How Blogging Has Affected My Marriage

I started Frugal Asian Finance (FAF) on March 21, 2017 after 12 years of hesitation and self-doubt.

I’ve been working on my blog every day early in the morning, late in the evenings, and on the weekends.

I was surprised to get so much feedback and encouragement from you all. I never thought I would get more than 5,000 views after the first month of blogging.

It motivates me to dedicate myself more to this new adventure of my life. Despite all the challenges and struggles, I’m still chugging along.

One thing I never expected was how blogging would affect my relationship with Mr. FAF in both positive and not so positive ways.

It’s been only two months since Frugal Asian Finance was born, but I’ve noticed the different ways in which blogging has changed the dynamic of our marriage.

The good

1. Joking about our nicknames

I think Mr. FAF particularly enjoys his new nickname. My best friend from college, the only one I told about who’s behind the site besides my husband, said the nickname sounds cute.

Sometimes we just call each other Mr. FAF and Ms. FAF at home and refer to our son as Baby FAF and my mother-in-law as Grandma FAF. It makes us feel so warm and fuzzy inside knowing that we’re now the FAF family sharing our frugal lives with my extremely supportive readers.

2. Mr. FAF being more convinced

When I first started my blog, Mr. FAF was encouraging but also doubted if anyone would read my blog. I wasn’t sure either, but I thought I would just need to take the plunge into blogging.

I don’t blame him since the only blogs he reads are about computer science and politics. You don’t know what’s outside of your world if you don’t see it. I, on the other hand, believe in the personal finance blogging community. It exists and is thriving!

Mr. FAF said I could keep the blog as a personal journal (translation: don’t be sad if no one reads your blog). After I started marketing the site and saw traffic increasing steadily, Mr. FAF was impressed but still didn’t believe that spike would last.

Well into the second month of blogging, I told him about the traffic the site has gotten. Mr. FAF was in shock and started to believe that his wife’s blog is not too bad after all.

3. Mr. FAF being supportive

Though doubtful, Mr. FAF has been encouraging my new endeavor. Initially, when I did the food expense report, I just wanted to include photos of the groceries. For one thing, I didn’t have the habit of taking food photos. When I saw something delicious, I just wanted to dig in.

However, Mr. FAF has been suggesting and reminding me to take pictures of what we make. He would try to display the food nicely, take away the chopsticks and rice bowls to make room for the main dishes, and stand far away from where I take photos.

He would also suggest captions such as: “This week’s feast” or “Mr. FAF’s cooking.” Those are great ideas, but I never actually used them. But it makes me happy to think that he also enjoys me blogging about what we eat. Now that I think about it, maybe he also wants to show off his cooking skills? (Hmm).

4. Joking about the future of FAF

We have found ourselves joking about the blog more often lately. I like fancying myself in a CEO role managing Frugal Asian Finance Inc. and our real estate business. After all, what’s life without hope and dreams?

Mr. FAF, on the other hand, jokingly points that that the blog currently generates no income, and that I run a no-profit company. It may sound mean, but that’s how we joke around at the FAF household.

His jokes just motivate me to prove him wrong, and to show him that one day the site can appeal to a large audience and generate an income he never thought was possible.

The bad

1. Mr. FAF being irritated

Mr. FAF usually shows amazing support for my blogging efforts. However, he does get annoyed with me sometimes. That’s when I mention taking photos of the groceries or food too much.

We would be driving home from the grocery store, and I would say things like “The first thing I need to do when we get home is takinge pictures of what we bought.” Sometimes when we eat out, I won’t let him eat until I make sure to have captured a nice image of the dish.

I have learned my lesson and will just take action without talking about it. After all, it takes only a couple of seconds to take some photos.

2. Mr. FAF being upset/jealous

Mr. FAF is not happy because I’m too busy blogging and don’t talk to him as much as before.

Mr. FAF was in DC to visit me for two weeks in May. Prior to Frugal Asian Finance, when I got home from work, we would eat dinner together, go for a walk, and then hang out until we went to bed.

