Speaking to Variety, Kieran Culkin, who plays Roman, confirmed that Grace was never Roman’s wife, just a girlfriend he had who happened to have a daughter herself. The actor explained that he “was excited about the idea of having a kid,” but that the decision to keep him single gave the writers “more freedom to play with the character.” Culkin also commented on how the decision was due to a desire to keep Roman’s sexuality ambiguous. He explained:

“They had mentioned to me, even before we shot the pilot, about questioning what Roman’s sexuality is — and we don’t know what it is. But it put something in my brain, and I was like, ‘OK, but I’m married and have kids?’ They were toying with the idea that she’s aware that you have sort of hangups sexually when it comes to monogamy, and might be more fluid, but we don’t know what that is yet.”

The decision was probably for the best, too, as Roman’s views on romance and intimacy have become one of the most disturbingly fascinating aspects of the character. The insecurities he has about his close relationships, coupled with his complicated conflation of power and sex, make him more of a tragic figure. Poor Rome doesn’t deserve to be kink-shamed, of course. It’s just that his messy and uncomfortable sexual escapades, complete with what seems to be a still fully unexplored humiliation fetish, are a true mark of how much his father’s abuse has impacted his self-worth.