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How What I'm Reading Impacts My Marriage

TheBookWheel By TheBookWheel Published on March 26, 2016

As a voracious reader, I find myself consumed by whatever book I am reading. Horror novels have me sleeping with the lights on, romance novels feeling nostalgic, and marriage-centric stories analyzing my own. I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in this and if you are an avid reader, then reading the following genres likely impacts you in the same way, and I hope your significant other is as understanding as mine. <Begin sarcasm>

Romance Novels

I’m happily married but whenever I read a romance novel, I start thinking if only. If only we had met when his dog pummeled me on a street and our eyes met as he helped me up. If only I came home to a trail of rose petals every day. If only we languished in bed, sharing our deepest darkest secrets, for days on end. The reality is that romance novels aren’t meant to be realistic, but my poor husband can always tell when I’m reading one. I start asking why I didn’t get flowers because it was Wednesday or I start overzealously planning romantic evenings. His least favorite is when I start talking about how we should recreate our first date, which occurred on a beach and is quite problematic because we live in Colorado. If I’m being honest, the romance factor is upped during these periods but I’m fairly certain it’s out of annoyance, not actual romance.

Horror and Suspense Novels

I’m a big baby when it comes to horror novels so I don’t read them often but when I do, I’m definitely sleeping with the lights on. The creak downstairs from my dog innocently pawing his way over to the water bowl is reason enough to hand my husband a blunt object and send him down to defend our home. I can’t sleep with the closet doors open, get out of bed to quadruple-check that the front door is locked, and leave most of the lights in the house on. This is, of course, not the ideal sleeping situation for anyone, and so when I’m too terrified to sleep, my husband pays the price.

Marital Conflict Novels

Books that feature cheating spouses are worse than even romance novels. Rather than have unrealistic expectations, these ones make me ask a lot of irritating questions. Why are you late? Did your other girlfriend steal my red shirt? Are we okay? Now, my husband and I are perfectly happy and I ask these questions in a super-sarcastic tone and don’t actually think he’s having an affair but my bombardment of ridiculous questions, joking or not, can be overwhelming. In one unfortunate incident, I read a book where the cheating husband and my own shared a name and I can assure you that mine urged me, repeatedly, to just finish the dang book already.

True Crime

Have you ever seen your neighbor outside at 2 am and wondered what they were doing? I have, but usually I don’t lose any sleep over it. If, however, I’m reading a book about a real-life serial killer, I will peer out the window and speculate as to whether or not they are drug dealers, hiding a body, or doing some other sinister thing. My neighbors are all actually quite nice, but I live in the suburbs and we all know that the suburbs are filled with the stories of nightmares. As with horror and suspense novels, I’ve woken my husband up to ask why the neighbor was outside (going to work) or to “listen closely” to determine if the whistling from the wind is in fact a kidnapped person screaming from a nearby basement.

Non-Fiction

I read a lot of non-fiction, which means I’m constantly learning new things. These things, of course, must be shared. The problem is that I like to share them one at a time, which means it’s not uncommon for me to text my husband ten times in a row with things that I find interesting that, if we’re being honest, he couldn’t care less about. Naturally, I inform him that if he chooses to check his text messages at work then I’m not to blame, but it is, perhaps, an unfortunate side effect of my learning new things.

Career Advice

As part of my non-fiction reading, I pick up a lot of career-centric novels. You know, how to succeed/make more money/conquer the world type stuff. These are great, in the moment, because I’m always incredibly inspired and know that I am destined for greatness. The problem is that the excitement is short-lived and before long I’m back to my real life, where I have realistic ambitions and only 24 hours in a day. These reads are, I imagine, frustrating for my husband, who sees me get very excited about making my millions as a <insert job here> when we both know that I probably don’t actually want to do that thing in the first place. On the positive side, they do give me some insight into something and I’m almost always left better off as a result, even if it’s not in the way that I expected.

Political and Social Justice

I read a lot of political and social justice books and they equally inspire and frustrate me. What happens when I read these is a combination of non-fiction oversharing, the disappointment left by romance novels, and the inspiration of career advice. Yes, I learn a lot and sometimes the books end on a positive note, but most books that analyze the current state of affairs are depressing. This means I’m ready to become Uncle Sam 2.0 or I want to hide in a cave, but I almost always end up donating to some cause, which can get expensive when you read a lot of them. Thankfully, my husband is onboard with donating to great causes so this one causes little strife but I imagine he wouldn’t mind if I scaled back a little.

So now that you know how the book I’m reading impacts my personal life, I want to know about yours. Does the book you’re reading impact your daily life or habits? 

Allison Hiltz runs the award-winning book review website, The Book Wheel, and founded the international blog roundup event, #30Authors. The Book Wheel has been featured in advertisements in the ... Show More

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