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Serge and Monica Bielanko

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Monica Bielanko was born and raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who once went to see an unknown band from Philly and married the guitar player a few weeks later. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Along the way they have practiced and perfected the dark arts of couch dining, clandestine boozing, bambino wrangling, wide-open domestic warfare, and modern love. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. In addition to Babble Voices, Monica is featured on Strollerderby and Pregnancy.

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Down the Road Is How I Love You (Video)

By Monica Bielanko |

This thing of ours.

The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.

-Henny Youngman

She Said: We made this video a month ago as this was all happening and then decided not to share it until we had processed what was going on and had a better handle on the situation.

Instead we made this video. The girly-girl in me would like you to know that’s why I’m wearing the same shirt two videos in a row — the videos were recorded on the same day.

As you can imagine, it’s pretty awkward to make a video about your marriage when it ain’t going so well. However, our decision to separate felt like a positive step. Instead of living in turmoil, we were finally addressing what was going on and yet we didn’t feel uncomfortable sharing that with you guys … yet. Needing some space and perspective isn’t something to be embarrassed about. Doing nothing about problems in your marriage isn’t going to help anybody.

So we took a breather, regained our perspective and are about to start therapy.

Click here to read Serge’s perspective and watch the video

Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.

-Mae West

He Said: Some people dream of temporary escape likes dinosaurs dream about waking up from a really bad dream. They watch a little TV, a little Travel Channel, and they figure that they would be happy if they could just get themselves on to the sparkling beaches of this far-flung island, or that one. Some people take a couple hard swigs on an airplane bottle of Anthony Bourdain, and they think that their happiness is waiting for them, across the ocean, in a remote village where goats are pretty important.

Some get to thinking: “If I could just manage to get to Paris in the springtime, just once in my life, to drink that local wine, to stroll the Champs Elysees at twilight, to simply breathe true life again for a couple of weeks … (sigh) … I just KNOW I could find myself once more.”

But, for as long as I can remember, probably since ’bout three hours after we said our “I dos,” my wife  Monica has had a different vacation in mind. She’s been jonesing, for all of our years together so far, to take a big jet plane deep into her own head. The poor girl, she’s been asking me to go out of the house or the apartment for a while, to let her breath/give her “some space” at least once every couple months since the day we met.

Sadly for her though, I pretty much ignore everyone and everything anyone says. So, I missed the signals; the proverbial airfare tickets with my name on them sitting on the coffeemaker every damn morning? I just moved them aside without a glance, so I could get to the sugar.

But then, a month or so ago, I caught the whiff of something burning and I happened to notice smoke streaming out of my wife’s ear holes and nose, and so I finally took the plunge and left. I didn’t want to either. It made me terribly sad. But, listen … people want a private beach sometimes, huh? They want to wake up in a wildly different land, where the morning sun streaks in to some strange-ass room and everything old is new again.

So I went. And I think it did some good.

But now I’m back, and there is work to be done, yo.

Follow Serge and Monica on Facebook to catch the next He Said/She Said video!

Also on He Said/She Said:

25 Things about Serge Bielanko (From His Wife’s Perspective)

25 Little Known Facts about ‘The Girl Who’ Monica Bielanko

No Sleep Since Brooklyn

More on Babble

About Monica Bielanko


Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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58 thoughts on “Down the Road Is How I Love You (Video)

  1. Kat says:

    I agree that it is so easy to be lazy. It’s easy to be reactive instead of proactive. Good luck to you both, wherever your journey takes you.

  2. Abby says:

    Here is to you, For your family. For you love. For fighting for your marriage any way you see fit, and being brave enough to tell all of us about it. Because you are not the only one who has been here and there are others who will come later. I am rooting for you from my own little corner with my own little family that is hard sometimes. And I know there are a million more like me, who think you are doing a good job, a great thing fighting for your love of each other. Here is to you.

