Warning: Fifty Shades of Grey could seriously damage your relationship

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
12:18 PM

I realise that I risk being bound and gagged by a gaggle of angry acolytes for disrespecting their religion, but I really must say that the obsession with 50 Shades of Grey is getting on my nerves.

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I can’t go into a mainstream bookshop without being confronted by a front-of-house display of this lowest common denominator “literature”.

And I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked “has your wife read it yet?” It is always accompanied by a conspiratorial look and a wink, guaranteed to make me blush and bluster.

Some would say that it is just a bit of harmless fun: titillation to add a warm glow to a winter evening. I disagree. I actually believe that literature like this can be corrosive to relationships.

Solid relationships are built on a number of foundations, including mutual respect, trust and fidelity.

That means – to the best of our ability – we should only have eyes, ears and even imagination for the person we have promised to spend our lives with. We should make them feel special, and place them at the centre, not the edge, of our lives.

Forgive my prudery, but when I’m sitting in bed reading about the history of the first world war or something similarly stimulating, I don’t want my wife to be flicking through 50 Shades.

And I very much doubt that she would want me to be reading Mayfair.

The minute that you start reading smutty books, looking at top-shelf magazines or watching X-rated films, it introduces an element of insecurity into a partnership.

It sows a seed of doubt in people’s minds – “he/she says she loves me, but does he/she mean it?” Worse than that, when someone is feeling down about how they look (and who doesn’t at some point in their life?), it is certain to exacerbate any issues.

The same goes for when couples watch TV and one of them tells the other how “hot” a particular celebrity is.

I’ve heard people say: “My husband really fancies so-and-so off the telly” or: “I’ve told him I wish he looked more like whatsisname off the X-Factor”.

It is all apparently harmless in isolation, but it is another drop of acid that corrodes self-confidence and mutual respect.

I think it actually adds up to unfaithfulness, which has many degrees, and is not as simple as a physical act.

It starts somewhere, and it is allowed to take root by the attitude of mind that considers it acceptable to leer at someone other than your significant other.

If you are married, remember the promise that you made to “love and honour” your husband or wife. My memory is not great, but I cannot recall any promise to “leer and lech until mutual mistrust do us part”.

6 comments

  • good grief: "... the attitude of mind that considers it acceptable to leer at someone other than your significant other" see a counseller, Mr Downes, and speak to your wife!

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    martin wallis

    Friday, November 9, 2012

  • Oh and another note, if you think your marriage could be threatened by a book such as 50 Shade, then I perhaps it is in trouble anyway? If your marriage was good this would just be entertainment nothing else!

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    Tigga

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

  • Yet another man who hasn't read the book and judged the book from the rumors from other men or made a sweeping assumption! I am a married lady of 32 years and known my husband for 37, he certainly didn't feel threatened by the books contents. The book is a love story, yes it has sex scenes, but as the story developed, it is clear that the male character, has had an abused childhood and the only way he has been shown love was from a lady who was much older and into the SubDom scene. When a young woman comes into his life unexpectedly, he want her for his sub, but it develops and they find a different way to love together they fall deeply in love and yes still some kinky sex happens, but don't most people experiment? Isn't that the way we keep our relationship fresh and fun? I enjoyed the books, although it could have been written a little better, but that is due the fact the author is new to writing. I hope when the film is release it does it justice. My advice to Mr Downes read the book before you judge and you never know you might learn a thing or two and you never know you may enjoy it!

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    Tigga

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

  • hear hear .. no concerns with regards to my wife reading 50 shades .. she downloaded kindle preview and said "it reads like it was written by a 12 year old with learning-difficulties, i don't think i will bother". i'm man enough for her and her fantasy

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    Tim Will

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • At the end of the day it's a fictional book. Its not a factual guide, and therefore if the relationship in question is stable reading of the book should not matter. It seems you have a hatred of the book, even though you haven't read it. Every fictional book is based on something: sex, war, violence etc. People can be influenced, of course. However you could right a similar to article to this on every single book. May it be about the bad influence it may have on violence, your relationship, your religious views and so on. Lighten up! Its only a book.

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    Localyouth

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

  • Oh and another note, if you think your marriage could be threatened by a book such as 50 Shade, then I perhaps it is in trouble anyway? If your marriage was good this would just be entertainment nothing else!

    Report this comment

    Tigga

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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