This time it was different. After we finished dinner, I just wanted to have a short walk, take a quick shower, and then dive into my blog since there was so much I wanted or needed to do.

I caught myself looking at the clock when hanging out with him, checking whether I still had time to write a post or work on some technical issues.

Sometimes I was so engrossed in the blog I just ignored Mr. FAF’s request to spend time together.

Mr. FAF wouldn’t get angry, but I could tell he wasn’t too happy about it. He would call up his cousins or friends to catch up with them instead while I was typing away on my computer.

The ugly

One time we got into a fight about my blogging. It was a Saturday morning. We had just finished breakfast when I wanted to upload some food photos for the food expense report.

Mr. FAF took the photos on his phone for me since I didn’t have mine at the time. I asked him to send me the pictures, and he got upset because he was busy doing his work.

He apologized afterwards for being impatient with me. I accepted his apologies. But from now on, I’ll try to have my phone with me all the time and will take care of the photos myself. If I forget to bring it and have to ask Mr. FAF to help, I’ll just use his phone to send myself the pictures.

Conclusion

I have realized I need to balance my full-time job, the blog, and my family better. It is not the blog’s fault or Mr. FAF’s fault that we have had some downs in our relationship.

As a newbie blogger, I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me and to establish a schedule that works best for everyone in the family. I do feel like a workaholic sometimes. It feels amazing when I get work done.

The challenges that I’ve faced with the site so far just push me to try harder and do all the things I believe will benefit the blog and the readers.

But at the end of the day, my marriage and family will still be my priority, and I need to adjust my action accordingly to reflect that.

 

Related:

What Held Me Back From Blogging For 12 Years

The Pros and Cons Of Our Long-distance Marriage

Why We Sent Our Baby To China

Interview With Mr. FAF – Husband Of A Personal Finance Blogger

 



36 thoughts on “How Blogging Has Affected My Marriage”

    • Hi Grant, great questions! And thanks for the kind comment. My biggest traffic drivers have been (1) referrals from my comments on other websites, (2) direct channel – people typing the site name in their browser, (3) Social media, mostly Twitter, and (4) organic search. I will provide a much more detailed in my 2nd blog traffic report scheduled for June 5. Stay tuned! 🙂

  • Mr. Groovy and I blog TOGETHER and we still argue about it! But it’s a hobby for us at this point and something we have fun at. If it got in the way of our relationship I’d give it up in a heartbeat.

    It takes a long time to build a good following. We’re not even halfway there and we’re at it for almost two years. If you’re in it for the long haul — if I were in your shoes I’d try to find ways to minimize the time spent on blogging while Mr. FAF is visiting. I couldn’t find a post describing how you spend your time apart, but I’m assuming he lives elsewhere part of the time? It’s very easy to get caught up in the exuberance and the blogging community. But it will still be there/here tomorrow.

    • Aww it’s amazing that you and Mr. Groovy together on your blog. Mr. FAF is not into writing, so I don’t expect him to join forces with me anytime soon. But it’s fine since I really like blogging. 😀

      I plan to be in it for the long haul. Blogging makes me smile every day. I will try to maximize my time with Mr. FAF the next time he comes. I still feel guilty for abandoning him when he was in DC. I will write a blog post about our long-distance marriage/relationship soon since some readers have asked about that. Thank you for taking the time to look up a post about our situation! ^.^

    • Thank you! I run into technical issues from time to time. I wish all I had to do was just sit there and type away. But I’ve learned a ton about plugins, wordpress, graphic design and the like. It’s such a great learning experience although sometimes I just want to explode since I can’t find the right solution.

  • Definitely a work life balance is needed even with blogging. I try to work on it before my son is awake and after he is asleep. It does not give me much time but we figure it out. Sometimes I can tell my wife is frustrated but still supportive.

    • Baby FAF and Mr. FAF are moving back to DC soon, so I’ll be busier with family. I will need to figure out how to balance of all these responsibilities to make everyone, including myself, happy.

