I am a fan of the Ruth Galloway mystery series written by Elly Griffiths. I am about to talk about two of the characters in the book, so there will be a little spoiler about them, but I am not going to divulge anything about the mysteries or cases or whatever.

The main character is obviously Ruth Galloway. RG is a forensic archaeologist and University lecturer. DCI Nelson is the requisite police friend that every mystery series seems to have. Also true to course, RG and Nelson have a wicked sexual chemistry.

Nelson is married.

RG and Nelson conceive a child together.

Nelson stays with his gorgeous wife.

Through the course of thirteen novels RG and Nelson are attracted to one another and occasionally succumb to desires.

So what are we going to discuss today?

In real life, are there circumstances where two people are just drawn to one another? Or is this just a convenient way to add depth and texture to a book?

We will ask the soul mate question yet again- do they exist and if you find yours, should you forsake all else and just be with them?

As readers, are we supposed to root for the illicit lovers, or are we supposed to want them to stay with their present partners and forget about “the one”?

Griffiths includes much canoodling in this particular series. Upon reading the last novel, I can already see the threads of having a different character cheat on their spouse (actually, now that I’m thinking about it, there’s more than one character heading in that direction) Cheating on your partner is probably more prevalent than murder in these novels.

In these books, the person most likely to start the illicit relationship is the female character. Are we supposed to feel that the women are empowered because they are the initiators because they are doing what feels right for them? Or are we labeling them home wrecker and having them wear a big A on their chest?

Pick any, or all, of these options and give me your feelings.

Discuss…

added note: if you are a regular reader, you will know that I posted a blog about connecting idea dots…

Consider my post about WAP the first dot…

Now consider this post the second dot…

There will be a third dot, and probably a fourth dot…

48 thoughts on “Meant to Be?

    1. It’s such a common thread in this particular series. I wonder why the author does it. Does she want us to believe in soul mates? Or is she just anti monogamy? Or pro female empowerment? I’m not sure why she chose this path

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  1. Ugh, such a sore subject for me. It would be easy to label women who are with married men homewreckers. But I don’t necessarily believe it applies to every circumstance. Of course, I would never condone cheating because the reality is we all have a choice in ending one relationship before we start another.

    At the same time, my personal belief is that women are more sensitive to feeling wanted. And I think there’s a sense of power in knowing she is wanted, even though the man is married or in another relationship. As if she has some type of special magnetism that can pull him away from another.

    Doing what “feels” right doesn’t always mean it is right. Feelings change. They aren’t always reliable and quite honestly, can be very deceptive.

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    1. It’s a very complex subject, and it seems that so much of contemporary fiction aimed towards a female audience is using the affair as a trope almost. I’m trying to understand why this is so. I totally get your point of a woman just wanting to be “wanted” and therefore not caring about collateral damage. I’m wondering about art imitating life. Still thinking this one over

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  2. I guess this younger generation has the solution. Live in your own place, don’t get married, have a good friend/companion, but don’t be committed. The new way is having FREEDOM, not being tied down. Then no one can say that man or woman is being unfaithful.

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      1. Oh sure, people are falling in love. I think it is more like Goldie Hawn’s relations with Kurt Russell. They’ve been together 37 years. There is something nice about being committed to someone, but “feeling” like you have your freedom, which you really don’t want. It’s all in the mind. 🙂

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      2. Ok…I know you won’t immediately get this, but consider your comments dot 3. But, it’s all in the mind. But what if the mind of person A is enticed by an outside party. Will B (partner of A) be upset if A cheats?

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  3. When I was a freshman in college, I had a crush on a coworker/editor (my superior but not my direct boss) who was married. A wonderful friend who was more worldly than I said, “never date a married man.” It was the most important thing I learned that year and I’ve stuck with it. I know plenty of people who don’t live by this *rule* but it’s served me well.
    As I mentioned on another post of yours, I’m in a relatively new wonderful relationship. I would never consider being with a married man and I never cheated when I was married. For me, trust is essential.

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  4. I am firmly in the mindset of if you feel the need to be with someone while you are with someone else (or the someone you want to be with is with someone else), you shouldn’t do that in any way unless you’ve ended all entanglements first. Now, there are arguments for those in open relationships that don’t apply here as long as everyone knows what is going on and are in agreement. I do not see any scenario in which it is okay to betray a commitment to another person. Sure, I believe that there are people you can connect strongly with, though I don’t believe in the whole “only one” ideal, but that doesn’t excuse lying and cheating. That smacks of wanting your cake and eating it too. And, no, I don’t see the unmarried person as being a homewrecker. They are both equally guilty in this scenario because both should be of sound mind and able to make their own choices. No one forced them, so they are both on the hook for the blame. I avoid books where cheating is a theme for the main characters because it is pretty much a guarantee I’m not going to like the characters because of it.

