“Marriage is hard. It takes work. When you say those vows, you’re making a promise to God to stick to it, even when it gets rough. And it will get rough, but you can get through it if you work together.” This is the advice I gave to all three of my children and their soon-to-be spouses just before they got married.
I’m in the middle of my first story where the hero and heroine are already married and guess what? Just like real life, it is hard! I’m beginning to understand why you don’t see too many romances where the couple has already tied the knot.
In Christian romance, it’s usually boy meets girl, there is some conflict thrown in, then they work things out and live happily ever after. I still need to get to a happy ending in my story, but this couple starts out already in hot water. One of them has already messed up. As a writer, it’s my job to show this in a way that doesn’t have the reader asking for their head on a platter before seeing them redeemed. Like I said, hard.
But I think this type of story is needed. Most of us who read romance are already in a relationship. We need godly examples of what to do when those relationships hit a crisis. We need a portrayal of how to love each other even when it’s hard, so we can find our way back to those good times. Sure, we read for entertainment, but isn’t it a wonderful thing when we come across little nuggets of truth in a story that can help in real life situations?
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you enjoy stories about couples already married? What are your favorites? What aspects of married life would you most like to see depicted in Christian romance?
I wrote this little Christmas novella >Mistletoe Kiss< and fell so in love with the Spencer family, I decided to turn it into a series! The book I’m currently writing is part of this series. If you’d like to know more, grab your free copy today!
Mary Preston says
Stories with married couples can feel more real. No favorites come to mind.
As a single person, I like reading stories where couples have been married and been through things together. Karen Kingsbury has books that have couples like that in them, including her books on the Baxter family. The Tales of the Grace Chapel Inn books had that type of story in some of them, and some of Susan May Warren’s books, like her Deep Haven books, have them, too.
Andrea Boyd says
I love Susan May Warren’s stories! And I’m glad to know that reading about married couples still appeals to single folks.
Yes, reading about married couples is appealing. I read some when I was younger and I think it helped prepare me, as story does of course.
Andrea Boyd says
I can’t remember any books I’ve read where the main characters were already married. I’ve read lots where some of the characters were married. I’d be interested in trying it.
I’d love to read more romance books where the couples are already married. I think the books where couples meet and fall in love are great because they can help us see what a healthy relationship can look like, and what we should do in dating situations. But I agree we could use more books that show the honesty of marriage, that its not all rainbows, but that marriage isn’t something that should be thrown away to divorce lightly.
Andrea Boyd says
Yvonne Cruz says
Married couple stories are always welcomed, especially if they give us “real like” characters. I also enjoy them with older characters
Lila Diller says
Stories with married couples are few and far between. I have read a few, but I don’t remember the titles right now. However, I think it’s important enough to show how hard marriage is after riding off into the sunset that I’m creating my own series that continues the heroine’s love story after the wedding. It is much harder to write, I agree!
The only stories I can think of are those where the married couples are supporting characters, for example I want a marriage like my parents or grandparents who have been married for decades. It would be refreshing as often nowadays marriage is sadly seen as whilst convenient until divorce becomes more convenient.
PS: Thank you for the copy of Mistletoe Kiss!
Andrea Boyd says
I have a particular taste for marriage-of-convenience or Mail-order bride stories (those are mostly historical) because I love to see the couple work out life together. I’ve not read too many contemporary where the couple is already married, but I know I would like them very much.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “We need godly examples of what to do when those relationships hit a crisis. We need a portrayal of how to love each other even when it’s hard”. I really didn’t know the WHY I love these type of stories over ones where the couple fall in love & then get married. But reading that in your post made the light-bulb in my head go on; I do need a godly example for my own marriage when it hits rocky shores and how to love in hard times. Marriage is all about making things work and being in it for the long haul. It’s a lifetime of lessons to learn, overcome, and allow God to make it stronger because of the hard times!
Wow, that just blows my mind. You put it so perfectly & now I know the reason I love these type of stories. I’d love to see more modern day books deal with life AFTER the wedding :-)
Oh, and I also love discovering those little godly truth nuggets in a story. They are the whole reason I read Christian fiction, I need my soul feed and reminders of God’s truth in my own life!
Alicia Haney says
This book sounds like a must read especially for married couples having problems or not having problems. In a marriage both the man and the wife have to put into it 100%, it is not a 50 , 50 marriage it is each person putting in 100% into the marriage. When a couple gets married it is Us, it is not just a Me anymore. Thank you for sharing about your book and for writing on this which will be a big help to a lot of people.
One of our family jokes is that when we got married, God took two strong-willed individuals, aimed them at each other and pulled the triggers! LOL. I think there is so much more material to write about in the context of a marriage relationship. High stakes? Check. Sources of conflict? Check. Longing, hope, fear? Check, check and check. Understanding that a marriage relationship is a strand of 3 cords brings in all the spiritual dynamics as well. Sin from the old nature? Check. Need for forgiveness whether you understand the other’s motivation or not? Big check. Turning on the light bulb that things will never be the same but they can be better? Double big check.
I think your advice to your kids and their fiances is absolutely spot on. I look back on 31 years and all the various trials my wife and I have been through (some going on even now) and know that I would rather be in God’s hands, side by side with my precious partner than facing my life alone, regardless of the cost.
You go, sister. We need to hear it.
I prefer the slow burn of unmarried couples, but I’ll read an already married couple
I have read about married couples and it can be good to see couples struggling with issues and seeing how they work it out. I remember reading one about empty nesters and the struggles after the last child went to college. It was a real struggle but they did come through.
I also like seeing older couples in a book. Not all couples marry young some don’t marry til they are in there 30’s or older. There are some singles reading romance books. I am one of them.
Anne Payne says
I know beyond a doubt this is going to be a great story! Your experience cannot help it but be so. That was probably a convoluted sentence, huh? :)
Andrea Boyd says
You’re speaking my language. I LOVE MOC stories!
I love stories of Christian married couples, especially when they include realistic issues that couples face. I find them to be encouraging and even have discovered tips/ideas for my marriage.