25 of the most toxic relationships on TV

20 of 25

Photo: CBS

Lucy and Ricky Ricardo

I know. I know. This is one of American’s most iconic couples. Lucky and Ricky are a television institution, but have you ever really looked at how he treated her? I mean, aside from all the silly antics and slap stick comedy, Ricky Ricardo was wildly controlling and condescending.

I guess he thought he was the big shot of the family, having a successful club in New York City because he constantly lorded it over Lucy’s head. It was quite clear that one of her greatest dreams was to be famous, and it would have taken very little for Ricky to make that happen for her.

Instead, he wanted sequestered away in their apartment, vacuuming and doing laundry. They didn’t even have children until much later, so all Lucy was allowed to do was keep house and hang out with best friend Ethel. Ricky made sure Lucy knew her place, and he never allowed her even one guest spot in any of his shows.

When you really think about it, the way he kept Lucy from persuing her dreams, when it would have taken very little effort on his part to help her realize them, was downright cruel. The way he controlled her movements, chose her friends, managed her money and time, and criticized her, makes him an abusive spouse.