"I love that woman, I love her more than sharks love blood."
That's how Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) speaks of his beloved wife, Claire (Robin Wright), on Netflix's House of Cards. And even though there are a lot of issues within that marriage, it's very clearly true on both sides: The Underwoods share a love for power that's rivaled only by their affections for one another.
Their admiring looks, their steely stonewalling in public, their nightly cigarettes: They're the ultimate political power couple, and they provide a role model to us all. Frank and Claire Underwood are perfect together.
Of course, there are (spoilers ahead!) infidelity, scheming, threeways (like a real-life president!), murder, potentially closeted homosexuality (remember Frank's college days?) and more issues within the marriage, which leads many to wonder how and why they've stuck together this long — including relationship experts.
Marriage and family therapist Carin Goldstein says, "There is nothing even remotely 'perfect' about it ... and in reality it would still be a gigantic hot mess. These are people who are highly dysfunctional with various addictions (a major one being sex addiction), who take narcissism to a whole other pathological level," Goldstein insists. "Furthermore, this is anything but 'madly in love.' I would like to call it 'madly disturbed.'" Still, Goldstein agrees with us a little, adding, "But there's a saying: 'Birds of a feather flock together,' so I guess they are within the perfect flock."
On the contrary, registered family mediator Jane Warren falls with us on Team Underwood. "As morally bereft as we might judge Frank and Claire to be as they maneuver their way around the politics and power games that they both seem to delight in, our moral judgments don't really illuminate much from a relationship point of view," she noted. "They are who they are and they seem to know each other well and are both open and revealed to each other. They are each other's number one supporter and number one fan. They understand each other. There seems to be a deep love and respect that flows between them. When one of them needs help, the other is there. When one of them needs attention, the other is there. Luckily for both of them, they're generally quite self-sufficient! A marriage built on openness, respect, shared values and mutual priority has a lot going for it." KEEP READING