My intense curiosity about the inner workings of relationships has inspired me to write short stories that have now been published into a short story collection, The Hungry Heart Stories by Fran Metzman, Wilderness House Press, 2012. These will be my point of reference.

I’ve written numerous articles about relationships and how to make them better. They can be found on: www.wildriverreview.com/metzman, entitled: The Age of Reasonable Doubt. It is my passion to seek answers to why so many relationships fail. Presently, at least half of all marriages end in divorce, and an even greater percentage of second marriages go down the tubes.

When we find dissatisfaction within a relationship, we must think through the pivotal elements that send us off-kilter. Internal chemistry can draw us to a wrong person – even repetitively.

Would you entrust your life to a doctor when you have a serious illness because your instinct tells you he’s good? Wouldn’t you research the doctor’s credentials – what is his background, where did he go to school and more? Why not be as thorough with romance? It is the opposite of instinctive, but it is imperative to involve our brains along with hearts.

Relationships of all kinds are basic needs to humans – good, bad or indifferent. There is a yearning, whether we are aware of it or not, to fill the emotional chasms that are lacking from our past. Confronting past issues contributes toward making for good present relationships.

As an example, some of the short stories that address this in The Hungry Heart Stories, are:

1) The Invisible Wife, a tale about a woman who lived in the attic of her ex-husband’s home to spy on him and his new wife. 
2) Getting Closer, depicts a mother/daughter in deep conflict where food intersects their lives.
3) In the story, My Inheritance, again a mother/daughter clash has the protagonist desperately wanting to resolve issues from the past as she cares for her dying mother.
4) The protagonist must choose between a previous lover who appears after a long absence and the man who replaced him in the story, Christmas in August.  
5) Food dominated the life of a couple in the, The Right Seasoning, and now the husband must wrestle with grief in order to survive after his beloved wife dies.
6) A once poverty stricken woman hits her stride in her 30’s but realizes the sacrifices she made to get ahead in the story, The Reunion.
7) The Girls from Mapleton, raises the question of how a never discussed, shared childhood trauma impacts three women when they reach adulthood.

Through translating real life into fiction, I am seeking to reveal the secrets of relationships. Seeking the golden grail of romance may require a journey into hell. If we’ve backfilled the trauma of our lives carelessly rather than dealt with them head-on it could lead to bad romantic choices. The chemistry that stems from early childhood along with many social demands (particularly to be married) can veer us off-course. Yes, it means digging into the past and our unconscious, but it is a necessary tough task. And that brings us to why I write edgy stories about human behavior in relationships. I struggle to uncover the elements that drive us all.

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