Is your partnership in danger of being a House of Cards Relationship?

In the House of Cards American hit television series, husband Francis Underwood’s ruthless ambition has taken him to great political heights. With wife Claire successful and supportive in her own right.

There is a price to be paid unfortunately!

Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood in House of Cards.
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood in House of Cards.

At one time this was a passionate meeting of hearts. Sadly as Francis’s need to win at any cost (Boy nothing will stand in his way!) makes them the ultimate power couple externally.

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All is not well in Claire and Francis’s marriage. It really is a House of Cards.

Whereas Claire has sacrificed her needs in service of her desire for power also. This childless couple fostered their careers, which has become the baby to be nurtured and developed. Meantime their relationship founders.

Both partners have become lonely. So much so they have found lovers. But even this distraction does not fulfil their needs. Somewhere along they way they lost each other. There is a fantastic episode where you see the house the first owned, with flowers and it looked like a home – their humble beginnings. Very different to living in the White House as the President of the United States of America

Now of course this House of Cards is a fictional television series, well worth viewing. And the characters portrayed are flawed characters to the extreme in this intense drama series. I am certainly not suggesting your marriage or personal situation is similar to the Underwood’s.

in House of Cards. Wife of Francis Underwood, President of the USA in the TV series.
Robin Wright – Claire Underwood in House of Cards. Wife of Francis Underwood, President of the USA in the TV series.

The House of Cards relationship is really a metaphor for the instability of what appears to be the perfect partnership. A really strong gust of wind will blow that tower over in a millisecond.

This partnership is characterized by its inner workings. What began, as a loving match of two, over time turns into a husband and wife team great at the practical matters, functioning as business team.

People will often admire this marriage from the outside, as they see two people working side by side, looing like a co-creation partnership. Usually this couple is a great parenting team, ferrying children to sports, dance and all manner of activity, running a household, finically secure and to all appearances successful.

In this relationship style each partner has a sense of the fragility of the relationship. It is the elephant in the room as they just get on with getting on. The foundation laid at the beginnings with good times and dating, has not progressed into a sound structure to withhold the inevitable crisis in any relationship.

This couple bonded together as a pair. But struggles when children are introduced in the mix. Often with Mum (or Dad) finding their love and attention needs being met by the kids. Dad (or Mum) feeling on the outer of this emotional bond either directs their needs into productivity and shifts his focus further into work, sport, or problems with another person or addiction to address this emptiness.

Both recognise on some level each others desires and adult needs are not being met but communication and vulnerability are generally avoided for safer topics of parenting, holidays or investments and such.

No emotional risks are taken, or if one partner attempt to reach out they do it in a manner doomed to fail, with anger, ultimatums, repeated criticisms, seeking solutions, demands and other ineffective immature communication practices.

This leads to the escalating fights. Where both stand wary and further drives a wedge in their partnership. The trade off is silent stagnation.

The secret to addressing the House of Cards relationship is to get really honest and be open to change. You need to really shift you’re Axx in gear as my dear Mum would say. And really hear your partner, listen to understand without defending, solution finding and see how it is for them, and give empathy. Share honestly your feelings with I statements and without accusation or blame.

Healing can happen with effort. If you recognise your insecurity is affecting your self worth, and your relationship. Take steps to deal with it.

If you can acknowledge your relationship as a House of Cards Series, don’t wait for nature to take its course.

Share your love, repair you
Share your love, repair your relationship today.

Take affirmative action and learn how to express your needs and desires and work with your partner to understand their heartfelt concerns and work together as friends building the structure of House of Care.

Start putting your relationship as the priority. The kids will thank you, work will improve, and your happiness will grow in your partners glow.

Is the House of Cards Relationship something you can identify with?

Perhaps you recognize the red flags?  Or possibly you now see it looking back after a loss. Please share your thoughts, comments and insights. I will respond.

Thank you and good luck!

Philipa

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