  3. Dona says:

    Both of you, get to therapy and then get part time jobs so you have some away time from both the kids and each other. While it might sound heavenly to work together from home and be with the kids 24/7 its still work, and kids, and marriage and too much togetherness. Hell I get itchy when my husband is home for the weekend; come Monday I’m ready to see him hop on his bike for his commute to work. I get a little peace and quiet and I can do my thing. I’ve been married for 35 years, my kids are grown and gone. You’d think by now we’d learn to enjoy each other a bit more, and we have, we have. Marriage is just a hard gig that nobody really tells you before you tie the knot. I was 20 when I married and I hadn’t know my husband more than a year — but we just had to get married. He finished grad school and we got married the next week. Not that it was a mistake, but really, 20 years old — I didn’t know anything and yet I thought I knew everything. Now I tell my kids NOT to get married until they’re at least 30 -35. They’ve got a whole lifetime to be married and have kids. I don’t even encourage kids or grand kids even though I’d enjoy them, but once you have kids its a whole other set of relationship problems …… and guilt….and giving it one more try “for the kids sake”. My kids both live with their significant others and have for a long time. I personally don’t care if they ever get married — its not the marriage ritual or the signed nuptials making every thing legal that keep two people together anyway. Dig deep, work on your marriage and know that its probably never gonna be perfect because we’re not perfect people. But it can be a good thing — it just takes work, being vulnerable, being honest, and most of all be respectful of the person you chose to marry and have kids with. There is a reason you picked Serge — think about it.

  4. GreenInOC says:

    Am I crazy – I don’t see a video on this page?

  5. beth says:

    I don’t see the video either

  6. Heather says:

    I don’t see the video either and I agree with Dona.
    Thinking of you both.

  7. Spicy Sister says:

    I never comment, but just had to here. My husband and I have been married almost 10 years. At Christmas, some well worn roads we’d been traveling with one another led us into a huge breakdown in our marriage. We lived in separate homes for a week, on separate floors of the house for two months. We started weekly 2 hour therapy appts together. (and individual therapy too) We owe a ridiculous amount on our credit card almost entirely for therapy. BUT it is working. We are FINALLY finding the marriage I think each of us dreamed possible but simply couldn’t make happen all on our own. I have worked harder for this than almost anything in my life. And it is worth it. I can so identify with having a hard time being vulnerable, with needing that space., with not knowing how to reach out and connect, especially after spending a whole day doing nothing but connecting with a little one. So proud of you guys for fighting and working hard on this. Find a GOOD therapist, do the work, you will NEVER regret it. And you will have one hell of a story to share with your kids one day, about how you fought for each other, for your family, and how marriage is HARD! Sending so many good wishes your way, and patience and strength, and space to grow. Blessings on the journey.

  8. Kristin says:

    Good for you guys. It’s clear you’re both committed to making this thing work and you still have everything going for you. I think it’s hard when you come from families in which the parents fought like hell and divorced. Where’s your role model if that’s what you knew as a kid? My husband and I both come from families in which our parents have really good relationships and pretty much never fought. Disagreed? Yes. Got an edge in their voices when discussing something? Yes. Yelled at each other? No. I can think of only one time and it was so, unbelievably unpleasant for my brothers and me. Made a HUGE impression — and that’s 30 years ago. I can still recite their fight pretty much word-for-word. The impact of witnessing that everyday or every week is something I can’t even imagine. I think it is about tools, Monica. You guys need some tools. And someone working outside the home would be good too. You can’t fight over who changed the last diaper if you’re not both there all the time! Best of luck to both of you. You are totally doing the right thing here!

  9. Teresa says:

    I just said to my mom today that being married was so hard. I hope everything works out for you guys, whatever that means.

  10. Paul Murff says:

    No-one ever crossed this ocean in a boat that didn’t leak.

  11. Jill says:

    Thinking of you guys, Violet and Henry.

