Are you addicted to soap opera's? Do you watch them all the time? When your at work do you have TIVO recording them or your VCR? Are you afraid to miss one episode? If you cannot function without knowing if Ethan will divorce and marry Theresa than you may have the soap opera bug.
When I met my wife a few years ago she was watching "Days of our Lives" and "Passions". She soon got me watching them and I got hit by the soap opera bug. Days I am not working I need to get caught up on all the news. I find that I am not alone that many viewers are afraid to miss any episodes.
With all the plots and twists that occur there is never a dull moment. It may take many days for one particular plot to play itself out but we watch anyway. I can't for the life of me figure out why we like the soaps so much. Is it because it mirrors real life or is it because it doesn't and is too far fetched. Whatever the reason millions of viewers watch their favorite soaps on a regular basis.
For the non-working mother maybe this provides and escape from the drudgery of household chores. I believe the fantasy end of it keeps us going. I imagine there are other males who watch like I do when opportunity presents itself. I remember working in an office and some of the people would have the soaps on in the break room.
Working mothers would call friends who are home to get the latest scoop. I know one wife who's husband was injured on the job and had him watch her favorite soap while she was working. If he is not careful he will be hit with the soap opera bug like some of us were.
Have you ever asked anyone to watch it for you? Have you had your kids watch it just so you could get the latest news. I imagine in some households that certain times of the day we can hear VCR's come on to record their favorite soap.
I think one reason the audience is so captivated is because of the many relationships or would be relationships that the soap opera puts into the plot of every show. Viewers just want to see that so and so gets his or her wish to be with their one and only true love.
The greatest wish of every viewer is that their hero's and heroines get to have the love they always wanted. Its the reason they watch over and over.