'House Of Cards' Frank & Claire Underwood Are The Perfect Couple

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'House Of Cards' Frank Underwood and Claire Underwood (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright)
"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

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Still, Warren says there's a big thing missing from Claire and Frank Underwood's marriage: Steam. The pair has sex often ... just not with one another (unless another guy is around). Wilson says, "What seems to be missing in their relationship is any great sense of desire. Do they actually ever have sex with each other?"

Warren explains, "While Frank is open about his relationship with Zoe (Kate Mara), it also appears to be primarily part of the grand politics and influence game that he is playing." That, she says, is very different from Claire's extramarital relations, which, well, are more about actual lust. "Claire's dalliance with Adam has a different tone," Warren points out. "She's hiding more and more of this. Is this where Claire is turning for the desire that is missing in her relationship with Frank?"

"Vibrant relationships need love and desire. Will the love be enough if the desire gets focused elsewhere?"

Maybe.

"If these two were a real couple, I'd be betting on their relationship — and predicting some significant bumps along the way."

Series creator Beau Willimon explained to USA Today, "What's extraordinary about Frank and Claire is there is deep love and mutual respect, but the way they achieve this is by operating on a completely different set of rules than the rest of us typically do."

Those rules seem to be working, so more power to them. (Because power is exactly what these two sharks love.) Do you think Claire and Frank Underwood exemplify ideal marriage partners? Sound off in the comments!