  12. JenC says:

    Marriage is tough work and its easy to get lazy (though I like to call it complacent). Plus, no matter how much you love or respect someone, there are going to be times when they drive you freaking crazy. I understand. I think time apart is a good thing, regular time apart every day is a good thing, time together without children is a great thing. I hope it works out for you guys.

  13. Wendy P. says:

    We coasted for 21 long, happy years and just this past January, everything went to sh*t. Whenever someone said marriage was hard, I couldn’t relate, but I can now. It’s really hard and I’ve only thought that for 3 months. Every day seems like such a struggle.

  14. kathy Buehler says:

    I’ve been worried about you two for weeks now. Sensed an underlying currant in your posts. Really, really hoping that you work things out for all 4 of you. I think you are extremely brave in sharing. Peace to you both!

  15. Alexandra says:

    Much love to all of you. Agree with everything both of you say. Before I got married, I thought anyone who said marriage is hard work was married to the wrong person. Now I can throw that on the pile of all the stupid crap I ever believed, that life experience has taught me differently. (A pretty big pile, also what with all my pre-kid parenting judgements.)

  16. GreenInOC says:

    I wish you honesty, vulnerability, the ability to listen, humor and lust as you work through this!

  17. Meg W. says:

    Gosh you both are so concise and clear with your thoughts! I wish I could sort my feelings as well… you are so right about everything you say. If I had any advice to give, which I am truly no one to be giving any but whatever, it would be to maybe keep these videos up… even if its just for you two to watch. Maybe getting in front of the camera and recording your thoughts works for you.. what comes out is so raw and honest and open, and maybe its a lot harder to be that when you are talking to each other.

    I am really hoping things work out and I am inspired by your will to try therapy and to fight for your marriage.

    And if any of your commenters decide to be a “dick”… well we know thats just them being lazy so they can suck it. You two stay focused on you.

  18. Karen says:

    Thanks for sharing the video… wow~wee. I respect your struggle, and hope, so very much, that you’re on your way to The Way you want to live as a couple/family. Getting a little perspective, and then deciding upon therapy for a little guidance, is the perfect way to take those first steps.

    I’m really rooting for you two— together, if tha’ts where you end up, or apart. Every Thing will be All Right. ~peace~

  19. Zoë says:

    I am pulling for you both. I only know you through your blogs, but you two have a special and deep connection, and such a strong love and respect for each other (you do, I swear. It just jumps out at me). Even if you can’t live together, that love will always be there. Wishing you all the very best.

  20. Lindsey says:

    Oh, how I hope you find your way. I’m a real Team Bielanko fan!

  21. stella says:

    Marriage is hard work, yo. So hard sometimes. So proud of both of you and glad that you have the courage to share with all of us. I know that you will gain a lot from some therapy and we just send you lots of love and support.

  22. cetta says:

    Both of you working from home,
    with 2 little kids…moving across the country, then the housefire? Of course you’re both feeling off-kilter and need space. I’m glad you’re willing to work for your marriage. I think you need to give it a fighting chance. So many life-altering changes…don’t make another one in haste.

  23. Cassie says:

    You know, it’s okay. Everyone has been through this. I divorced my high school sweetheart and remarried him a year later. But that year apart…it was a year of growth and experiences we needed to put it back together and really appreciate what we had.

    You two were meant (MEANT!) to be a family.


  24. Amanda says:

    So many times, I wonder why my husband and I can’t get back “to how we used to be” but the truth is, nothing is the same as it used to be. I’ve heard a favorite songwriter say that as he’s gotten older, he’s realized that you aren’t just the person you are now, but there’s also the childhood you, the young adult you, the you from five years ago, all riding in the car with the person you are now as the driver. So here’s to both of you finding your new way to be together.

