When you hear a husband speak down to his wife or vice versa, you would question whether the couple was happy together. A relationship takes a mutual sense of respect for one another to go along with the love, friendship, and trust that is required to make a relationship successful. In the 1879 Henrik Ibsen play, A Doll's House, and in the 1973 film directed by Patrick Garland, also titled A Doll's House, one can see that the relationship between Torvald Helmer and Nora is anything but successful. They did not have the respect or friendship that is necessary to make their relationship work.
This relationship from hell that Torvald (Anthony Hopkins) and Nora (Claire Bloom) share was not unlike relationships that exist today. Torvald treated Nora as though she had no thoughts or feelings of her own. He treated her as a doll, which he played with and admired. Admiration is wonderful; but, if it is not coupled with respect and love, it is not enough.
Torvald was not alone in his discrepancies, however. Nora contributed to the relationship from hell as well. Trust is another large part of a successful relationship, and Nora did not trust Torvald enough to tell him about the loan that she had arranged, while having to forge her dead father's signature, to finance the trip that got him over his illness. She had lied for many years about the money she had used to pay the loan back. This dishonesty and lack of trust that Nora and Torvald shared is another main reason that their relationship seems like a relationship from hell.
Relationships are never easy. They require hard work, honesty, and love. There is no reason, however, for them to have to turn out like Nora and Torvald's. Had they treated each other with the respect and love that they both deserved, they might have had a match made in heaven instead of the relationship from hell.