Richard, Lauren, Maggie
Maggie and Richard were my favorite storyline by far on Falcon Crest, but it was also stressful to watch. It was the only time I've seen a couple where you knew they were madly in love, knew he truly wanted and needed her, wanted to be married to her, but you couldn't trust him and you never knew which way he would bend. I tend to identify with the female characters, so I thought Maggie's position in that marriage was stressful. In order to experience that kind of love, you have to be completely open, vulnerable, and giving, but then you're setting yourself up if your partner really can't be trusted if certain situations come along. Richard never did a good job shutting down other women. He didn't cheat, per se, while married and living with Maggie, but I felt that women would come along and he'd let them think they had a shot, and when they were separated I found his affair with the Melissa lookalike completely sleazy and slimy. Just like I found him getting up and dirty dancing with Melissa while he was with Maggie slimy and sleazy. I like Melissa, but I think Jeff Frelich didn't know where the storytelling boundaries should be where she was concerned with other characters.
Anyway, I know they paired them because David Selby and Susan Sullivan had amazing chemistry together. In terms of the characters, he wanted her because he trusted her, and she sort of represented this totally unconditional love that he'd never had. HOWEVER, looking how their story played, I don't think that marriage ever functioned properly BECAUSE she didn't keep him in check. She wasn't the type. There's no reason a wife should have to be keeping her husband in line; Maggie let people be who they were, but I think this set up for just repeat issues with Richard. A pattern of happiness, tension, stress, relief, happiness, uneasiness, etc.
I have come to believe he really needed an Angela type. Someone just like his mother. Angela didn't mess around. Lauren kind of bored me, and I didn't think Richard was truly in love with her BUT she didn't mess around either. She wasn't irresolute like Maggie could be. She was "You sell your part of Falcon Crest to your mother or we're not getting married." So he did. Yes, Richard was very much reduced by then, having lost Maggie, been in jail, etc. But still, he needed a boss. Lauren was a good woman too (Richard would never have respected a "bad" woman who tried to control him), but she had serious boundaries and limitations. It wasn't as romantic, but I think it would help that marriage survive instead of it lurching from crisis to crisis like Richard and Maggie.