  25. Jennifer Lehr says:

    couples therapy— 3 years, every other week for double sessions— was THE GREATEST thing i ever did for myself and my relationship. i was ill-equipped to be a partner who knows how to listen and share and be respectful. and it was hard to learn. but so worth it. i learned i had a real fear of intimacy. and why. and that we had a ton of issues around money. and sex. and that sex problems are really symptoms of other problems. and i wrote a memoir about it: ILL-EQUIPPED FOR A LIFE OF SEX because i hadn’t read a book that showed me what couples therapy was REALLY like. you sound like you’re on a great path.

  26. Lila says:

    no video…

  27. Marty Coleman, The Napkin Dad says:

    I hope the best for you both together and for you both alone. Here are the drawings from my Marriage series of a few weeks ago. They will make you smile and that will help, no matter what else happens.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I wish you the best working things out together. A HUGE thank you for being open and honest about this. As some one has been through marital hell I am so grateful to have bloggers actually be open about this topic. Its funny how so many parent bloggers will be incredibly open about all the challenges they have with their kids but act like their marriages are incredible. I always wonder if things are as rosy as they make it seem and it is really consoling to know that others struggle, go through hard times, make mistakes, and work hard to fix things in their marriages too. You guys are brave and I really hope you both end up in a good place.

  29. Jessica says:

    I think there’s something to be said about the age of your kids and the toll it plays on your marriage too. Our two oldest (we have three) are 13 months apart (pokes fork in eyeball) and for the first four years, oof. Just oof. Our marriage took a HAMMERING. Our kids aren’t much older now, just 10 months, 5 and 6, but it has made all the difference in the world for the two of us. We also did counseling (which, maybe we just had the wrong counselor, but didn’t work for us) and ultimately ended up getting some live-in help (i went back to work to pay for said live-in help) and it changed everything. There was so much pressure on the two of us as a couple, and individually, from having two young kids that it was hard to see the forest through the trees. The constant neediness, noise, dependence, etc. from the littles left us NOTHING for each other. Boof. Soo hard. I’m glad you’re getting help. I’m glad you’re fighting. You both are so great. Best to your family.

  30. The K Spot says:

    Please RE-READ the story of how the two of you met and how your love began on Monica’s website…..You guys!!!!!!! I took 3 hours out of my work day to read how it all began and how it all turned out! I stopped working JUST to finish reading your story….risking unemployment, risking discovery, JUST to read your love story. It was one of the most compelling, riveting, engaging insight into some of the greatest passion and true, honest and meaningful living two people could have ever experienced.

    If you no longer love each other…then it’s time to move on….if you cannot be generous towards each other or kind….end it….But you need to start remembering that you have to be generous with each other first – to be the example of great love for your kids…Having kids creates the division of labor and can really stress your relationship……But they are also the greatest example of your relationship and love and all the promise that tomorrow holds for every one of you in that family. There’s still a lot of love to go around…find it again…Big hugs and best of luck to you both.

    The K Spot

  31. SJP says:

    My husband and I have been together for 16 years, married for 14. It’s WORK. We have four little kids which have brought joy and stress at the same time. My husband works from home and I work outside the home. When I was on maternity leave each time (18 weeks) and we were in the house 24/7 I thought for sure we were on the path to disaster. Then I’d go back to work and a healthy balance would come back. I agree with others who say you’ve got to change up your situation of having you both working from home full time. Too much togetherness is NOT a good thing.

  32. Utah L says:

    If the therapist takes sides, get a different one. We’ve had more friends get divorced after going to a bad one.

    Been fighting the fight for 36 years, and we pour our gutts out to each other when the going gets bad. That seems to be the wake up call that brings action, but it is sooo easy to be lazy and slip back into bad habits.

    Having a close friend to vent to once and a while doesn’t hurt either !

