An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation


So, hey. Yeah. How are you guys doing?

There is a conference going on in Salt Lake City this week and I’m hosting a few people at my house, so when I think of words like chaos and disorder I wonder why there aren’t more passionate words to describe what it’s like up in here.


I’m being pulled in several directions right now and don’t feel like I have the time to write about what is going on in my life with the respect that it demands. But here in this thirty-minute block of time that I have I want to share a few things with you.

I am no longer suffering thoughts of suicide. I shared that detail with you to underscore the amount of desperation that lead to this transformation in my life. Because this wasn’t just some silly thought I had. Like, I know! Let’s disrupt all of our lives! It’ll be a fun crazy party! Especially the part where hundreds of thousands of people get to weigh in on how insane I am, and whoa! Did they ever see this coming!

It is very strange to see my face on the local news as an anchor talks about my marital problems. And to read about it in the local paper. And to see news organizations in other countries speculating about what went wrong. Strange. That’s it. I’m not angry about it because I know I’m a public figure or persona or whatever it is you want to call me. I don’t expect anyone to afford me privacy at this time. Would it be nice? Yes, of course, but I understand human nature. I’ve been writing openly about my life for almost eleven years, so people are going to talk about this. And awful things will be written. That’s just reality. And I accept it.

But you guys have reinforced that all of that doesn’t really matter. I’m so incredibly touched by your words of encouragement and sympathy. Yes, I am a stranger. I don’t know you, but that’s the amazing thing about this medium. We reach out there into the void, find each other’s hands and know we are not alone.

So, yeah. I found myself in very dark place. But those who know me, and those who really understand what I stand for know that I don’t like to be in those dark places. I actively try to claw my way out of them, and today, here, right now, I am in the light. In fact, I’ve been in the light for some time now. I have hope. Change had to happen, so I made it happen.

Jon sees the girls every day. He helps Leta practice piano, spends time with Marlo making shapes out of clay, and then after we have dinner together he helps me put them to bed. There are no salacious details to uncover. There is no fighting or scheming or attempts to seize power. We’re two very level-headed adults making our way through this maze.

Is there a lot of crying? Hell, yes. But I can talk about that later.

Thank you again for your comments, your email, your tweets, and your thoughts. I hope you’ll hold my hand a little longer.

  • wordsupmixed

    wow. adults going through divorce. wish I had the same. I’d give you both a hug if it was ok with you.

  • Aprilisin

    Consider your hand held….let me know if ya need one of those Baptist Beers to tide ya over…

    And yep, we feel that we know you…when I found out, I gossiped it to my husband like it was someone we knew…I had to tell someone who knew you!

    The internet has come a long way baby, right? I love that I have 10 year friendships with ladies I met on a “our-kids-are-due-the same-time board.” We are living in Jetsons times people. Now, I wait, and try to figure out where to invest the dollars, for the cars that drive themselves…yes sir.

    Hang in…we all care so much.

  • hillcram

    Heather – I’ve been reading your blog since Leta was 2 years old…so weird to think about now. Anyway, I live in a place that, to get anywhere else on an airplane, you have to fly through a hub. Often that hub is SLC. And every single time, I think, “hey Heather, cheers from the sky.”
    There aren’t any words really – but wanted to reach out and let you know people think of you all the time – even if we don’t write.
    Hang in there –

  • susanruffin

    Dude, how would I ever know about u-Ziq or Bon Iver if it weren’t for you? And what about how to cook edamame? I’d be lost without you and a couple of other blog inspirations. I’m not kidding. Valuable stuff in this backwoods hick’s life. Bless you and stay strong.

  • TheSkyIsOverrated

    Hands to hold in Washington too! I’ll be thinking of you, Jon, and the girls as you make your way through the maze. Stay strong Heather.

  • mcbc11787

    I’m a frequent reader, though not a frequent commenter. I want to say something, but I don’t know what to say.

