The cross : Is it possible to be yourself when you live as a couple?
Jean-Claude Kaufmann: Staying as a couple is an injunction of the time. As an individual, we must make our own choices so as not to disappear into the collective. Even the couple is crossed by a tension between the need for a strong relationship, for reciprocal sharing, and a will to continue living without being invaded by the other.
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This quest is also well understood by some dating sites, which sell the illusion that the ideal person is the one who will allow them to continue living without being disturbed in their way of being. However, this is strictly impossible. Love is precisely an invitation to forget oneself a little, to take a distance. The first pitfall is therefore to find a way to share without being embarrassed.
How do we do it?
J.-CK: By setting in motion which means that we give up a little of our independence of mind. Imperceptibly, day after day, each member of the couple evolves. Each one adapts to the other.
For example, common conversations reshape the ways of seeing and thinking of the one and the other. The couple thus develop their own culture every day. Take the example of a young household commenting on the way such friends raise their children. By noting what these other parents are doing good and bad, this couple defines their own philosophy in education. The common thought of the couple thus emerges.
Is the couple doomed to merge?
J.-CK: Far from it, because at the same time that we unify, we become more intolerant of the slightest difference that persists! It is a paradox of the couple: as much we are seduced by the difference, what the other has and what we do not have ourselves, as much, over time, we can also need someone. one similar, which reassures, and less well endure these differences. Also, as the couple integrates, the roles become polarized.
→ ANALYSIS. Changing your spouse, an illusion?
Let’s take an example: few people define themselves as “fearful” or not, yet if two people live together, a few years later, one will have become the guardian of the risks, the one who always checks everything, and the other will be. the one who de-dramatizes. All this shows how the couple is a perpetual exchange.
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