      I’m so glad you have figured out a schedule that works for you and your family. If Mr. FAF was so into blogging like me, I’d probably be frustrated too. But it’s so nice our spouses are understanding and supportive! =)

  • That’s really inspiring to hear about your traffic. Congrats! It’s all about finding that balance in everything we do. 🙂 I have set work hours when I wfh, so my wife knows it’s crunch time. Even though most of us entrepreneurs are working in our heads 24/7, I’m still learning to shut that part off when its time to relax. Mindfulness isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but it takes practice and I’m practicing every day. Happy wife happy life right??

    • Hi Oliver, I totally agree with you! I think about what to write and what to publish when even when I’m doing the dishes or taking out the trash. I wonder if this frenzy will subside in the future, but sometimes I feel like I’m obsessed! I’ve wondered how startup owners are motivated to work all day. Now I can see why. When you do something you like, it makes you happy just to think about it.

      I’m also practicing not to think about my blog when I’m not working. It can get stressful and tiring sometimes. Maybe happy husband and wife happy life? :p

  • Omg this is too scary, we just started too and hubby and I are hitting something very similar. He’s not great with communication so I have to pull teeth for him to be social with others. Maybe you will see him drop by sometimes.

    “Mr. FAF is not happy because I’m too busy blogging and don’t talk to him as much as before.”
    Yup, needy little…#1ed&@! LOL jk. It’s sweet. I make him sit on the sofa with me and read my writing to him.

    • haha you made me laugh, Lily! I do think Mr. FAF needs some little love to cheer up from being pushed aside by my blog 😀

      Mr. FAF is not great with communication either. He’s super shy. I have to drag him to social events most of the time. I tell Mr. FAF about the comments I get on the blog and how happy I am about them every day. The other day I think he got bored and started checking his phone while I was talking. I got upset, so now he listens very attentively lol

  • Congrats on the great traffic results. It is also amazing to hear that you are enjoying blogging and you decided to finally take the plunge here. Sure there will be some bad, but there are growing pains. My wife is frustrated with me sometimes when I fire up my laptop in our short free time instead of just relaxing and hanging out with her. I’m sure every blogger has the same experience. But it sounds like Mr. FAF has been super supportive for the most part and that the good strongly outweighs the bad.

    Bert

    • Thank you so much! I know other blogs have done soo much better, but I’m just happy with all the kind feedback and support I’ve gotten so far. Replying to comments and interacting with other bloggers has become my daily dosage of happiness! 😀

  • Congrats on your success so far on the blog. Getting a lot of traffic is one the goals when creating one so keep it up and hopefully you will have a lot more readers in the coming months.
    As long as you know your priorities I think you should be able to manage your focus on family and work in a desirable way.

    • Thank you so much, Kris! You’re always so supportive. =) I will try to balance my priorities. I think it’s been hard because blogging is my newfound interest. It makes me happy everyday. ^.^

  • Congratulations! And I’m so glad you have Mr. FAF on board too! I know my poor boyfriend gets an earful every day. “I got one more twitter follower today wowowow”

    • Thank you, Jing! Mr. FAF also gets a daily update on how many Twitter followers I have without asking for it @_@ haha. I’m not sure if he likes such updates, but I guess it makes him happy when seeing me happy. I’m sure your boyfriend is happy for you too and doesn’t mind that 😉

  • My wife and I have had the same convos over the last year. When you first start out there is so much to do and learn. You’ll start to hit your groove and figure out what works best for the both of you. Keep it up!!!

    • Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m glad you and your wife talked about it and figured out what works for you both. I’m still trying to figure things out at this early stage. Hopefully I’ll hit my groove soon. 🙂

  • Mr. ThreeYear and I have similar “conversations”! It is definitely tough to balance family time and blogging! It’s also hard to be fully present when you’re thinking about what you need to post next–I am so guilty of that! I like Mrs. Groovy’s idea of spending more time with Mr. FAF when he’s in town and also look forward to hearing all the details about your long-distance relationship!

