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Matthew and Robin
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4 Posts
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10/14/2018 - 5:10 pm

I always thought that Matthew stayed with Robin because he was in love with the Robin before the rape and couldn't understand that something like rape changes people.

I also agree that Matthew and Sarah are better suited for each other: both are people who crave and love attention and want to be the centre of the universe. He wants a Barbie and she a Ken.

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10/14/2018 - 1:41 pm

riverlynn said
My analysis as to why he stayed with her, I think Matthew quietly ENJOYS being the much superior one than Robin. So he can boast his achievements and sneer at Robin's career and competence level whenever he likes. In housewarming party at Lethal White, Robin wishes to wear the green dress to stand out, then Matthew asks her to wear the bland grey dress. It probably bcs he knows Strike gave it to her and he's jealous, but it's also probable that he doesn't want her to stand out I think: "The expression on Matthew's face when she had excitedly shown him the gift (green dress) had prevented her ever wearing it". Later that night, Sarah showed up with Tom in their rented house wearing "shocking pink" dress.

The main problem become apparent in their argument in chapter 55 of Lethal White when she decides to leave and she shouts to Matthew, "You liked it when I dropped out of uni, you liked me being stuck at home, why can't you admit it? Sarah Shadlock at uni and me underachieving back in Masham". In my opinion, Matthew didn't choose Sarah Shadlock because he doesn't like having a partner who is the same level or higher level than he is. But turns out he ends up clicked with Sarah better, so when Robin frustrates him, he finds it more comfortable to talk with Sarah.

As for Robin said "I was falling out of love with you before the rape! you weren't interested in anything I was doing..But afterwards you were so sweet, so kind...you seemed like the safest man in the world". For Matthew, Robin is much more fragile after the rape. After long distance relationship (as told in Career of Evil), Robin comes back from Masham, Matthew comes back to Robin (after the affair with Sarah in uni years, because he actually doesn't really care about Robin being raped), to lead Robin, acting affectionately, and become much more superior than her because of her psychological condition and fragility. That's why Robin said "we wouldn't be here, now, but for the rape". That's my theory.  

Excellent analysis!

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Natalie
6
10/14/2018 - 7:01 am

" he and Sarah were actually perfect for each other, two materialistic rather shallow people, but in their own way a dream coupling. While of course I cannot stand Matthew, I could perfectly understand how he ended up falling into someone else's arms."--- responding to this- I think Matthew can't stand losing. Now that Robin is losing attraction and interest in him-which he must sense--to CS, then he will dig in harder because he can't lose.

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10/13/2018 - 3:04 pm

My analysis as to why he stayed with her, I think Matthew quietly ENJOYS being the much superior one than Robin. So he can boast his achievements and sneer at Robin's career and competence level whenever he likes. In housewarming party at Lethal White, Robin wishes to wear the green dress to stand out, then Matthew asks her to wear the bland grey dress. It probably bcs he knows Strike gave it to her and he's jealous, but it's also probable that he doesn't want her to stand out I think: "The expression on Matthew's face when she had excitedly shown him the gift (green dress) had prevented her ever wearing it". Later that night, Sarah showed up with Tom in their rented house wearing "shocking pink" dress.

The main problem become apparent in their argument in chapter 55 of Lethal White when she decides to leave and she shouts to Matthew, "You liked it when I dropped out of uni, you liked me being stuck at home, why can't you admit it? Sarah Shadlock at uni and me underachieving back in Masham". In my opinion, Matthew didn't choose Sarah Shadlock because he doesn't like having a partner who is the same level or higher level than he is. But turns out he ends up clicked with Sarah better, so when Robin frustrates him, he finds it more comfortable to talk with Sarah.

