I’m so happy with how my previous All I Want for Christmas is… post turned out. It generated a great amount of discussion and I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who enjoys a darker reality in fiction with unhappy endings.
Today I wanted to talk about something I want that’s a little more positive!
I’m sick of so many books portraying marriages in a bad light! I understand that not all marriages are happy and successful, but it feels like the vast majority of fictional couples have marital issues. Of course, I can only speak for the kind of books that I read – crime, thriller, horror etc and in something like a romance book, I’m sure there are far happier relationships…
Like I said, I do read a lot of crime fiction and obviously “the husband did it” is a popular cliche, but even when the husband or partner didn’t do it, the author has to create a motive for them anyway. This motive tends to fall into the infidelity category and I hate it!
There’s a sickening trend in society at the moment about cheating and having “side chicks”. This theme is becoming normalised online and I dread to think how it’s warping young minds. Why is this idea of cheating on your partner becoming so common and acceptable? I absolutely hate the thought of cheating – to think of my partner emotionally or physically giving himself to another person is the closest I’ve ever come to feeling heartbreak. For this reason, I hate reading books where a partner is cheating because I’m such an empathetic person, the emotions all become too much for me.
Another popular marital issue present in fiction is lying. No one is perfect, everyone tells little white lies every once in a while, but fictional couples keep the biggest secrets from each other! A secret child, a gambling addiction, an alcohol problem and on and on it goes. I can’t know what goes on in everyone’s marriages but I’d like to think most couples are honest with each other.
I wish more crime authors would write supportive and happy marriages into their books rather than the depressing falling-out-of-love couples that we get instead! For me and other younger readers, it feels like a warning against marital commitment and I don’t like that message at all. Marriages will go through their ups-and-downs but I think mostly they’re far happier than what fiction portrays them to be.
Whew, rant over! This was a fun one to write about because I feel so passionately about it!
How do you feel about marriages in fiction?