DEAR ABBY: I'm happily married to the man of my dreams. We met after I had gone through a particularly difficult breakup, and I often credit him with "saving" me. We've been together 15 years and have two beautiful children.
While we both have professional careers, I also write romance novels as a hobby and side business. With every book authors write, a tiny part of their lives sneaks into their characters, storyline, etc. When my husband reads my novels -- as he does often -- he becomes sullen, withdrawn and angry. He can't seem to understand that 99 percent of what I've written is fiction. He's convinced that everything I write is somehow linked to an old boyfriend or actual events.
This is causing hurt feelings and resentment from both of us. Should I give up writing, or should he learn to deal with it? -- HAPPILY EVER AFTER
DEAR HAPPILY EVER AFTER: It's a fact that talented writers have active fantasy lives. Authors who come to mind would be Mary Shelley, who created "Frankenstein," Anne Rice and her vampires, E.L. James, who shared her S and M fantasies with the world -- and countless male authors including John le Carre, Daniel Defoe and William Shakespeare. (Obviously, Ian Fleming did not do everything that his character, James Bond, did.)
Ideally, your husband -- the man of your dreams -- should be able to tell you if something bothers him without sulking. And if he trusts you, he should be able to accept that what you are writing is fiction. If that's not the case, rather than your giving up writing, your husband should quit reading your books.