I found myself in a conversation this weekend with my sister and her boyfriend about "crushes", i.e. who do each of us have crushes on in the movies/music/tv/etc. Don't ask how this silly topic came up, I don't remember. (Wine may have been involved.) But, I will say a light, fun chat turned tense quickly when names started to be named. My sister (who is in a new relationship) became highly annoyed when her boyfriend offered his own crush picks.
My husband and I have been together for ten years now, and we're not bothered by this kind of talk. He got used to me mentioning who I thought was hot a long time ago, lol. He knows that these are simple, fictional crushes. I mean, half the time my crushes are on characters in books, who don't even exist in real life. He's secure in the fact that I love him and want to spend forever with no one else but him. I also don't flinch if he volleys the conversation back by mentioning who he thinks is attractive.
However, I'm starting to realize that this may not be the norm. It reminded me of what I've heard at conferences and online from other writers. I've heard so many writers (especially romance writers) say that they don't let their spouses read their work. When asked why, they usually say that it would be weird or that the the spouse isn't interested in reading it. At first, this shocked me. It had never occurred to me not to let my husband read what I was writing. But now, I'm starting to think that this is a popular sentiment. And thinking through my sister's reaction to the conversation this weekend, I'm beginning to understand where people are coming from.
When your partner reads your story, he can't help hearing your voice in that of the main character. Therefore, if your MC is jonesing for some character that looks/acts/talks nothing like your spouse, then he could start to wonder if that's what you secretly want in real life. Then, if it's a romance and there are loves scenes, well, maybe it's like reading about your partner with someone else. I don't know. I'm theorizing.
Regardless, I've let my husband read my work (including romance with steamy scenes.) He seems to have handled it well, although he did give me a few raised eyebrows. But now, I'm wondering if I'm torturing him in some way. Note to self: ask him : )
So what's your opinion? Do you let your spouse read your writing or do you keep it to yourself? If so, what are your reasons?