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.

  • Tracye

    Sorry to hear this. You will get through this day by day. Just take it slow and remember to breathe. This will make you stronger, both of you stronger. I hope you guys find your way back to each other.

    Remember what brought you together.

    Remember the love.

    It’ll be alright you know…

  • jessicapea

    Hugs to you and your family – I can’t even imagine how hard this must be. But you sound like you are handling it in the most amazing way, your girls are so so lucky for that.

    Arohanui (much love) to you all

  • Buddahkat

    I am glad I missed the local news about it. That is just weird. But then again, many people know you and you don’t know them. I feel like you are my friend in a kinda “I’ve read her blog for years” sorta way. I have been through what you are going through about 15 years ago. Before medications. Not that they didn’t have them, but before I was medicated. Thank god I had a doctor (in utah county no less) that recognized anxiety and drugged me up toot sweet. It’s all better now and my 2,4,6 and 8 year olds are all 15 years older! We made it and I know you will too. I’m just sad for you because I hated it. So in your honor I’m going to take a long hot bath in a tub in Napa Valley (Sacrifices!) and send the relaxation vibes your way as I try to piece together my own shit. Because whether you are in or out of a relationship there are times that suck! ass. Or what my sister use to tell me. Being a relationship is like being a dog in a cage. The dog wants out and all the dogs out of the cage want in. Maybe we should buy some cats.

  • mlutz990

    Dearest Heather,
    When I read some of Jon’s recent posts and you spending NYE in SF, I was SO hoping this isn’t where you were or were heading. You are right we are all part of this community. Katie put it best when writing about the Bielanko family house fire ( said,”And we ARE a community, whether you’re a blogger yourself or a reader.”

    Over the years of reading, I’ve come to think of you both as friends across the miles and I automatically associate SLC with you & your family. I do hope that you & Jon are able to find the peace & happiness that ya’ll deserve.

    I probably speak for many of us when I say that it never once occurred to me that there were salacious details, you both have always publicly exhibited far more respect for one another than that. Continue on and we’ll be here to hold your hand.

    HUGS & love to you all.

  • JessicaM


    Thanks for letting us know that you’re doing better. I was worried about you when I read your post. It must be scary to be in such a dark place.

    I already knew that you and Jon would do your best to work through this, so I am just going to say – I’m pulling for you both. I hope that the fact that you can be friends and co-parents means that you can, through all of the tears, find your way back to happy together. If not, then I hope you can continue to find ways to grow and be happy apart.

    I’ve never been married so I have no first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be married, and the ups and downs you have to ride. What I can say is that my parents, who were together for 39 years (married 36) before my dad passed away last summer, always told me that you have to find a way to make the relationship bigger than the problems you have. Last year, on my parent’s anniversary, they said that they had 33 wonderful years – but off and on, there were some rough patches.

    Here’s to finding a way to make the relationship bigger than your problems, and to getting through rough patches.

  • Tanis

    Normal life, it is what you make it out to be.
    You know this more than anyone, you have shared your life for 11 years and are brutally honest about it.
    Thanks again for sharing and all the strength to you, to enable you to get though this and find what normal works for you. Your readers are behind you and appreciate that you keep sharing.

  • Dita

    If you met me, you’d never think it, but you have surely touched my life. Remarkable, amazing you. A minute at a time, we can get through anything, even a marathon.

  • femmeknitzi

    My empathy is on level 10 for you and your family right now. I suppose I feel like a super-stranger because I haven’t even been a member of this community for very long and I only started reading your blog a year ago or so. But your beautifully written words evoke such a strong connection, even in the void.

    Your story, the pain you’re dealing with, it all feels so damn familiar to me. I lived it as a child (and I’m fine, so Leta and Marlo will be too) and I feel like I’m on a precipice in my marriage, too.

    Right now I’m hyper aware of how sure we can be of who we are and what we want. It’s not a lie, it’s just the view we have at that particular moment. And then a few things change and it’s like we’re looking out the same window and seeing something completely different.

    The only constant we have is the hope of renewal and the chance for forgiveness. We should seek and embrace them both and otherwise all we can do is keep going based on what we know right now, today.