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    1. I’m just wondering what the future will hold for relationships. Will we come to a point where people don’t get married because they don’t want to be committed? I’m still connecting dots to this one, which is why I wanted to run this idea from this book up the flagpole. Are we normalizing non monogamous partnerships? I’m not sure. But I’m still thinking this out

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  5. I’m not a reader of those books, but what does the “beautiful wife” think about all this cheating (call it what it is as long as he’s married)? And what about the child? Was it conceived before or after he was married? Does he have any say in it’s upbringing? Doesn’t the “beautiful wife” want to strangle both of them now and again? Does she have some special reason to stay married to a man who apparently blatantly flashes this other relationship in her face? So many ‘what abouts’…..

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    1. Beautiful wife had an affair and thought her third child could have been a product if the affair. Guy does have a relationship with the child. It’s all very bizarre 31st century family logic. But that’s just what made me want to write about this. Is this going to be the new norm?is it going to be what every individual wants is greater than the collective? Is this some sort if women’s empowerment statement? I could go a variety of ways with my thoughts on this.

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  6. Having been in a situation where I was the one cheated on, I can tell you that I took a long time to trust anyone, especially women friends ( the person who cheated with my fiance was my best friend). You can’t have it both ways, buck up and admit that you want someone else!
    On a different point extra marital affairs seem to dominate English crime shows.

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  7. There are repercussions for any decision we ever make, they can take years to manifest, but they will make themselves known. I don’t believe novels cover this aspect of the affair, so when it appears intriguing, it’s actually damaging to all concerned. My thoughts…C

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    1. I just wonder if novels are illuminating evolving thoughts on monogamy and the family structure typical in first world nations…wondering on bot a macro and micro level

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      1. Monogamy may have been easier when life expectancy was like 45? Penicillins altered this aspect of relationships forever so to speak. Is it possible to stay monogamous physically and emotionally for like 50 plus years? I have to noodle on that one. C

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      2. That’s what I’m wondering. Though I know monogamy is possible, is it likely? Or for that matter good? Is there still a stigma with some people regarding divorce? There are so many levels that I’m thinking about this.

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      3. Divorce is so common I think that stigma is fading, but there are repercussions, and usually the children bear the brunt of that situation. The other consideration is sexually transmitted diseases, some are not only deadly, but incurable. Another level. C

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  8. Everyone deserves to love and be loved, if the marriage can’t provide for this basic need, it’s no good for anyone including the children. Too bad we can’t figure this out before we create life together? It’s complicated. C

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      1. I believe that, I’ve been married for 37 years, we’ve had our share of hardship and frustration, I’ve wanted to throw in the towel at times, so has he, but somehow we stuck it out, and I can see how I would have regretted giving up. And I’ve come to believe weathering the storms has made our union all the stronger. C

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  9. Honestly I won’t read books where that is the main theme because I feel like it’s being promoted as normal . Yes we all probably feel tempted by a certain type of person but it’s up to us to make sure we do not spend alone time with those people if we can control ourselves. Men and women . But I’m old fashioned and believe in being faithful and also I’m way too familiar with this story line. Not me but too many friends of mine have accidentally fallen into affairs that could’ve been prevented. Let’s face it , people give in too easily .

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  10. I’m not sure I agree that the women are the ones who most often pursue this type of relationship. Did Ruth? I don’t really remember it that way. Anyway, in general, I tend to pull for “couples” who seem to be soul mates to get together, no matter who is married and to whom. Nelson and Michelle seem to have little in common except their children and years together. Ruth and Nelson are drawn to each other for inexplicable reasons except that’s the way it is. I like that idea and believe that’s the way it often is in real life. That being said, I am totally against “fooling around with” others just for the sex or excitement. I am also against actively hurting your spouse and lying to them without a care. This series manages to get around all that by having Nelson and Ruth seldom getting together and mainly longing for each other from afar:)

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    1. Well, Judy and cathbad….Michelle and the police guy…I don’t think the men can be considered aggressors in either of those. Did you read the new one, a Lantern Men?

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      1. With Judy I felt like she’s leaning that way. The book talked so much about that relationship, more than I thought normal, which is another thing that gave me pause. It’s funny because she paints Clough as such a bad boy, but he might have the healthiest partnership

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  11. Our marriage counselor told us that the exciting, thrilling part of a relationship in its beginnings is just infatuation and puppy love. She said … well, I could go on for an entire session about her experiences and education regarding love and marriage. I think she’s absolutely right and that people who cheat on their spouse need to not.

    I do not like romances.

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