Dare to live together (1 + 1 =3) – relationship between the couple
relationship between a couple: Dare to live two of us (1 + 1 =3)
from Fred. Fanget (Psychiatrist and psychotherapist) – Lyon – France – 2010
When a couple is formed, some unknown, uncontrollable part gives birth to a certain love fusion. But the alchemy of departure is not a promise of a successful relationship, a happy life between the couple.
In this book a new concept of the lasting and happy couple: 1 + 1 = 3 (You, me and our couple).
Each “1” represents a member of the couple, the “3” represents the couple. The 2 partners build a 3rd dimension, their couple, and also grow personally. Take care, if one, very fusional, wants 80% of common area while the other, rather autonomous, wants only 20%, the latter will suffer from an excess of fusion and the 1st of an excess of ‘independence. This common space must therefore be defined in common and can evolve over the life of the couple.
Everyone in the couple must take their place in the couple (take care of their « 1 »), but also take into account the values of the other (« 1 » of the other) and thus develop the trust of the couple.
The different relationship modes of the couple
- The independent mode 1 + 1 = 2
It allows a great autonomy of each partner who feels free. But there is only few exchanges, the win-win doesn’t seem possible.
- The fusion mode 1 + 1 = 1
It can be a passionate mode, alive but sometimes tumultuous. But what will happen to the « 1 » of each of the partners?
- 3-dimensional mode 1 + 1 = 3
This mode respects each partner at the same time, but it also makes it possible to build the 3rd dimension thus bringing the additional richness of the couple.
- The destruction mode 1 + 1 = 0
Couples arguing constantly, daily. But there are serious cases that lead to the moral or physical destruction of one of the members.
Sexuality is part of the « 3 ». Founder of the couple, it is important to maintain the relationship of the couple. In this respect, it requires sacralisation (place of « worship » and its life of chapels).
First of all, do not confuse desire, pleasure and orgasm. Desire corresponds to libido, envy. The pleasure corresponds to the sensations during the sexual intercourse. Finally the orgasm comes at a given moment of sexual intercourse after a pleasure phase. There is a tendency to confuse these 3 phases. Nevertheless people can have a intercourse with many pleasures and without orgasm. Finally desire also depends a lot on the quality of the relationship.
Assert yourself gently in the relationship
It’s about finding your place in your relationship of couple. First, by being yourself. To build his « 1 ». But also, while respecting his partner and developing together the 3rd dimension of the couple.
On the other hand, it is important to know and accept that men and women communicate differently, and that expectations are not always the same. In particular, the first major difference concerns the intimacy of women and the independence of men. In jargon, we speak of symmetrical women and asymmetrical men.
From a psychological angle, the differences are not always so clear.
In the first place, the 2 pitfalls to avoid are too much respect for one’s own values, at the limit of egoism and contempt for the couple (1 + 1 = 2). And at the other extreme, the fusion, where everyone gets lost in the couple (1 + 1 = 1). Your partner can not meet all your expectations.
For example, here are frequent refusals in couples (to formulate with empathy): the systematic lunch at the parents-in-law on Sunday, the repeated holidays in the family house of the partner, the advice of the entourage on the education of your children, sexual behavior against your desires or values.
Thus, it is by knowing clearly what you want and what you do not want, being both direct and very respectful of your partner (gently), that your couple will find its balance. The quality of communication in the couple is extremely important.
Positive communication within the couple
The couple is a relationship that should not be trivialized by everyday life. Thus, in the relationship, it is particularly important to get involved personally. Talk about what’s going well and not just about what’s wrong. Likewise, regularly say « I love you ». That’s why it’s important to share and again positive things.
There are 4 types of replies (example of a partner back from work and announcing his job promotion):
- The constructive passive: « I am happy for you »
- The destructive passive: « Apart from that, what are we doing this weekend? »
- The active destructive: « you will be less at home »
- The constructive active: « I am very happy for you (with happyness). What does it consist of ? what did you feel? «
Then, to exchange positively, that means…
- To know how to identify the positive values of the partner. Then to know how to tell him. And promote them in his life if possible.
