so seriously, I write in jest" dismissal or the "you must be lying because only I can possibly know what marriage is like" dismissal, but if it is so be it. I simply wanted to post my opinion, and now having done that, thank you for sharing your view, and for reading mine.

I hope the turbulence in your marriage will dissipate and that your view of marriage in general and of yours in particular will expand and become more positive. (This is not to suggest that I don't understand you dearly love your husband and he you. I am not questioning that nor your contentment with your marriage nor do I claim to know anything of it other than what I've read of your own writing, which often depicts the relationships as less than smooth). With best wishes.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterm

Why must all the comments go back to Caroline's BS! Tired of hearing about it, stop bringing it up. We have all heard it before, we know how this story goes, so stop. Monica and Serge are still together, they are moving on, why can't you all!
Great post Monica. To be honest, I have been reading this blog for a long time, and part of me gets the passion and love and hope to have that one day, and the other part of me is scared shitless about getting married! Single ain't so bad!

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJen

"Why must all the comments go back to Caroline's BS! Tired of hearing about it, stop bringing it up. We have all heard it before, we know how this story goes, so stop. Monica and Serge are still together, they are moving on, why can't you all!"

Are you nuts? Caroline is mentioned in this post, that's why. In addition, an entire history of Monica's connection/involvement with her is being laid out here every three days or so. That's why. Duh.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterS.

Actually, Caroline isn't mentioned in this post.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJAY

You're right, my mistake.

I do agree though, that there are millions of marriages not characterized by the dysfunction Monica describes. Not passing judgment on M & S--I think they have something passionate and real in their own right, but it is strange to make your own issues belong to the world of marriage writ large.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterS.

It isn't strange, it's obviously her point of view and I think she utilized this particular style to be engaging to those that can relate. I don't think she thinks she's speaking for every married couple all over the world. You are reading to much into her choice of terminology.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

Anyone who claims to have never had a fight or second-guessed their marriage is a dirty liar. Or is telling the truth but isn't being honest with their spouse. Or their spouse isn't being honest with them. What Monica describes sounds to me like the kind of thing that goes on in most every marriage I know. Including mine.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJAY

Did you read Stephanie Klein's blog about this? Sounds to me like your post got her thinking about her own marriage.

http://stephanieklein.blogs.com/greek_tragedy/drunken/index.html

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

such imperious commenters. so unnecessary and unpleasant.

May 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterS.

>>sounds to me like the kind of thing that goes on in most every marriage I know.

Perhaps. But you don't know what goes on in every marriage, do you?

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterlark

"there is a point in every marriage. . ."

of course someone writing this is ushering in a type of self-acceptance. we all do this. we want to be mindful of the universality of our experiences, whether it's an alleged or actual universality, so that we don't feel alone. it's a trait that can be attributed to humanness.
it's forgiveable.

why do people have to call you out on this? "It seems that you are using these terms because blah blah blah. . "

thanks, Doc, it all started in the fourth grade. . .

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterleyls

"there is a point in every marriage. . ."

of course someone writing this is ushering in a type of self-acceptance. we all do this. we want to be mindful of the universality of our experiences, whether it's an alleged or actual universality, so that we don't feel alone. it's a trait that can be attributed to humanness.
it's forgiveable.

why do people have to call you out on this? "It seems that you are using these terms because blah blah blah. . "

thanks, Doc, it all started in the fourth grade. . .


May 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterleyla

Monica, I have been married now for 18 months and I can definitely relate to your sentiments. But for the most part it is all good. Just hang in there. I have a friend that has been married 16 years and she always encourages me to stick with it. She says it is worth it.

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRaqi

I'll agree with other commenters in saying that I don't think every marriage is like this. Some are, and I do think that every couple has fights and problems. I don't think they all think it was a mistake though. Most people accept that having fights and problems is normal and does not indicate having a mistake or being mismatched. Do I think Monica and Serge are mismatched or that they are going to live happily ever after? That's not for me, or any Internet audience to decide. I think they'll come to that answer in time. I hate to see any marriage fall apart, so I'm glad the two of you have worked so hard at it, despite your problems and differences. I imagine the fact that Serge is gone so often is also difficult because you never really get a chance to function as a wife long-term. There are still times (whole months!) where other than phone calls and texts you're functioning as a single woman. It's hard to learn how to be a wife and live with someone's dinner choices and bathroom habits and then unlearn that while they're gone and then re-learn it when they return ...