  33. Hanni says:

    The first 7-10 years are TOUGH, and throw kids in there and it’s so much tougher. Kids are the greatest joy and the greatest stressor(s) at the same time – parenthood tires you out and every time your spouse doesn’t change that diaper, it’s ammunition! But I really think you guys will get through this. From all that I’ve read/seen in your writings, you’re both wonderful, attentive parents. Now you just have to learn to be wonderful, respectful, attentive spouses, too…and you can do it! The two “little you-s” are the best motivation you can have. And you love each other, which is a HUGE part of the puzzle…

    PS One thing that has really helped me over the years is to think of the positive things about my husband and my life when I go to bed at night…and maybe you don’t go for all of the new-agey bs, but a positive frame of mind can do wonders!

  34. Marie says:

    I concur on the “get out of the house” sentiment. I go to school online (full time, in a very rigorous program, so it’s school about 8-10 hours a day all 7 days a week) and until I started getting out of the house I was not a pleasant person to live with. Being away from home makes you appreciate it more, and it helps define who has childcare duties more clearly so there’s less petty stuff to argue about (keeps it in perspective). We also have tried to set up a list of what job things are which person’s task (ie it’s my week to cook, or it’s the spouse’s, etc) and then we try to nose out of the other person’s process at doing the jobs so as to keep the details from obscuring whatever is going on emotionally between us. I’d also say that kid stress really takes a toll. Our kiddo is now 4 and we didn’t feel like we did much in the way of having a relationship but survive until she was about 3 or a little older, so with the two young ones, just coping with child rearing is a lot of work and exhausting. For now, I’m thankful that we take separate vacations (me for school things, spouse for conferences) so we have some space to consider why we’re in this relationship anyway. Best of luck sorting it all out!

  35. Maiken says:

    Thank you both for sharing!

  36. A says:

    I hope you guys can work it out. We’re rooting for you, I think you’re meant to be together, and can get through this. You’ve had a tough year, I am sure once you move back into your old home, things will start getting better. Thanks for sharing so honestly.

  37. Melissa H says:

    I just want to encourage you both – I don’t comment often but read you both regularly. 13 years ago, I met my husband on a Friday and left traveling with him on a Monday – we were married with a baby with in the first year. 4 kids, and 11 years of marriage later – we are in the middle of the most beautifully painful year of our marriage. A year ago, I was certain we were headed for divorce. Thankfully, my husband wouldn’t give up that easily and our God loves us very, very much and listened to our prayers. (Don’t stop reading there! I’m not a Kirk Cameron kinda gal! tee hee) We finally headed to therapy. And let me tell you, it was THE BEST thing we could’ve done. I had never seen a therapist before and despite living in 2012, I thought we were just too smart for that and it was a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Now, I think all couples need it! We carry so much of our past around with us that it effects so many areas of our current. So, it’s been wicked hard, but it’s also been beautiful because we have started to heal from wounds we didn’t even know were still open. You CAN do this! Don’t give up! Much love and hope for you both.

  38. Caroline says:

    I have not yet seen the video but I do truly hope that therapy and a bit of time apart has helped you realise that your marriage is worth saving. Thing is, you DID get married quickly (so? Lots of people do and there is a popular theory that says that couples who are together for too long, especially if they live together, tend to get divorced), and you are right in the trenches of parenting two small, demanding children. Also, you lost your home in a fire very recently. All these things make hard work of a marriage, and it would be a huge, huge shame to lose all the love you have for what is essentially a long, tough spell.So good that therapy is going to be tried, those guys and girls know a thing or two, and I hope that any idea of more babies will be put on a ”maybe in 6-12 months” backburner. Get your happiness back, get a clear way forward and it will all fall into place. Best of luck…

  39. Beatrix says:

    I truly hope the two of you work out your problems and stay married. However, there is something destructively disingenuous about writing or making videos for this column about the lighthearted humorous perils of marriage. Treating issues such as seperate bedrooms of the lack of sexual intimacy in a marriage are complete different if the couple is seriously questioning staying together. To pretend you are just the average couple with everyday
    problems isn’t fair to your loyal readers. You don’t have to tell us everything
    but don’t pretend everything is fine either. Or don’t share at all. I don’t know
    if having a column about marriage when you are questioning your own is the best thing for anyone.

