Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Romance Novels Can Be Bad for Your Marriage

Allright, I'll admit it. I've been temporarily sucked in by the romance bug. After my foray into "The Wedding" by Nicholas Sparks last week, I decided I would read more of his books. The only ones on the shelves at the library I went to Saturday were "The Notebook" and "Message in a Bottle," both of which I already read. I decided on rereading "The Notebook." No denying it is a wonderful story about love succeeding against all odds.

I usually stay away from celebrity gossip, but I was reading recently that Jessica Simpson decided to end her marriage after she read "The Notebook." I'm sure that her marriage was having problems before she read the book, but there is a reason that they call it fiction. Life isn't that ideal, love isn't that simple and clear cut. I know I use fiction as an escape sometimes, to just get lost in a different time and place and soak in a story. But when it starts to make you rethink your relationships and you begin comparing your husband negatively to some Romeo on the pages of a novel, you need to step back for a moment and take stock of what you do have.

It's Valentine's Day, and the whole world is telling us our life should be some romantic dream. My husband has maybe one romantic bone in his body and I think that he used it up when we were dating. My Valentine's Day will not involve candlelight and roses and that is totally OK. Romance is wonderful, but there are other things that matter so much more. When I see him playing with our boys or taking the time to wash the kitchen floor, those are the moments that make me love him. Every night when we kiss good night and say "I love you" before going to sleep, I know that I am where I belong.

For the record, this morning I picked up "At First Sight" by Sparks at a different library (yes, I actually go to three different libraries during the week - Isaac does storytime at two of them and then we go as a family on Saturdays). It is another good story that I am enjoying. But it is just that - a story, and I'll take my real non-romantic marriage over a story any day of the week.

1 comment:

Ashwita said...

I totally agree with you. I know a person who admits she read way too many Mills & Boons in her teenage years, and the expectations of an ideal love eventually wrecked up her marriage. Her husband just never seemed good enough!

From our point of view, he seemed totally loving, dedicated, simple and caring. He was tall, handsome or really rich. And that worked against him!

Btw, since you like romance novels, I wonder if you've read The Bridges of Madison County? Its one of my favourites!