    • Thank you, Laurie! A lot of readers and our friends/colleagues have asked us about our long-distance relationship/marriage over the past 3.5 years, so I’ll publish a post on the topic soon. I’m glad Mr. ThreeYear and you talked about it and made it work for both of you. Mr. FAF and I are still learning, but I think it will be ok 😀

  • What a fantastic acheivement! I’ve not hit 5k in any month and have been writing for nearly a year. Clearly your efforts are really paying off!

    Such honesty in your writing. I have deliberately restricted the time I spend on blogging to avoid what you’re describing but I do yearn to write more, so could easily fall into the same pitfalls. I’m sure as time passes, you’ll find a pattern that works for you 🙂

    • Aww thank you for your encouragement, Sarah! I figured that being honest in my posts is the easiest and the best thing for me to do since I can just be myself and don’t need to worry about being consistent from one post to another.

      I just dropped by your blog and thought it looked great! =)

  • My wife doesn’t have a blog and she makes me wait while she takes pictures of food!! I saw in an above comment that you’ll post about the long distance relationship with Mr. FAF and baby FAF. It’ll be interesting to hear how you guys deal with that.

    • Haha I hear you. I have (female & male) friends who refuse to eat until they’re done taking beautiful photos of their food 😀 New posts about Mr. FAF and Baby FAF coming next week! 😉

  • To repeat what everyone else has said – wow! Great job with the traffic! I started about 2 months ago and it is definitely not easy to get those numbers.
    It’s interesting to hear other bloggers’ experiences. I usually only hear the good, so it’s nice to hear someone being real about it. My wife likes to help me with the design aspect of the blog, but other than that, we both just do our own things. She’s definitely the more patient spouse, so that helps a ton. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, Matt! People have different starting points, but we all will get to where we want to be in the end. I’m glad to hear that your wife is supportive of your blogging endeavor. Mr. FAF is also the more patient one, so I’m really grateful for that! =)

  • What an interesting discussion-we’ve had these same issues but with the baby instead of the blog. With the addition of a new family member into the mix, everyone has had to share time with each other. I, too, am working on shifting focus, giving everyone the time they need. Plus, we are all about schedules. Life without a schedule would be chaos! 🙂 It’s awesome what you’ve accomplished in such a short time!

    • I totally know what you mean. I felt like I changed so much after I had Baby FAF. I was unhappy and grumpy more often, and it took a toll on our marriage. I’m glad that period is over, and our relationship has gotten to where it’s supposed to be. I’ve realized that there are ups and downs in a relationship, and I just need to get through the tough times to enjoy the good times.

  • Oh trust me, I know how it is! I blog to give me a mental break from being at home with kiddo all day. Back when I had a 9 to 5 it was even harder. I think at least you’re openly talking about it which is a good thing! My husband in the beginning didn’t understand why I would spend my weekends working on it, until he realized how much I enjoyed it.

    • Hi Sarah, I wanted to share my story because I had never read about others’ experience in managing blogging and their marriage. I honestly thought I was the only one having these issues until I read the comments above. I’m glad other bloggers can relate and were willing to share their experiences with me. It’s great you enjoy blogging, and that your husband is supportive of the endeavor! =)

  • I’m going through this right now. I ignore my husband often so that I can dive into the blog and I know it’s not right. I’m just so passionate about building the blog right now. It’s hard to step back. The one thing that has helped me is to focus on what builds the most results for the blog and double down on that, cutting back on the fluff. Don’t waste time away from your significant other for something that isn’t bringing you results.

    • Great point! I feel bad for Mr. FAF, but I think he understands I’m going through the initial tough time of a newbie blogger. Once I have everything in place, he will start getting lots of my attention again hehe.

  • I can so relate to some of the stuff you said in this post! As you already know Omar and I blog together and it definitely has its pros and cons. Lol. I’m often the one guilty of “spending too much time working on the blog.” Although I tell him he doesn’t spend enough time. Haha. But it’s all about finding that perfect balance. We only post once per week, occasionally twice per week. And it has helped us with time by switching up which day of the week post.

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