    Before anyone jumps on me for having a contrary view, I want to say that I truly hope your marriage succeeds. I just din’t believe it is fair to use your audience for accolades when you don’t acknowledge that your marriage was at a more critical stage than you had written about.

    1. Serge Bielanko says:

      Beatrix – Huh? That’s basically like saying that the only people who should ever talk about baseball are the homerun hitters who never strike out. And there aren’t many of them. If you feel slighted, then you must have been looking for a fairy tale. Which we ain’t.


  40. fahrenheit says:

    deep inside, i was hoping this would never be the case with you two… but now it is… and the best you can do is take it from here…

    i don’t believe in therapy. therapy may be good for people who cannot think right, but the two of you…? you can think right… right? :-)

    you can look at the situation and know (if you could only be entirely honest and forget about political correctness) what is wrong…
    therapy will make you think a certain way… it will make you see certain things that you may have not thought about… but ultimately, therapy will make you be (at least partially) what you are not. so, if you are ready to become therapy-enhanced versions of yourselves, then it may help you… but if not… if you are the strong individuals i think you are, i don’t believe it will… the best that it may do is to mask your deeply personal feelings in favor of more altruistic perspectives… it will force you to consider a happiness that applies to what you may become, but not to what you have always been…

    listen, it’s not rocket science, you know… it all comes down to the level of compromise you are willing to accept.
    ideally, your dreams and your thoughts should perfectly align… they don’t appear to… but have you even defined your dreams? could you even do that? i mean, what is it that you want to accomplish in this life? and how are your spouse’s expectations (and/or family obligations) precluding you from getting there?

    and then there is violet… and then there is henry… and how they would ultimately be impacted by a split… or by the continuation of a potentially uncertain marriage…

    there is too much to think about and you will not be able to cover it all… in the end, all of the questions will boil down to one: how much are you willing to compromise your current dreams in order to offer your family what they think they need?

    …and the answer is not exact… because things change and things fluctuate… dreams, too… in twenty years you may realize that – for example – your dream, your mission, has all along been to ensure that you have prepared two children the best you could for this life… because all the marah concerts and all the blogging fame don’t even come close to that… or you may figure out that writing beautiful songs or writing books was what you had to give to this world all along…

    you cannot prepare for the future – unless you are willing to accept that anything can happen… and that is why, every day, we (have to) tackle the present to the best we can, the way we presently are…

    good luck…
    and, remember… “it’s not hard to grow / when you know that you just don’t know”…
    (damien rice – cannonball ––IMkX4)

  41. wendy says:

    I have told my husband that if we could have afforded it, I would have wanted one of us to move out for a little while this winter. We had gotten to a hard place and some physical distance might have helped. We too have to work to get to and stay in the “good” places. It’s a wonderful payoff though. good luck to you.

  42. Jean says:

    Beatrix, did you read the sentence Monica wrote, “Needing some space and perspective isn’t something to be embarrassed about”? I only wish more people had the sense to process and digest their thoughts before blurting them out for all the world. Given the tremendous respect they have for each other and their relationship, of course they’d want to tread cautiously. I think it’s awfully unfair and inaccurate to accuse them of “us[ing] your audience for accolades” — their blogs were never about seeking praise, they were about communicating their experiences authentically. Just because they took a little time to think about what they’re feeling doesn’t mean they were being misleading or dishonest in any way.

    Monica and Serge, I think almost every married couple out there can relate deeply to what you’re going through. Thank you for sharing, it’s so brave of you guys and I so appreciate it. Just reading through some of the wise, articulate and thoughtful comments above made me realize how much we all have in common. In my experience, nothing feels as lonely or isolating as when you’re struggling through a rough patch with your partner, so it’s a really really good time to realize we all go through it. Much luck and love to you both, count me as another fan of Team Bielanko! p.s. hell yes on the need for physical time/space apart during the day.

