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Lessons in French
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What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

Created: 10/17/14

Replies: 16

Posted Oct. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter? Do you believe at the end that Lydia and Clarence are ultimately solid despite it all? Or have they undermined one another beyond repair?


Posted Oct. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I think this type of marriage is not too unusual. I have seen this several times. When you are with this type of couple you are left rather speechless sometimes by the things they say to each other but then very shortly you see them interacting in ways that leave no doubt that they care deeply for each other. I think this marriage will survive and go on much the same because for all their problems they really do need and care for each other.


Posted Oct. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I've been around couples who bicker constantly, and it is not a pleasant experience. I don't know that their marriages thrive, but they seem to stay together. I think it's a habit for them to talk like that. Also, they have never been around any other way of behaving.


Posted Oct. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 114

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RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

Absolutely. Even though I never understood why their marriages worked, I have known couples who bicker all the time and stay together forever. They sure aren't a lot of fun to spend time with!


Posted Oct. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 163

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RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

Lydia and Clarence are in a power struggle. Both seem compelled to "win" the marriage, and they do that by making the other partner to the relationship lose, hence the constant put-downs. Not fun to listen to - or read about.


Posted Oct. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurat

Join Date: 10/21/14

Posts: 3

RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I know couples very similar to Lydia and Clarence. Lydia and Clarence are both very intelligent and driven people. Clarence taking a sabbatical seems to disrupt the balance somewhat. Lydia delights in downplaying the importance of Clarence's book to Kate but asks Kate not to mention the conversation with Clarence. To me it almost makes the 'put down' harsher since it's a 'secret' Kate must keep.


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 75

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RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I'm sure there are many couples similar to Lydia and Clarence. This is their way of communicating and it works best with a third party in the middle of it like Kate. It is a dance they do, passing notes to each other and putting each other down as well as praising each other and pretending it is all a secret.


Posted Oct. 23, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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Miznanner

Join Date: 01/19/13

Posts: 20

RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

As a couples therapist, it is not at all unusual to see a couple like Lydia and Clarence in my office. Often they do not last in therapy simply because their comfort level with they style of communication is stronger than the discomfort of changing. As we all know, habits, no matter how dysfunctional or damaging, can be very difficult to break- and their way of being together has become a habit. Sadly, often there is a child that plays the third party role of balancing their dyad.


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Posted Oct. 24, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
francinee

Join Date: 07/25/14

Posts: 14

RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

Lydia and Clarence seem to have a relationship based upon co-dependency. Each of them seem unsure of themselves and need to bicker with a "safe person" to vent about feeling inadequate. Working in different rooms and sending notes via Katherine shows a
willingness to hurt the one you love. I think they will stay together because change is difficult so relationships often carry on as usual.


Posted Oct. 26, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 262

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RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I have know couples like Lydia and Clarence. These couples seem to get a greater pay off by staying in the marriage than by getting out of it. I agree with some of the others that said there is a type of co-dependency that binds them together. While they both appear to be strong, focused people, I think there must be a considerable amount of self doubt in each of them. In some weird way, they are each other's biggest admirer yet neither one of them seems to really want the other to reach their goal


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jillf

Join Date: 07/30/13

Posts: 19

RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I have met couples who seem to have this type of relationship and it be very uncomfortable to be around them. Often, it's very hard not to get drawn into their dynamic. While they seem to be dependent on one another, there doesn't seem to be a lot of respect or admiration between them. Lydia, in particular, seemed to spend a great deal of time making Clarence look and feel inadequate. The way that Lydia used Kate to shuffle messages back and forth highlighted this dysfunction.


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LindaB.

Join Date: 06/11/14

Posts: 59

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RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I agree that it seemed really odd to have Clarence and Lydia sending notes back and forth to each other!


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LindaB.

Join Date: 06/11/14

Posts: 59

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RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I have known couples like this and wonder why they stay together. It is really difficult for others to be around them.


Posted Oct. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Hulananni

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 42

RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I don't think notes written on paper and delivered by an intermediary constitute banter.


Posted Nov. 05, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Krystal

Join Date: 08/14/14

Posts: 6

RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I've seen couples like this and don't understand how they stay together. They can't be happy in that kind of relationship. On the other hand, I guess that banter is their form of communicating with each other however destructive it may be.


Posted Nov. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sooz

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 35

RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

I do know a couple who greatly resemble Lydia and Clarence. We affectionately refer to them as the Bickersons! As they have now been married for 55 yrs. and I'm sure will continue to stay married, I'm fairly certain that marriages like this can and do survive somehow but agree with others that it can be difficult to be around them when they begin insulting each other or becoming angry with one another.


Posted Nov. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
heatherf

Join Date: 11/13/14

Posts: 17

RE: What is your perception of Lydia and Clarence's marriage? Do you know couples who seem to thrive on destructive banter?

Sometimes the communication doesn't mean the same thing to us as it means to them. This is their "thing" and once you understand that, it does not seem so troublesome. Bantering is not the same as verbally abusing one another and shouldn't be confused. My husband and I banter. But couple who are intentionally mean and hurtful are different.


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