    Thank you for reaching out into the void. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and hoping that you find peace and renewal in all the ways you need them most.

  • JennMdx

    It’s really not up to anyone else to judge or comment on your decisions. Anyone who has read your writings for years knows how hard this has to be on all of you.

    I just wish the best for you, for him and for the kids.

  • Rev Dr Mom

    Heather, I’ve been reading your blog since Leta was a baby, but I rarely comment because you get SO MANY comments, mine just don’t seem that important. But I want you to know that I think you are an amazing strong woman, and I hope that you get through this rough patch and come out in a place where you will find happiness and peace, however things work out.

  • ChrisMoose

    The hand is here for as long as you want to hang on…

  • charrisv83

    I’ll hold your hand, and you may not know this, but you’re holding mine too. It takes incredible courage to do what you’re doing. I hope to find mine someday.

  • Caffeinerd

    Wishing you all the best. Like many of us, I’m sure, having read your blog/book for many years I feel some sense of knowing you and am sending virtual hugs your way.

    I realize it’s not nearly as complicated, but my fiance’ and I broke up a month before our wedding recently (he called it off), and I’ve been amazed at how many opinions strangers and acquaintances wish to share while I’m at work, just trying to open a new bank account, etc. Even as a blogger, I consider myself to be a private person in some ways, and it has been very challenging to have everyone feel free to give their input. Relationships are complicated. Unless you’re one of the people in it, you really don’t need to give your two cents unless they’re requested.

    Blabbering complete. So awesome your girls get to see you both daily. 🙂 Hang in there, lady.

  • UnReel

    Ignore everything and anything that doesn’t reassure, heal, comfort or protect you. If anything, know that the good words and prayers from the people in this community represent only a portion of those who wish you well. Stay in the light, we will stay here with you.

  • pyjamasandtea

    Yeah… you made it into my local paper today, and I’m way up in Canada! It IS weird. But equally weird? Yep, willing to hold your hand and see you and Jon through however it ends up. Of course we don’t know each other, but still… I wish the best for you and yours and I’m grateful you are still writing and sharing. So thank you.

  • lunacydress

    Nothing but love for you, Heather. And Jon. And the kids and the dogs. Whatever ends up happening, your strength is undeniable and your candidness about whatever you’re going through is admirable. <3

  • gillianjames

    I’m reaching out too. From Australia. From the future. I have been where you are and it sucks arse. But you can get though. You are a motherfucking superstar. x x

  • guanny

    hey heather, it’s my first time commenting here. just wanna say that your blog entries have made me laugh and inspired me many many times! thank you for that! so now it’s time for me to reciprocate! even though i’m at the other end of the globe, like the others, my thoughts are with you and we’re an email away! *HUGS*

  • Beverly0903

    Our hands will always be there for you. I was a divorced mom of two boys and would love to tell you about my thoughts….but, they are my thoughts and you have to find your own outcome. It is not easy…..take it slow….you will know what to do…

  • Lizzy

    It’s a known fact that I have freakishly long arms. In fact, I’m positively a knuckle-dragger. All the better to hold your hand from Indiana.
    Be well.

  • Libra

    So many hugs to you and your family. I’m sorry life is a big poop right now. It WILL get better and we’ll be here.

  • SaraB

    Holy shit dude. I never comment…I had to go look up my friggin login and change my password and everything. But I read this and and I cried (I haven’t visited in a couple of days.) I don’t know what to say, “I’m sorry” feels inadequate and “I’m there for you” is weird because we’re strangers. But You’ve always said a lot of things that really resonated with me, and I feel so sad for you right now. I guess just know that I’m one of the multitude who’s offering you moral support, if nothing else… good thoughts your way, be well.

  • dissipate

    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    We’ll hold your hand as long as you need, and after, we’ll still be there if you ever need our hand again.

    Many hugs Heather.

  • TheKitten

    I’m real sorry about your separation and possible impending divorce. I’m thinking of you.

  • mrs_k

    You have more hands than haters. The latter are just obnoxiously attention seeking. Love and light to you every day!