Having said that, I have one piece of advice I learned from experience. Don't sweat the small stuff. I used to get mad over little things, but fundamentally it doesn't matter what you watch, where you go for dinner, or who does the dishes (I used to do them 99 percent of the time -- now we have a dishwasher!). However, there are some things that are worth dealing with, and to some extent even fighting over, and I think financial responsibility is one of them. So is insecurity, jealousy, sex, and cheating. Be lucking that you only have to deal with one of the big five. ;)

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Also Monica my mother taught me this when I was married to my first husband (May he R.I.P.). When two people who have been raised in separate households under different laws come together there will always be some friction until the two find their own middle ground. She would always say marriage is the union of two fools with a misunderstanding.

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRaqi

All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Leo Tolstoy, "War and Peace"

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterisabelle dolce

Duh... very early Monday morning and I haven't had my third cup of coffee. The quote is the opening line of "Anna Karenina."

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterisabelle dolce

It really sucks when other people try to speculate on your marriage and it can really fuck with your head. I think that it is absolutely different to be married in the public eye rather than in private, why do you think so many celebrity couples break up? Yes, Monica and her husband aren't at "that" level of celebrity by a long shot but they are still somewhat visible with her blog and his band and it's not fair that people should suggest that he's unfaithful to her. The ex girlfriend is a complete psycho because by now she should have her own life! The ex obviously has NO shame to embarass herself the way she has by acting like a crazed desperate ex. Marriage is hard (duh) but it is even harder in Monica and Serge's situation. I'm sure she has the same insecurities as the rest of the women in thw world and it's obvious that her enemies are just playing on them becuase they know they can. Her husband loves her and she loves him and they're together, there's nothing anyone can do about that so everyone should just leave them alone and worry about their own lives.

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjennilaya

Calm down, Jennilaya. The difference between Monica and Serge and real celebrities is that real celebrities are often punching photographers, filing law suits against tabloids, and trying to maintain some semblance of privacy while the world insists on violating their privacy and knowing every detail of their lives. Monica willing shares her life and marriage with the world. She's a good writer, and we read and enjoy her stories. But because she has put her marriage in a public forum, people will continue to comment on it publicly. People will leave Monica alone when they don't have constant, intimate access into her life. Based on what I've read, I don't think Monica wants to be left alone. I think she wants to be read, appreciated, understood. We all do.

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

oh my lord...the ex wrote her blog, her 'side'...and guess what? now it's gone. She said what she had to say and moved on. Literally. So...the only person keeping the drama alive is Monica. Totally her prerogative, and I will totally keep reading her take on the thing 'cause I find it fascinating (but of course I also find Flavor of Love Charm School fascinating) but, you guys have to stop trashing Caroline in defense of Monica--it makes very little sense at this point.

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEden

You guys met in a wild, passionate, unconventional way, you got married in a wild, passionate, unconventional way and you now relate in a wild, passionate, unconventional way. It's par for the course, and it's the essence of your relationship (at least from my perch). Passion is incredible, but it always comes with a price. As long as you're willing to pay it, your marriage will be completely fine.

I know I'm probably in the minority when I say my new husband and I don't really fight. I tend to pick fights, and he tends to do whatever he can to not have to fight. If he were more like me, we'd fight all the time. So it's just a matter of putting two personalities together and seeing what happens.

We also happen to be unabashed romantics, at least when we're alone, and we have a habit of saying "I love you" (or even better, "I love [this] about you") too too often. But focusing on all the gushy stuff has a way of bringing some perspective to any fight or gloomy mood.

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I'm with Rachel. My husband and I have had roughly three disagreements (two pertaining to art, violence, and censorship) and genuinely don't have any desire or need to fight with one another. We like one another. We don't like hurting one another. We're also extremely similar, which tends to make us allies and best friends, rather than combatants.

I realize this puts us in the minority. But we still exist. Leyla asked why it was necessary to point out the use of global generalizations, and said that "we all do this", that it's human to want or expect our experiences to be universal. Of course, that in itself is a generalization. It's not true for everyone.

Fine, people want to believe that if they fight with their mates, EVERYONE must fight with their mates. I imagine that makes it easier. But trying to force people into a box because it's 'easier to accept' isn't fair or right, which (I imagine) is why people have taken issue with the generalizations being made here.

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbeth

oh sweet jesus - saying that eveyone's marriage is like x or y doesn't actually mean that the speaker really believes that every single person's marriage is in fact that way.

the possibility of the term "everyone" to be in bold or italic print doesn't even mean it. (it may only point to one thing -- and that thing may be the speaker's or writer's DESIRE that things were that way.)

where some see bold print and think "oh the blogger is declaring a truth!", i see it and think "the blogger is declaring a desire."

this isn't social science or shit, physics, it's just blogging. you know, group therapy, confessions, diary-esque soul-searching.

maybe i'm a total idiot - but this is how i see it.

(incidentally, 6 out of 10 is everyone, pretty much. the new math, yo!)

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterleyla
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