Married and Blogging It!
Photo: Di Bezi Photography
Blogger: Charli Penn
Why did you start blogging? I’ve been a journalist now for 10 years and although I spent nearly half of that time writing about love and relationships for women’s magazines and writing for and editing online publications for women (TheKnot.com, WeddingChannel.com), I rarely saw content for, about, or by black married couples — especially twentysomething ones who weren’t parents just yet. And when I did see things written online about black marriages or black love it was usually more gossip and negativity. It made me sad because it didn’t reflect my relationship, which is healthy and productive. Not a lot of relationship coverage was written for or about couples like us. I felt a void there.
So, when I got married at 28 it became very important for me to write about my experiences in a new marriage that is positive, open, nurturing, and filled with love and respect. I wanted to share with other woman what it’s like to have a positive relationship with a black man, and create an online dialogue between women (married, cohabitating, hoping to be one of the two) about the things we women go through, what marriage is or isn’t to us and for us, and what it really takes to get through it.
Are any subjects off limits?
I’ve given a lot of though to drawling lines when it comes to topics on my blog. For now, I refuse to speak too candidly about our sex life because 1) our families read the blog every day and that can be awkward 2) a true lady never tells and 3) when you open up a topic you allow people to comment and weigh in. That’s something that I don’t think my husband or I want any feedback on and I think if we opened that door we could possible generate problems in our marriage down the line. I’ve also decided not to discuss my in-laws or my family very much in detail. I’m putting my business out there but that doesn’t give me the right to put theirs in the mix too. Also, we come from two VERY different backgrounds and there will always be some tension there (think: socioeconomic, cultural, etc.) and that’s a can of Shyte I’d rather leave on the shelf if you know what I mean.
Has the blog created any tensions or challenges between you?
(Hubby) Gibran and I are all about love and we don’t want to hurt anyone as we explore the love between us, you know? Oh, and as far challenges go: It’s ultimately MY blog about OUR life, so I work very hard at presenting both sides to every story and making sure that my husband has a voice within my voice so that he doesn’t feel like my blog just becomes my online diary for one-sided ranting.