  • MaryLou

    I’m not sure you can begin to imagine how much complete strangers, like me, love you and your family. I wept when I read your post about the separation, said to myself, “WTF, I don’t even know these people!”, then wept some more. Because I do think I know you. Your generosity in sharing your stories, and your humor, mean more than you know when I get home from a long day at work. I’ve been there, and it brought back a lot of memories to read your words. Hold your hand? Hell yes, anytime, anywhere. Just whistle.

  • debramac

    I guess that it is a true commentary about this unique world that we are living in….when I read your initial post I was just sick for 24 hours and could hardly deal with it. I took it harder than my own parents divorce (but then, they really needed to get divorced).

    I’m somewhat empathic and could not figure out why your running, and all that it implied, was freaking me out. It’s still not clear, but more clear.

    Midst the heartache for you and your family, it’s nice that you have the feelings you do about this community and that you can find some comfort here. You really do bring out the best in people; how do you do that when you are at your lowest points I do not quite understand? Wow.

    My very best to you, Jon and the girls. I really hope mommy and daddy get back together. Do you ever have the feeling that all the things in your life happened to help you know how to get through this exact moment? The older I get, the more it happens to me, and I think I can reflect on your posts of the last half a year or so and wonder if that is happening to you.

    I have the feeling that you will be the valedictorian of creating a new kind life for you and your family. And it seems like you and Jon are doing it in the classiest way possible. Probably doesn’t seem that way for you, but if you succeed at remaining in that place, you might be this new kind of example for reinventing family and what it is to be responsible to your children, regardless of the outcome.

    No matter what, Heather, you rock. Seriously.

    Jon, you rock. Leta, you rock. Marlo: u funneeeee.

    Much love and appreciation.

  • Ezza

    My heart is a little broken having read your last two posts. I have a hug for you that comes half way round the world.

    There is nothing more complicated than two fully realised human beings trying to blend their lives together. It’s not anybody’s fault. Love is a journey, not a destination. Listen to your heart and try to learn something. Take your time.

    I sincerely hope the two of you work things out and that it makes you stronger. However, if things don’t work out, the rest of your life is still waiting for you on the other side of the storm.

    Mine was. xx

  • Lucymorris

    A wave of sadness spread over me reading your prior post. As I would for a protagonist in my favourite book, I read and route for you and your family.
    Just know that we support you and wish you all well!

  • ladygray

    as long as you need, Heather. i’ve been here “with you” for years now, and i’m not going anywhere. big love to your family.

  • Victoria_Girl

    For as long as it takes, consider your hand held.

  • momof8

    Holy crap. I can not even imagine being on the national news. Just keep drawing on all of those who are sending you love and support. <3

  • Kimmbberr

    If you need anything, Oregon is just a plane ride away. Bring the girls and dogs on up.

  • one soul

    Just another complete stranger wishing all of you the very, very best.

  • NoLongerEvil

    So much love and strength to you!

  • marigoldy

    Ugh. I felt the same thing when I left my husband a year ago. That if I killed myself, wouldn’t have to go through the torment, heartbreak and, yes, hassle of leaving. But here I am a year later, and things are far from over, but it’s okay, I’m okay, and it’s going to be okay, even if it’s hard.
    I also had him/people telling me I was leaving because of my mental illness (anxiety in my case). It took me years to allow myself to acknowledge that my unhappy marriage and mental illness were concurrent, not the former being a result of the latter, and that was hugely empowering, and ultimately what let me give myself permission to leave. Don’t let anyone tell you that this is your fault because of your depression.
    You are doing the right thing for yourself, for your family, for your girls. So much love. Your blog has been an inspiration to me to let me talk openly with my close friends about my mental illness, thank you.

  • jesterqueen

    Good lord. I can barely negotiate three days without yelling about something. How in the hell have you two negotiated a trial separation? There’s your next book right there. In all seriousness, though, I only wish peace for both of you. Unlike many public personas, your job is not just to be public, but to be accessibly so. Which means that we all weigh in because WE KNOW YOU ARE LISTENING. Which must just make you want to turn off your ears and your website. (Hey! Did you do that SOPA protest thing? That would have been the perfect excuse ;P). That you have not is another measure of your strengths.