    I’m sorry that you’re going through this. I’m proud of you and Jon for putting the girls first. I’m sending strength that you all get through this. I hope that time apart will make you all realize just how much you do have together.

    Meantime, there are hands reaching out for you here in MA as well. Please be sure to continue to let us know you’re okay, even if its nothing more than “I’m okay.”

  • melamb

    Been reading for a while now, and your post about your separation brought me to tears. You have the gift of making us all feel that we know you – which means when something bad is going on, you’ve got hundreds of people sending good vibes your way. Pretty amazing. Wishing you continued strength. The maturity with which you handle this difficult stage of your relationship is admirable.

  • Mel D

    I cannot even begin what it must feel like to have such personal information displayed and talked about… May you continue to claw your way out and see there is hope.

  • Colgate

    Holding your hand from Jacksonville, FL. Sending you much love and hugs as you all figure out the next step.

  • afrazier

    I can’t believe that your marital troubles are a topic for news, local or otherwise. I know you’re a public figure, but have they no decency? You shared that information with us, your readers and fans, who love and care about you and your family, because you were reaching out for our hands. Not for local news, not for recognition, no. You reached out because you needed support, as anyone would, during this difficult time in your life and the life of your family. But you said it sister: all of that doesn’t really matter. I say to you, all of that REALLY. Doesn’t. Matter. What matters is you, your family, and us. What matters are the hands you’ve physically held, the hands that have held and embraced you, the hands that exist only in the void but yearn for you to feel their love. We’re all around you, and we’re not going away. Much love and much, much peace, Heather.

  • Anu

    Just stay strong and keep doing what you are doing. Can’t tell you how much I’ve thought about you and Jon in the last 2 days. I am soo rooting for you guys to make it through this with everything intact. Will continue to keep sending positive thoughts and lots of love your way.

  • hkrieger

    Heather: I am one of those people who instantly go in to denial when I hear something unpleasant. I have been thinking about you and your family all week, checking in for an update from you and just wanting everything to be “right” for you.

    You sound good, you sound solid. Just keep on keepin on and we’ll be here with you all the way.

    (Hugs)…from another Heather

  • hildag

    You are in my prayers. This is obviously a difficult time and I just want to say that the way you and Jon are handling this is admirable.

  • lucidlotus

    Holding it as long as you need.

  • kellytadlock

    God. I am going through this exact situation with my daughter’s father. Figuring out how to be friends and to parent and remain a family and figure it out and do what’s best and and and…

    Right here with you, Heather. Wishing you and your family love and more love.

  • thesoutherngirl

    Continued good thoughts. When you said something about holding your hand, The Beatles tune popped into my head.

  • Kelly_09

    Keep hanging on and focus on Leta’s upcoming birthday. BTW:the hands will be there as long as you need them to be

  • Talon

    I wish nothing but the best for you and your family, and I hope that everything works out. I really couldn’t understand the leap people made as to whether you were capable of parenting your girls.

    I truly do hope you and Jon can work through this and come together, stronger, better and together. But that is coming from my own limited perspective.

    Please be well, and consider this hand holding onto yours and Jons, tightly.

    I’ve been a long time reader and I expect I’ll continue to read as long as you continue to write.

    Holding on tightly for you and your family,


  • Bannod

    On the news? That’s just… bizarre. I’m holding your hand too, for as long as you need it.

  • indianafuji

    Thank you for continuing to update this community even when it is difficult. I have been reading your blog for years now…mostly because you are such an entertaining writer and you are not afraid to address depression with honesty and transparency.

    I have to admit, I was so sad when I read of the changes in your marriage. My heart really fell into my stomach, though, when I read your husband’s brief entry about the trial separation on his blog. I know I am reading with my own mental-illness-tinged glasses, but I read his entry to say that your depression is the biggest factor in the demise of your relationship.

