Couple: manage to defeat routine

Ten years of life together, it wears, it wears out ... The therapist Salomon Nasielski offers five "essential" tracks to thwart the habit and find lively, sensual, creative exchanges.

Pascale Senk

One year, two years, seven years, marriage of cotton, wood, bronze ... The days are falling apart and the one we were dying to see, was only a few seconds, is now installed, even riveted day and night with us ... Family life management, decisions on education, organization of holidays, financial worries ... "Sometimes I feel that we manage a real business with two and we forget our initial motivation: love! " admits Claire, who has been in a relationship for seven years. Decline of desire, impoverished sexuality, multiplication of grudges and silences ... A trivial and, apparently, universal story: living together as the days go by, the dull lovers would inevitably abandon a little of the lightness and passion that animated their first appointments. Inevitable? Worse, irreversible? No, provide some couples psychotherapists, including Salomon Nasielski (1). Its mission: to help those who consult it to (re) find lively, sensual and creative exchanges, which will also revitalize their sexuality.

In a brilliant speech at the 19th Transactional Analysis Congress, Salomon Nasielski presented five "must-haves" to help couples struck by "petrification" to revitalize themselves. A real work in the background deprogramming the emotional mechanisms and destructive behaviors that have, unknown to everyone, insidiously installed in the relationship. Good news: these suggestions for change, so difficult to put into practice, have real beneficial effects on the couple's life. Be careful: they will only look simplistic to those who do not try them.

1. Awareness of the worst and the best and say it

For Olivia, the "best of the couple" are her moments of intimacy: when they are both alone in the bedroom, away from the world and obligations, that Jean, his companion, speaks to him openly. The worst? "Family dinners." Jean, he enjoys all the opportunities to discover the world to two and make common memories: exhibitions, concerts, travel ... The worst? When Olivia asks him where he comes from. Oddly enough, in six years they had never confessed that. Like many couples. Is not the other supposed to guess better than anyone else?

To compensate for these unspoken generators of blurring and unrest, Salomon Nasielski offers an exercise: "I ask each partner to write down the list of what constitutes, in his view, the best and the worst aspects of his life. couple.Then they exchange the lists and discuss them. Often, the same words do not cover the same reality for everyone. For example, for him, "to trust" means that he will always be welcomed by his companion, even if he makes a mistake. For her, it means, on the contrary, that he will not do it! ... "This exercise also allows everyone to identify their share of responsibility in the worsening of the" worst "and to better identify their possibilities to increase the" best. "Example: she realizes that she drags herself in jogging while the day when he wrote that he appreciated the women made up and elegant ... The couple can also realize that what constituted the "best" the first months is not necessarily desirable ten years later. " Every weekend with friends, it was great at 20, said Sarah, but today I want to spend time alone with him! "" I like to feel Evelyne busy in the house while I read, explains Pierre, but I do not want to stay for hours glued to it. "Indeed, there is a" natural "evolution of the couple in time.According to the psychologists Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson, he goes through six These stages are modeled on those of the development of the mother-baby relationship: fusion, differentiation, exploration, rapprochement, cooperation and synergy Since the transition from one stage to another never occurs without conflicts, it is good to know which stage one crosses ...

2. Establish a charter

"Then, explains Salomon Nasielski, I suggest to the partners to write together a list bringing together the desires and the satisfecit of each one, these having to be negotiated with two if necessary." Finding common goals is indeed ess ential. " There is no favorable wind for the boat that does not know where it is going, "says the adage, yet most couples live from day to day without questioning their life plans. In couple therapy, continues Nasielski, what poses the most problems, it is not the conflicts but the inability to find one or more common objectives.

Indeed, as soon as one has to define its projects in front of each other, an unconscious resistance gets under way ("Will not I realize that he or she is not the right person ...") and we run the risk of seeing fundamental dissensions emerge. type: she admits to live as a couple to know the happiness of starting a family, tells him he is committed only to sex ... "Even for a couple such as this one, nothing is ever hopeless, says Nasielski . Once they become aware of their differences, they will be able to negotiate. And it is the intensity of their relationship that will allow them to find what will be for them in the middle ground. "The charter is also an opportunity to clearly define the rules of the couple: do we opt or not for the fidelity What happens if the rules are broken?When there is desire for one side and no desire for the other, which of the two wins? A reflection that may seem not very "romantic", but that allows everyone to become a subject and leave his position of victim. "The feeling of scaling in communication often comes from an insidious mechanism: everyone waits for the other to move says Nasielski, but learning to negotiate means positioning oneself as a responsible partner and stopping the war. "

Example: Jacques and Anne talk about their last night. She is furious because he has not stopped chatting for two hours with a charming blonde sitting by his side: "I saw you make the pretty heart and cuddle, it was unbearable!" "What would you have wanted," he replies, "that I stop talking to him?" Anne ended by saying what she would have liked him to do at that time: "If from time to time you had taken my hand, meaning clearly that I accompanied you, I would have felt secure ..." Jacques and Anne then managed to conclude a satisfactory agreement: he can continue to play the charmers on the condition of never neglecting Anne and to show openly that he is with her.

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