  • Laura Jones

    As always, thank-you for sharing. I’m glad things are on the improving side and if things don’t work out between you and Jon, I’m sure the first few years and certainly the girls were worth the life experience. My heart goes out to you for the suffering you’re experiencing now. Remember you’re emotionally stronger than most of us which is why we love to read and be inspired by your success.

  • ClaireinAustin

    Hi Heather. I don’t comment much here, but my heart goes out to you and I want to offer encouragement. I have been through tough times in my marriage, and also separated from my husband. It was a very very difficult time-painful, overwhelming, confusing, frustrating, dark, dark… a crisis on so many levels. It’s even harder with children, I think. My son, who was 6 at the time, also struggled. We ultimately reconciled and things are so much better. But whatever choices you make, know that you will be ok. It takes some time, but there is a continuum, and you will move through it and come out the other side and be ok (even if it doesn’t seem like it right now). I am glad you have support around you, and people to lean on. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, wishing you strength and peace. I hope you will be gentle with yourself, and find all the love, kindness and support you need to see you through.

  • knittygrrrl

    Heather, i’ll hold your hand as long as you need. i’ve been where you are. whoa…it sucks. but walking through it with grace (or at least trying to!) and respect makes it more manageable. putting children first is something many, many people in this situation don’t do. its one of the greatest gift we can give our children…valuing them enough to work with our spouse through all the turmoil to afford them the life we envisioned when we decided to have them.

  • findsfives

    Much love to you Heather. I’ve thought of you so often over the past few days. Thanks for giving us an update, I was worried without hearing from you… Holding you, Jon, Leta, Marlo, Chuck, and Coco in the light.

  • nitebyrd

    Will hold your hand, rub your back, hand you a tissue for as long as it takes.

  • wicked opinion

    The same way you feel about us, we feel about you. You have given so much of yourself to us that it’s just an exhale to give it right back to you. That light you talked about? You shone a light and fed the flames for a hell of a lot of people. And we thank you for that. We love you. In the immortal words of a street whore from a movie, take care of you.

  • smaalkat

    I think you are going to be the valedictorian of getting through this. You and Jon both will.

  • mydogwontbite

    heather, i’ve been reading your blog for ten years. i celebrated when your books came out, i had butterflies waiting in line at your book signing. i knitted marlo a tiny baby hat. you inspired my love for radiohead to the point of obsession. i was ecstatic when you signed up to run a marathon, something i’ve done a bazillion times. the tables were turned and i couldn’t wait to see you do something i’ve done.

    you responded to one of my emails many years ago. you reached out your hand to me, a complete stranger, in the dark and you gave me hope and encouragement.

    you don’t know me like i (imagine to) know you but my hand is here – in the dark, in the light, in the grey tunnel between the two.

    love & light to you.

  • motherhoodontherocks

    I wish I had some words of wisdom, but since I do not, I’ll send a virtual hug. Praying for you and your family. *hugs*

  • mother of monkeys

    your recent posts are causing all of us in the shadows to come out and say, “yes, i read dooce.” it speaks to the testament of tragedy, i think. people wanting to comfort those in need because they need the comfort themselves.

    anyway, just wanted to let you know how much your post touched me, even though i’m in a happy marriage. i think it was your question, “how did things go so wrong?” because i feel like yesterday i was reading an entry about how jon was your rock and you guys were such a team.

    what you’re going through right now must define “suckiness.” but i’m rooting for you guys still. until you guys actually choose the divorce door, i’m rooting for jon + heather. to echo another commentator, remember why you guys got married in the first place. love is still there. fight this.

  • cinddmel

    You’ve been on our minds. Sending much love and strength and peace to you and your family.

  • Tara Newhole

    It’s our pleasure to be here for you! Glad to hear things are slowly starting to fall into their new places for now. It will get a little better every day.
    In the meantime, I have two hands for you to hold! Just pick your favorite one and it’s Yours! 🙂


  • beritelissa

    a million stranger hugs coming atcha

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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