    I often wonder how much my own anxiety and depression hurts my relationship with the person I love the most (my husband). Most days I feel that I hide my most honest self because no one could love someone made so ugly by sadness and worry. Then I am aware that my husband is not really interacting with me but with the façade I employ to make myself less ugly. Reading your blog has emboldened me to be more honest (when I see someone as high-profile as you writes about your struggles and how your husband supported you during those times). I have to admit that I idealized your marriage because it seemed to be thriving even with this element of depression fully out and at play. Now I wonder if my worst fears have been confirmed…relationships won’t survive unless depression is stamped down and kept hidden…

    Of course, you do not have the responsibility to have a perfect life or be a model of someone thriving with depression. Of course, I’m not asking you to keep your marriage together at all costs in order to prove that it can be done (have depression and stay married, that is). But please keep writing about the tough stuff. My hope at this point is that I will continue to learn through examining my own struggles in the light of this community (which only exists because you talk about the tough stuff).

  • jenpilot

    You’re all in my thoughts. Wishing you strength and peace during this difficult time. Hang in there!

  • LM

    I’ve been reading your blog since my daughter was born, 7 years ago but have never commented (I’m a shy one). Your blog has helped me through what is often a very isolating and challenging job, motherhood, and helped me see the humor in many situations. I’m sad to hear what you’re going through and want you to know that there are so many people behind you (most like me who don’t really know you) and pulling for you. You’ll get through this, you sound strong. Sending you positive thoughts.

  • jessiCat

    See these hands? Keep holdin’em as long as you want.

  • bangedout32

    Hold on to everyone’s hand(s) as long as you need too. It’s okay. It’s okay to need someone to hold you up. You’ve held me up with laughter many, many times and you didn’t even know it…and I never thanked you. So, thank you and thank you for being honest and generous to share your life. As my dad says, “you’re a good egg” much love & peace.

  • Rike

    I am really glad to hear that Heather.
    Keep you in my thoughts!

  • Elizallen

    Even those of us who are simply readers of your site and quoters of your hilarious and gut-wrenching posts are holding you in our hearts. And the people who aren’t, who are using this opportunity to spread words of hurt…well, they can just suck it. How’s that for an eloquent response?

    Take care of yourself, give yourself the time and attention you need and keep hope alive.

    Wishing you only good things,

  • nluvwthmybstfrnd

    You’ve got this. But, if you ever feel like you don’t…well, that’s what we are here for.

  • tiny apple

    you are giving me the strength to seek counseling in my own marriage. which sucks. you seem to both be adults at this time and for that i highly respect both of you. it’s wonderful that you still have a life together but are taking some time apart. i think a lot of us could benefit from a breather like that in our marriages but it takes balls to come out and say it to your partner. i don’t know if i have those balls. but right now i want to scream i feel so sufficated in my marriage. so we’ll see. in the meantime, i hope you and jon heal and are able to do whatever you feel is best for you and your family. **hugs**

  • MaryNewman

    So sorry to hear all this and I am hoping you folks can turn this around for the sake of your family. Your in my thoughts, I can not believe some one put this on the air, rude. Have fun this weekend. Mary

  • slappyintheface

    If I were anywhere near you … I would so bring you a box of wine. Take a deep breath … and then take another one …

  • napagirl

    More hands to hold from Northern California.
    These posts are a drop in the bucket for how many people are pulling for you & Jon.
    Stay in the light Heather and know that every one of your posts, as difficult as they are to write, help so many people.

  • superkittn

    Hands? You are going to have to pry my flabby, white, virtual arms from around your boney body.

    I am so sad about you and Jon, but you’ll work through it however you guys need to.

    As most people on your blog, I feel like I know you and that you ARE my friend, and I’m so very fond of you and your brood. Your writing is spectacular, and I’m disappointed when you don’t have a chance to write. Keep using it as an outlet… it helps us all.

    And know that we’re all there with you in spirit. We’re rooting for you. Stay in the light.

