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Utah blogger Dooce tells readers about her marital separation

Published January 31, 2012 10:58 am

Internet • Heather Armstrong tells readers about split from her Web designer husband.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As one of the country's most popular "mommy bloggers," Salt Lake City's Heather B. Armstrong has been relaying her experiences of family life on Dooce.com for a decade, from being fired from her job to a bout with postpartum depression and raising two children.

Now she has added personal posts about the pain of separating from her husband to that list of topics.

On Tuesday, Armstrong, 36, posted on her blog that she is now separated from her husband, Jon Armstrong, a Web designer who's a partner with her at Armstrong Media, a new-media company.

"I'm sad and devastated, but I'm not sure I've ever been more stable than I am right now," she wrote in the post Tuesday. "No, this is me facing a list of issues that I have neglected, issues that have subsequently settled like dust to the bottom of my soul. And a few weeks of intense running, time spent alone on sidewalks tripping over limitations and physical pain have stirred it all up in a giant, suffocating cloud."

On his own blog, Blurbomat.com, Jon Armstrong confirmed the separation, writing, "I've felt that we were headed in the wrong direction, but I have allowed other issues to block me pushing for the changes. I'm not sure that I have the words to explain the devastation, pain, regret and sorrow I've felt the past couple of months. I've tried. After a very painful holiday season, this is where my life is: away from my kids; away from my wife; away from my dogs."

Heather Armstrong first ignited on the blogsphere in 2002 when she began blogging about her experiences working at a Los Angeles technology startup, which then led to her firing.

Since then, she has been writing about family life, and was at the forefront of a genre of bloggers known as "mommy bloggers," who write about and share their family experiences with other parents online.

Her popularity led to a partnership in 2009 with HGTV in which she contributed to the television network's website and other digital properties.

She also has written two books, It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita, and Things I Learned About My Dad (In Therapy). A third book, Dear Daughter: The Best of the Dear Leta Letters, is scheduled for release in April.

Meanwhile, her husband stated in his blog that he was planning to find another job outside of Armstrong Media as well as find a new place to live in Salt Lake City.

In her posting, Armstrong described the experience of telling her two daughters about the separation.

"They miss their dad in the morning, and I let them feel that emotion without any interference. I have to honor what they are feeling. And then I hug them and tell them that I understand," she wrote to her readers. "Because I do. I understand. I hope you will at least try to and bear with me as I linger a bit underwater."

vince@sltrib.com

Queen of the mommy bloggers?

In a February 2011 story, New York Times writer Lisa Belkin gave Heather Armstrong that title, pointing out her 100,000 daily visitors daily to Dooce.com, as well as her more than 1.5 million Twitter followers. Belkin also noted that Armstrong was the only blogger on a recent Forbes list of the Most Influential Women in Media, which also included Oprah and Tina Brown. In the story, Armstrong wouldn't report her income, but a sales representative for Federated Media, the agency that sells ads for Dooce, estimates that some of the company's most successful bloggers can gross $1 million in annual income.