TTT: Dysfunctional Couples


Today’s topic was all about romance, since Top Ten Tuesday fell on Valentine’s Day. And while most of the topics are probably positive takes on love, my little dark soul decided to take a different train. I got inspiration to focus on unhealthy relationship after reading Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller. Man, that marriage was a mess.

Out of all the books I’ve read, these are my top ten dysfunctional relationships in literature. Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤


1 Nick and Amy Dunne from Gone Girl

Starting with the mother of all dysfunctional marriages, Nick and Amy. The whole of Gone Girl is pretty much dedicated to how crazy this duo is, and the ending feels oddly… right? I would check out both the book and the movie, as they are equally brilliant.


2 Tom and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby

I went back and forth on whether Daisy had a more dysfunctional relationship with Jay Gatsby or Tom, and then I remembered that Tom is her husband. Weirdly, by the end of the novel we see that Daisy and Tom deserve each other, because they are both terrible people.


3 David and Norah Henry from The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

Most of the other couples started out dysfunctional, but I don’t know if that’s the case for this couple. But after David Henry makes a horrible, and quite frankly immoral decision, this rest of the novel sees the slow descent of their marriage.


4 Edgar Allan and Virginia Poe from Mrs. Poe

I wasn’t a huge fan of this book, but I believe one aspect the author nailed was the creepy marriage of Edgar Allan Poe to his cousin, Virginia Clemm. I know first cousin marriage was common in the 19th century, but that on top of her being 13 when they married… too much Ewwwww.


5 Ernest and Hadley Hemingway from The Paris Wife

Poor Hadley. Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage was already walking on thin ice, and then Hadley makes a mistake that destroys the trust the two have with each other. Dysfunctionality follows.


6 Jack and Wendy Torrance from The Shining

Long before these two went to take care of the Overlook Hotel, their marriage had problems. The book and the movie give different reasons for it, but both lead to Jack going after his family.


7 Sookie and Bill (or Erik, or…) from Sookie Stackhouse Novels

I know everyone has their own ‘ship’ they were rooting for, but let’s be honest, Sookie doesn’t have the best luck with men. They all have some major issues.


8 Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from Twilight Series

I won’t go into a rant, the damaging relationship between Edward and Bella has been covered at length on the internet. This couple still deserves a spot on my list because this mess of a relationship is still shaping YA and NA. (*coughcough*FiftyShadesOfGray*coughcough*)


9 Yeong-hye and Mr. Cheong from The Vegetarian

The marriage between these two characters is only focused on for a ⅓ of the book, but it was enough to break my heart. Mr. Cheong is just… gross, and the way he treated Yeong-hye broke my heart.


10 Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights

Let’s be honest, these two are intense, and also pretty horrid people. I know people read this as a great romantic classic, but not this lady. I find the characters interesting, but their obsessive love doesn’t care who it tramples over.


16 thoughts on “TTT: Dysfunctional Couples

  1. Absolutely love your choice of topic, it is so interesting to see someone write about the more fucked up couples in literature. More people should. So happy to see Bella & Edward on your list, the romanticising of their truly dysfunctional relationship is so disturbing. Amy & Nick have to be the most fucked up couple, completely fascinating to watch it all unravel though.

    Liked by 1 person

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