  43. MonicaBielanko says:

    @ Beatrix – You must’ve watched the wrong commercial about us because if there is one thing we have never been disingenuous about it’s anything regarding our marriage. We have been honest and open about everything. And no, treating issues like lack of sex and separate bedrooms with a sense of humor makes no difference whether we’re doing well or verging on divorce. These issues are very real, honest parts of our marriage and thank God we can have a sense of humor about them. Maybe you’ve just been introduced to us via Babble, but I’ve been writing openly about our marriage for seven years on my personal blog and my “loyal readers” you mention are well aware of our struggles, nobody ever “pretended” anything is fine. Marriage isn’t black and white. Some days are awesome and some days suck ass. We aren’t pretending we’re the average couple, I believe we ARE the average couple. If the “average” couple you’re looking for is the perfect husband and wife sharing the beauty of their amazing marriage then this is obviously the wrong place for you. Also, this column was never meant to be only about marriage. It’s called He Said/She Said because it’s two peoples’ perspectives about parenting, love, life, marriage, divorce, separation, whatever. All of it. And to suggest we’re “using our audience for accolades” is absurd. I was terrified of posting this video. If you’ve witnessed any other blogger be open about separation or divorce then you must be aware they get dragged through the ringer.

    I have no agenda here. I’m just sharing my life as it happens, man, and I never pretended to be an expert about anything. If you take something away from something I write – awesome. If you don’t that’s cool too.


  44. [...] Serge and Monica decided to seperate (Babble) Rot13.write("Lbh pna ernpu guvf cbfg'f nhgube, Xbn Orpx, ba gjvggre be ivn r-znvy ng [...]

  45. Anon says:

    I totally get what Beatrice is saying. I kinda agree. But mommy bloggers love that shit. One day they are bragging about how awesome they are at mothering in their unique style and how revolutionary and perfect it is. The next day they are complaining how hard motherhood is or how hard it is to parent the way they have chosen.

    Except that you can’t dump your kid or ask for a seperation. Basically, no one tells the truth. They write the article they think will get good hits or good press. It’s why I don’t read momoirs either.

  46. Beatrix says:

    “We aren’t pretending we’re the average couple, I believe we ARE the average couple”

    The average couple isn’t making videos about how the key to keeping their marriage together is sleeping in seperate beds when they are currently living apart.

    I am sorry that my take on your last month of your posting is something you both disagree about. I sincerely wish you both well and will not continue to comment on this anymore. You certainly have enough supporters giving you the support you are seeking.

  47. Monica Bielanko says:

    @Beatrix – Life is all about the perspective with which you view something and if this is your perspective of us it’s certainly valid whether or not I agree with what you’re saying. I was just trying to give you a better context with which to frame us as you don’t seem familiar with us as a couple or what our column here on Babble Voices is about. We spent a month living apart and seven years living together, so the video about separate bedrooms is certainly valid as we’ve struggled with it for our entire marriage. If you watched that video you’d realize we don’t tout separate beds as the “key to keeping our marriage together” we simply mull over the question of whether it’s a good or bad thing within a marriage. Thanks for stopping by…

  48. stacey says:

    sending positive thoughts your way… why did my eyes start tearing up when I read this post?

  49. Sue Lowy says:

    Monica is a groupie skank and Serge constantly looks like he needs a bath. Those “issues” might be a great place to start when attempting to fix your Costa Concordia of a marriage.

    1. Serge Bielanko says:

      Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. I may be nasty looking and kind of musty, I’ll give you that. But since when is being a “groupie skank” a bad thing? This is America. And groupie skanks have played a huge important part in a lot of American Dreams, I’ll tell you that much.