As for Robin said "I was falling out of love with you before the rape! you weren't interested in anything I was doing..But afterwards you were so sweet, so kind...you seemed like the safest man in the world". For Matthew, Robin is much more fragile after the rape. After long distance relationship (as told in Career of Evil), Robin comes back from Masham, Matthew comes back to Robin (after the affair with Sarah in uni years, because he actually doesn't really care about Robin being raped), to lead Robin, acting affectionately, and become much more superior than her because of her psychological condition and fragility. That's why Robin said "we wouldn't be here, now, but for the rape". That's my theory.

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10/13/2018 - 11:03 am

I also can't get why they stayed together. Honestly, I think it just had to be this way so that Rowling can keep up the unresolved sexual tension between Robin and Strike for more than a year.

But if we stay within the frameworks of the book, my explanation would be that despite everything, Matthew was in love with Robin in his own way. Maybe he loved the old Robin, maybe he loved the mental image he formed about Robin (which was incorrect), or maybe for some reason he projected to Robin his (rather awful) idea of a perfect woman...

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10/12/2018 - 9:47 pm

novelwriter08 said
What I don't understand is why Matthew is holding on to Robin so tightly. Yes, she's beautiful but she seems like the exact opposite of what Matthew wants in a significant other.

He wants someone to be reliant on him, someone who looks good and has a 'respectable' job. He wants to be part of a beautiful couple who each have predictable (boring) jobs. He wants Sarah Shadlock.

For Robin, he's the one who was (as far as she knew) there for her during the worst time of her life. And, obviously, she felt like she owed it to everyone to stay with him. It must be hard to throw away 9+ years of a relationship. I can understand his appeal to her for that reason but I really don't understand why he wanted her so much.

Clearly their sex life wasn't fulfilling because he turned to Sarah. Why stay?  

The only part about Matthew and Sarah's story that I didn't get was the fact that they had come to a decision to end it and he was returning to Robin. Why....... he and Sarah were actually perfect for each other, two materialistic rather shallow people, but in their own way a dream coupling. While of course I cannot stand Matthew, I could perfectly understand how he ended up falling into someone else's arms. From the day of the wedding he had no marriage and he knew it. If anything I would have though his relationship with Sarah would only have strengthened as he realised the futility of his own relationship with Robin and all his comfort and emotional support was coming from Sarah. I wonder if somewhere by the end of book 5 we hear that Matthew and Sarah have reunited and decided to build a life together. It would make perfect sense.

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Joanne
2
10/12/2018 - 7:18 pm

I think Matthew is all about living on the surface and worried only about projecting the right image to the world. Money and position and having the right type of wife who blends and projects well on him. He thought because of her trauma from the rape and her need afterwards for stability, that she would always remain like that so he could mold her to play that perfect passive wife. She would be someone who others would find impressive but who would never upstage him or go outside the acceptable lines set by his social set.

He wanted the perfect Barbie to play the part to his perfect Ken. Maybe he stayed with Robin, rather than marry Sarah, was simply because Sarah wasn't as pretty Robin and since the wife reflects on himself--he needed the best looking to hold that position.

Matthew also seemed incapable of accepting that Robin no longer was willing once she got started to get out from under his thumb, to bend to his constant emotional back mail and play the part he wanted her to play.

One of the worse aspects of their relationship was how he was always a negative to any positive forward movement by Robin's in her own quest to be all she could be.

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10/12/2018 - 2:51 pm

What I don't understand is why Matthew is holding on to Robin so tightly. Yes, she's beautiful but she seems like the exact opposite of what Matthew wants in a significant other.

He wants someone to be reliant on him, someone who looks good and has a 'respectable' job. He wants to be part of a beautiful couple who each have predictable (boring) jobs. He wants Sarah Shadlock.

For Robin, he's the one who was (as far as she knew) there for her during the worst time of her life. And, obviously, she felt like she owed it to everyone to stay with him. It must be hard to throw away 9+ years of a relationship. I can understand his appeal to her for that reason but I really don't understand why he wanted her so much.

Clearly their sex life wasn't fulfilling because he turned to Sarah. Why stay?

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