Sade has three main things going for her, the way I see it: she's beautiful, she's a terrific homemaker and she is blessed with intuitive insight that is remarkable when compared to any other on the show.
Her other abilities and interests pale greatly to others, such as her education, her speech, her interest in what's going on in the world "and other such trash."
No doubt, Vic likes to look at pretty women. But I won't even address this issue; though Vic is juvenile and silly, he's not shallow, despite his constant ramblings about women who are "heavily veiled and greatly agitated." He does enjoy a good flirt (from Misses di Rienzi, Delacey and Cordova, just to name three.) But this seems to be something he's completely entitled to, since his dear wife (post 1933) is bereft of showing affection.
Could it be that Vic was drawn to Sade for her domestic dominance? Well, it could be. Vic is probably a slob and saw a way to immediately improve his life by having Sade pick up after him. More likely, it was she was a whiz in the kitchen area of the house; perhaps she knew a secret or two about limberschwartz cheese and ways to make it even more engrossing.
However, it occurs to me that Vic loves Sade for she was basically his mother. The physical affection between the two has long gone, there's no child of their own, the cooing Vic does is always done in jest and in a silly voice... Vic never needed a lover -- instead, he needed a mother.
Vic is a child. His playmate was Rush (then later, Russell.) Sade was the one who set the rules and doled out the punishment. While Vic was often "the dad", he rarely played the part (if ever) of the husband. Vic was a child (bang! bang! bang!) trapped in a man's body. His silly sayings, songs, jokes, poems, actions, friends, hats, lodge all prove he was pretty much 14 years old.
Remember the episode Freedom, Last Day of School? Rush comes home, happy that school is over and Summer Vacation has begun. Though Vic has brought home work from the office and wishes not to be disturbed, he can't help himself but to put himself in Rush's place. And he does this with almost everything that happens. Vic's real love is Rush, not Sade.
Yes, Vic loves Sade. But he loves her like a mother. A bit misguided, perhaps, but he loves her, just the same. - Jimbo Mason
Did Vic notice Sade at all? In a first encounter from Vic's perspective, if Sade was flirtatious, it certainly would have drawn him in, but maybe her lack of flirting was the challenge that caused him to pursue her. I think there must have been something more persistent than that. Something, that despite any initial affection or conflict, he saw an ongoing vulnerability that he could step in, and be her protector. Just the kind of valiance that would appeal to Vic.
Generally, from the beginning they recognized a relationship of give and take. One where both brought something to the other, and had just the right needs met by the other. It may not be the thrilling fireworks associated by romance novels, but the right kind that people need to build a life long marriage on.
To figure out what it is about Vic and Sade that drew them together, or to understand the love relationship they have, it has to go beyond the way we see love today.
They don't have a passionate, or emotion-charged love life. Of course, by the time we hear them in the series, they're in the phase of being an "old married couple" and that kind of thing isn't expected to be in the forefront. Still, old married couples have their moments of showing affection, or having a heated argument.
Vic and Sade have moments of conflict, but nothing overly heated. Occasionally, Vic seems to try and initiate a compassionate moment, as in asking Sade for a kiss, or to sit on his lap, but Sade rarely gives Vic the same kind of strokes. She does do the motherly kind of things, and Vic can often be a child enough to complete the set.
Vic doesn't look outside his marriage for satisfaction from another woman, although he stumbles on the flirtations of the girls in the secretarial pool. The compliments always make him giddy, transparent, and blind to the boost in his spirits. Sade can always tell when other women have been flirting, and gets the claws out to put Vic in his place. Sometimes that needs to be done, but Sade either never offers up those same flirtatious compliments, or doesn't understand that Vic might be more immune to outside affections if she did more of it herself.
With all that said in reviewing what their relationship looks like now, what do they see in each other exactly?
Sade is an attractive woman, and Vic is a nice looking man, which always helps. She isn't well-educated, but seems content and very competent in being a homemaker. Her world revolves around running an efficient home, and to have those comforts, you need a good provider. Vic is smart, has a good job, and can bring in the financial resources to keep Sade's efficient home running to her perfection. Though he grew up on a farm, he has now shed all those menial jobs of being self-sufficient. I'll bet he can cook and take care of himself in the home quite well if put to the task, but is content to enjoy the fruits of Sade's homemaking.
The bottom line is they have traits that compliment one another. Where one is weak, the other is strong. Opposites attract, but opposites set the stage for bristling against each other and conflict.
Vic and Sade are also similar enough in their likes and dislikes to help gloss over those rough areas. They both like the same kinds of food, beef punkles. They like playing cards, ice cream, relaxing in the living room after a satisfying day's work.
They both have their social clubs that they enjoy. They don't understand, and even scoff at the activities of the other club, but they respect the others love for that part of their life.
What they have is a comfortable relationship. I think that Vic and Sade see their own kind of comfort in the other.
Some questions that may never be known, but would be interesting to find out. Was there something that sparked it all off? How did they first come to meet each other, and recognize the other had that comfortable thing in them that they needed? I wonder if Sade was at least a little bit flirtatious in the beginning to lure the attention of Vic? - Keith Heltsley Retro Radio Podcast