The adulterous cad, Monsieur Rodolphe however, reminded me of something:
But with that critical superiority vested in the man who, in every relationship, holds back something of himself, Rodolphe sensed that in this love there lay further pleasures to be exploited. He reckoned all delicacy irksome. He used her brutishly. He made of her a creature docile and corrupt. Hers was a sort of idiot attachment, full of admiration for him, of pleasure for herself; a beatific drowsiness,; and her soul sank deep into this fuddle, drowning there, shrivelling up...
Madame Bovary's weakness was she deluded herself with literary romances. But then again, so many of us fall in love through the books we read - and suffer for it.
Perhaps Flaubert's book irritates me so much because his characters are so utterly human. It's not a romance, definitely.