  50. MonicaBielanko says:

    Groupie skank? Awww… Sue! That’s so sweet! You obviously read our love story wherein I banged Serge the first night I met him. Couldn’t help it. Love me a sweaty, dirty rock’n'roller. 7 years later he keeps the beard because he knows mama likey. Thanks for stopping by and offering your thoughts Sue!

  51. MonicaBielanko says:

    @Serge – Right? She says “groupie skank” like it’s a bad thing.

    1. Serge Bielanko says:

      @Monica- Thanks for saying that I’m not all that nasty looking. Jeez-o-man.

  52. Allana Harkin says:

    And just like that you remember why you fell in love in the first place. Now I feel like doing shots. Anyone? Anyone?

  53. Koukla says:

    First, Serge, I just love this sentence and the thought behind it because I can so relate, “Some people take a couple hard swigs on an airplane bottle of Anthony Bourdain, and they think that their happiness is waiting for them, across the ocean, in a remote village where goats are pretty important.” So trying to live in the present, so thanks for the reminder.
    Second, for what it’s worth, there is NOTHING wrong with two bedrooms. If neither of you get good sleep, then nothing goes well after that.
    Third, for what it’s worth, I’ve been told by a well-regarded astrologer that we recommit to our relationships every 7 years and for some time leading up to that point of recommitment, times can be tumultuous. I only mention this because this has been, in fact, my experience. We’re going on 14 years and going into year 7 and into year 14 were both beotches and a half, with hubby even moving out for a very short time, which was helpful. As you know, there is nothing wrong with some time away.
    Finally, thanks for being so open as most of us just muddle and suffer through in silence. As a long-time follower, sending you all good wishes from afar!

  54. Sue says:

    I have to agree with so many others here that some time apart is good in a marriage, whether it be due to work situations, different interests or whatever. By the same token, time spent together and working together toward common goals is also necessary to keep the marriage bond going, or so it has been in my experience. As one who didn’t know my husband an entire year when we married 26 years ago this month, and then getting pregnant (a surprise) within the first year of marriage and a planned pregnancy three years later, (and three moves along the way), I don’t even remember what it was like to date my husband or be without kids.

    I was a stay-at-home mom when my children were young, and although I relished that role and it holds some of my fondest memories of early marriage and motherhood, I also remember some majorly fights with my husband about distribution of household chores, who’s watching the kids, who should get up in the middle of the night, ad nauseum. The sleep deprivation and stress level of having little needy ones that you adore but also want some time away from once in awhile adds guilt to the mix. Hard, hard times in a marriage. Sex can easily take a back seat at this point due to sheer exhaustion (and occasional resentment, I might add!) and our sex life definitely suffered in those early years. At times we sought counseling because we knew we loved each other and didn’t want those daily stresses to ruin what we knew underneath was a good relationship. We are not perfect, but we still love and respect each other all these years later.

    But we also didn’t have a major traumatic event to get through like you guys did with your house fire to add additional stress and emotional turmoil to the mix. I can’t imagine losing everything as you did, and in such a short time, got back on your feet, found a new place, continued writing, added more writing/videos, all the while held it together for the kids. You guys have barely had time to process through your grief. Anyone would suffer some depression under the circumstances, and coming right after your move, right after a baby, right after both of you changing jobs….wow–it makes my head spin thinking of all that added stress! That’s what I suspect is the numbness you feel, Monica.

    You both are to be commended for looking at this with a fresh set of eyes and an open mind and heart. I hope you like your counselor, and if you don’t–find another one that both of you feel good about because unfortunately, there are some duds out there. My fingers are crossed, I am sending positive thoughts, and I have great hope that you will preserve the love that brought you together seven years ago, even in the midst of some very trying times.

  55. Guajolote says:

    I’m at work, I can’t read all the comments. But marriage counseling is awesome!! And being parents of small kids is hard. You can do it but I totally encourage you to talk to a third party. Totally worth the money! We went for years, pre-kids, and really got a lot out of it.

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