    Sending all good energy to you from Los Angeles. xoxo

  • naysway

    You don’t know me, but you helped me start blogging. The idea of someone being so brave in sharing “those dark places” showed me there was somewhere I could go when I was in my own dark place. When I was depressed. When I was suicidal. When I couldn’t afford therapy. When coping didn’t seem like an option.

    You don’t know me, but you, Jon, Leta, Marlo, Chuck, and Coco feel like family. And I’ll tell you what I would tell my family if they were going through this: It will get better. And days/weeks/however long later, when it doesn’t feel like it, we’ll be here.

  • MissTruvy

    So many hands to hold. We aren’t strangers, you know, if we are all holding hands together. Which seems to be what is going on here.

    I kinda like it.

    You are my hero for sharing. Keep going, one day at a time, and you will get through this.

    Lots of love from Virginia.

  • mybottlesup

    Sending you scones and french press.

  • annamarie

    love to you and your dear sweet things. (I’m not talking about your boobs.)

  • Jeanne1

    Just sending you lots of good thoughts — there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and whatever you decide you need to do for you will be good.

  • grammargeek

    I haven’t commented because everything seems so trite. Still does. So here’s another simple thank you for all you do, and the hope that every day is better than the one before.

  • hereslucy

    Always. Just hope it’s enough.

  • firefly1818

    dude, not knowing this, you helped me so much through MY rough times, so the least I can do is to keep you and yours in my thoughts and – sorry – prayers.
    And suiside is not an option. Too bad that we both have close relationships with these thoughts. But then again, being able to beat these ugly thoughts to THEIR death, is all that matters.

    Until better times.

  • katinahat

    signed up just for this…

    Someone said basically that for every gossip and meanie out there talking about you, there’s 5 members of the community rooting for you. Well multiply that by another…10?…because there are many of us that never signed up but still wish you well and hope for the best for you all.

  • abbiejoy

    Wishing the best for you and your family, whatever that looks like. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  • cmckinnon1

    I agree with the thank you for sharing sentiment. I have been reading you for six years and felt just sick about this and also kind of felt myself going through a grief process as well as dealing with my own issues shaken up like dust newly disturbed. My kids are the same age as marlow and I was Leta’s age when my parents divorced. SO…

    In my pocessing of this I passed through initial disbelief and denial then desperation for it to “just work out” between ya’ll and then today I landed on anger. Anger at having the news and not knowing why.

    Tonight that anger is gone, I am on to a much more accepting phase of digesting this. My point in talking about how I AM processing YOUR separation is just to say that you are an amazing writer, mother and I am sure wife as well. I really appreciate you sharing anything at all with us because yeah, you so didn’t have to and life is crazy like this so it makes you really honest to share this with the world.

    Lastly, you are powerful. Your writing is powerful. I am logging on from Africa, after a very long week’s work, when I have precious me time to see if there is an update from you and I found this.

    Thank you for sharing. Much love from Morocco.

  • smodan

    I and mine, sending you and yours, love, love and light.

  • kmpinkel

    You can hold on to my hand until you get completely disgusted by how sweaty it is. Then you can grab on to the other one.

  • Kelly0doe

    I’m glad you’re in the light again.


    one of the hands

  • HeySweetie

    Wow. I am sorry people say hurtful things. I am a long time reader, and more of a lurker than anything in the Dooce Community, but I do get the sense that the majority of your readers very fully realize you are sharing BITS of your personal life, and we do not know you personally. Hell – even if you do know someone in real life, you only know that they share with you, anyway. Best wishes again.

  • linz_g

    I cried when I read your blog about the separation. I’ve been reading your blog for years now, and my heart goes out to you. Haters gotta hate, and how sad are their lives if they have nothing better to do than berate someone who is going through such a time in their life?

    This is just another season for you. It sounds like you guys are handling it perfectly for your family, and that is all you can do. My prayers are with you!

  • zziggysgal

    Love you so much, dooce! Thanks for being you 😀

  • rrouse

    While I’ve read you for years, I don’t really “know” you but I adore you and your writing. I wish you and your family the very best.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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