I'd meant to post about this awhile ago, but I've found it to be very much true: not only does talking to my wife about my stories make them better, but she is my best beta reader and critic.
Actually, she's my only beta reader and critic.
I know, I know; you shouldn't let friends and loved ones read your work because they can't give you an honest, objective opinion. But my wife is able to do exactly that. She says it's because she doesn't really like science fiction.
Yes, I know; that doesn't make much sense, either. Why allow someone who doesn't like the genre you write to look at your work? Because my wife truly is honest and objective.
Let me clarify something, first. My wife likes science fiction, fantasy and most of speculative fiction's nuances--in movie form. She's a bit of a literary snob (I love you!), but if the spec fic short story or novel is written with a literary bent, she can bring herself to enjoy it.
I started out writing literary fiction. While I really didn't know what I was doing way back when, my prose does have a bit of a literary feel to it these days. So when I give my wife a draft of a story to read, she's not entirely put off by it.
And when she's finished with it, the first thing I say to her is: "Tell me what's wrong with my story." She always does. No punches pulled. Just straightforward, loving honesty.
You can't ask for more than that. Especially when it helps sell stories.