I’ve been doing some pondering on this since others have blogged about it. My thoughts are nebulous so maybe this will help clear them up some. Then again, maybe not because my thoughts are always cloudy. The cheating hero seems to be a very big NO NO for many readers of romance – a killer – a wallbager. I’m more in the gray area. I don’t like it when the hero cheats, but there maybe – at times – and if it’s well-written, a case for still liking the book. If the hero is turned inside out, upside down, kisses the underside of the shoes the heroine has walked through dog doodoo in – I can forgive him – Maybe. But in real life, statistics don’t seem to bear this out. I have heard a number of different and credible sources lately say that as many as 80% of couples cheat these days. Now that seems to be extremely high to me, but even if it’s skewered about – the end results would still be sadly way too high. So – what gives? Why is it so loathed in romances, yet common in real life?
Well – I have a theory. It might be crackbrained and completely off the wall – but I think readers of romance novels for the most part fall into the 20% who believe and practice monogamy. And why is that you ask? Well – in an odd sort of way, I think romance novels provide an outlet for us. I mean really – who hasn’t when they have been fighting with their partner like cats and dogs and think to themselves I don’t know if I can live with this person one more day, late at night, in the deepest part of their being, been curious what it might be like with someone else? Is there might be someone out there more sympathetic, more understanding? Not anyone in particular – just someone different who isn’t currently driving them nuts! BUT!!! By reading romance novels, we kind of get a glimpse if you will – of what it might be like. And it’s safe. Because it’s not really us who are the heroines – but we can still identify with the heroine. And the heroes are safe because they aren’t real people. They are just made up. Hasn’t there been a time or two when we have lived vicariously through the couple in a romance book? Enough to get it out of our systems, until we patch things up with our own mates, realize they aren’t really so bad and start liking them again?
Anyway – just a thought in passing.