- To know how to communicate, to know how to do and receive compliments
- To be able to show signs of attention, to have gestures, to give presents, to have naughty looks, desires regularly expressed orally or by text message.
1st step: (re) learn to see everything you love about your partner (often it’s your way of considering your couple who is an issue, more than the couple itself)
2nd step: go beyond your embarrassment or your blockages
3rd step: affirm your compliment
In short, maintain the positive in the couple as we maintain the embers in the fireplace and do not try to make everything perfect. However, it will also be necessary to know how to criticize your spouse or some of these behaviors when this is justified.
The issues which can be solved
No problem is harmless in a couple. Everyday conflicts, even minor ones, are all potentially devastating. 3 steps to solve daily difficulties:
- Sweet self-affirmation: Learn to make constructive criticisms, formulated objectively and with respect for others.
- Work on prejudices (beliefs): a dialogue to understand how the other person sees the problem.
- Work on values: trying to discover and understand what is behind these small problems of everyday life (there are certainly values behind).
Compromise yes, but no concessions.
The compromises are made by the two members of the couple. When the concession gives the other something that costs in terms of values. And then the concession will generally come out a few months or years later in the form of a time bomb while the compromise is a couple decision that is part of the « 3 ».
As much as it is important to use a very soft affirmation of self, as much one must be demanding about your common values.
Sweet self-affirmation helps to prevent everyone from interpreting what the other person thinks without verifying it.
Similarly, there is an « affirmed » way to respond to criticism. It is not a question of knowing how to defend oneself or refuse criticism. On the contrary! The essential thing is not to counter-attack, not to justify oneself, not to react too quickly, but rather to try to understand what the other person has felt.
Do not question the relationship or the person, but stay focused on the problem. Know urgently, how to make a « STOP » contract (to avoid escalation). Humor, if it is shared, is also a possible tool.
Agree to be an imperfect couple and avoid chronic dissatisfaction.
Chronic dissatisfaction is a personal problem. Also, for a happy and lasting couple, everyone must moderate their requirements and accept a certain amount of imperfections. Knowing how to communicate on one’s faults can make it easier to accept them and not lose oneself in a quest, which is doomed to fail, of the ideal couple.
Attention: problems which can not be solved
While some problems in the relationship are acceptable and « easily » manageable, others are more serious and may challenge the couple.
For example :
- Anger when it gets violent
- Pathological jealousy
- The recurrent infidelity
- The manipulation
Dare to consider separation.
The couple is a temporarily contract and not indeterminate. Actually the “shelf-life” of a couple is about 16 years. Indeed it is normal for a couple to end. For example, when the positive things no longer prevails over the negative things. But also when the couple is no longer able to imagine solutions to his problems, or he is no longer able to do projects together.
Make last the love
The couple and its environment
Dare to meet
From the first meeting to a couple relationship
First, take into account your personal way and your vision of the couple.
Example of danger signals: the affective deficiency scheme and the abandonment scheme.
To have the schema of affective deficiency is to tend to think:
- He / she does not listen to me
- She / he is not often available
- He / she is cold or distant/far
- She / he is not there for me when I feel vulnerable/fragile
The abandonment scheme:
- You flee all love engagement even in the presence of a suitable partner
- You are terrified of losing your partner or getting too attached to him/her
- You are jealous and possessive
- You excessively apprehend the death or loss of your partner
- You cling to your partner. To keep it is an obsession
- You do not tolerate separation for even a few days
In fact, to better understand your own approach, you will better understand what attracts you to the other.
The 4 pillars of the relationship are:
- The quality of communication
- Common values
Other less important factors:
- The intensity of the initial romance
- The nature and management of conflicts (predictive of the quality and duration of the couple)
Other blogs on the relationship of couple: