(originally published 12/8/11 – don’t miss reading comments 46 and 54)
Some bloggers check their “stats” weekly daily hourly to see how many visitors have come to their sites, how long they stayed there, what posts they’ve read, how they got there, etc. For many bloggers, these stats are a constant source of anxiety. I am very grateful that for whatever reason, most days they aren’t anywhere on my radar. I do, however, occasionally log in to my statistics tracking tool to find out fun things like if anyone in Abu Dhabi is reading my blog (Shout out to Abu Dhabi!) or if my ex-boyfriend is using the computer at the prison where he works to check on his ex-girlfriend (Yeah, I totally see you, buddy).
Another fun fact my stats show me is what search engine terms people are using that result in a visit to Resourceful Mommy. This fall tons of readers found me while trying to find out how to make Jake and the Neverland Pirates costumes, and I’m fairly sure that everyone who has ever compared the MobiGo to the Leapster has stopped by here at least once. Anyone who Googles hey look I’m naked will find me at the top of the recommended sites thanks to my idiotic post title after an even more idiotic technical error. My apologies to all of the thirteen year old boys googling that phrase and finding me. Major bummer.
Most of the time the search terms that bring people to my site either make complete sense like the Jake costumes or are laughable like the naked reference, but this week I saw that someone came to Resourceful Mommy after googling “Why am I invisible to my husband.” When I saw that search term it felt like the wind had been knocked out of me, my first thought – why would Google send her to me!? Turns out that Google suggested that she read my post about the shirt with invisible sleeves, which she apparently did. But my very next thought was even more upsetting – I pictured a woman sitting at her computer, tears streaming down her face, desperately turning to Dr. Google to find out what was going wrong in her marriage. I wanted to pick up the digital thread leading back to her and tug on it until I found something connecting me to her. Did she get anything out of my post? Did she at least laugh? Did she curse Google for confusing invisible sleeves with invisible wives?
I don’t know if she’ll ever come back here – maybe if she wants to know why kids need vegetables! – but if she does, I want her to find this response to her question.
1. You are not invisible. I see you. I tried to see you more clearly, but the internet is weird like that so I couldn’t really see you, but I’ve certainly been thinking about you.
2. Your husband sees you, too. I have no idea what’s going on in your marriage – it may really really suck – so I’m not going to take away from that. But he sees you. You know what else? Like all of us, he’s got a lot on his mind. My husband once walked right past me while I was lying naked on the bed, and while you can see from my “hey look I’m naked” post that that’s not necessarily a terribly exciting thing, he is a smart enough man to know it was going to get him something fun. And yet he walked right by me. What would cause a man to walk right past his naked wife? I’ll tell you what it wasn’t – It wasn’t that he doesn’t love me, doesn’t desire me, doesn’t enjoy being with me. It wasn’t even that he didn’t see me. It turns out that he was thinking about putting sodas in the fridge so that I’d have cold caffeine waiting for me in the morning. So let’s change you being invisible to him being distracted.
3. While I’m happy that Google sent you to me, I want to change your search term from “Why am I invisible to my husband” to “How can I help my husband see me?” We probably aren’t going to really answer the “why” although I’m putting most of my money on distracted/stressed/busy/hurt/dealing with stuff inside his own head/tired/overwhelmed/hungry. What we can answer is a question my best friend asks me all the time – Now what? Earlier this week your answer to “now what?” was to turn to Google. When I’m feeling ignored by my husband, my “now what” is often to shut down, get quiet, hurt myself with my thoughts about his motives, get angry. None of those things are productive. However, when I instead use that feeling to motivate me to try to reconnect with him – and yes, it apparently takes more than throwing my naked self on my bed at night as he walks by – it tends to result in great conversations, time spent enjoying each other again, and relief. Deciding to put it on yourself to help alleviate the problem when it feels like the problem is his or at least his fault is so frustrating. I am the queen of “but I’m RIGHT,” so I get that. Right there with you. But trust me that feeling better feels better no matter how you get there.
Maybe today you’re Googling “sexy lingerie” or “top Christmas presents for men” or even “divorce for Dummies.” I’ll probably never know. But I hope that whatever it is, you’re in a better place than you were in when you found me. And I hope that if you find me again, this helps.