As a couple, how to keep one’s freedom?: Living together is good. Do not have an account to render too. How do we balance these apparently contradictory ideas?
How to save love, where one abandons oneself, and our status as an individual, where one takes up again? The question of freedom in the couple illustrates the ambivalence at work in love. If it is at the heart of Nathalie Sarthou-Lajus, a philosopher, and of the psychoanalyst Jean-Pierre Winter, it is that his stake is crucial (“Can we believe in love?”) In a society in which “the model of the autonomous individual is archival’s and where one is suspicious of any link once it is experienced as a hindrance”. Hence the couple’s current challenge: “Let the thirst for freedom of the partners not be transformed into an” every man for himself “where one manages his interests like his budget or his career, to the detriment of the weaving of the links, which presupposes attention And concern for the other,

As a couple, how to keep one's freedom?
As a couple, how to keep one’s freedom?

One remains an individual

It seems obvious that a couple is much more stimulated if both partners allow themselves to exist individually. However, precisely, to allow oneself “to be oneself” is not obvious to everybody.

Why is it difficult? For lack of self-esteem, one can fear that one will no longer be loved if one shows oneself “naked.” Unless we go for a couple to escape and not have to confront our complexities and that feeling of emptiness that we would like to fill.

How to do? According to Rainer Maria Rilke: working to be someone. And not the shadow of the other in which one can seek to flee, and end up wondering, like Oscar Wilde: “To love is to make one, yes but which one? Jean-Pierre Winter explains: “Love is a work in which it is not a question of making the” one “with” two,” but a process in which the lover goes to the conquest of himself By the detour of the other. ”

We forget the give-and-take

As soon as one enters into negotiations, one loses part of his freedom. Indeed, we risk spending our time conceding to the other what was promised in exchange for something else. Moreover, one comes to consider that to love someone; it is finally to have rights on him and to find reasonable that it has on us. What made Dostoevsky say that love is ultimate “the right that one gives to the other to persecute us …”

Why is it difficult? Because the promises of the beginnings of love are “feasts” of misunderstandings, as Jean-Pierre Winter says! First, because we imagine the other, we “hallucinate,” by giving him the power to fill what we lack. It is this fiction that presides over love … “Now, we are blind about what we lack and, at the same time, about what the other does not … however, that we delude ourselves that he has! “Explains the psychoanalyst. Hence the famous formula of Lacan: “To love is to offer what one does not have to someone who does not want it. “It is hard to be there if you start to make accounts …

How to do? One can stop demanding from the other that it meets all our expectations, contradicting the poet Pierre Reverdy who affirmed: “There is no love, there are only proofs of love. For Jean-Pierre Winter, “this assertion is materialism to fall to the ground because love does not prove itself, it feels, which is not at all the same thing.” Moreover, that what one asks does not necessarily correspond to our desire. Indeed, the latter being unconscious, one can only identify it, never circumscribe it. The key would be to observe the signs that the other gives us (unexpected attention, a look that touches us, listening when we need it, for example) rather than waiting for “proofs of love. ”

We learn loneliness

Jean-Pierre Winter recalls the observation of the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott: “Being increases its power to be […] when it can be alone in the presence of the other. True love, free love would be that: being alone … however, with the other.

Why is it difficult? “If you have not been emotionally reassured in childhood, or you have felt you are the fifth wheel of the coach, you probably have developed a fear of” Abandonment, “suggests psychotherapist Martine Teillac. Winnicott, moreover, says Winnicott believed that a child who is confident in his mother’s love could indulge in his or her occupations without even looking at him because he is alone but in his presence. As a couple, one should, ideally, feel the same confidence.

How to do? There is no need to count on a miracle. If one suffers from a chronic feeling of abandonment, it will be necessary sooner or later, to serenely live the relationship, to confront its fears of childhood. Finding where they come from and forgiving (to his parents and himself, to have been abandoned), to gradually free themselves from it. Whether one is an “abandoned” sticky or fleeing link (both reactions are possible). Working with a psychoanalyst is the most appropriate if you row and suffer repeatedly.

We cultivate and preserve its secret garden

Before loving one another freely, we must love ourselves sufficiently according to the same criteria! “That is to say, to keep” a room of oneself,” according to Nathalie Sarthou-Lajus. By taking the title of a famous book by Virginia Woolf, the philosopher makes it the metaphor of an intimate sphere: “An elsewhere as indestructible as it is impregnable. For love has to mean only from a love of self which consists in desiring the place and time of one’s life. However, this space is not a fixed state, protected from all external interventions. It is a movement of loss and reappropriation that is continually unfolding through the encounter of the other. ”

Why is it difficult? Through lack of self-confidence, maturity (or both), one can be tempted to involve the other in everything that crosses us and occupies us. To tell him everything. For example, we would like to be seduced again, that we are attracted to someone else. “Nothing better to create unnecessary discomfort,” warns Martine Teillac, “even if it relieves us of our anxieties or guilt. A little like when, as a child, we confessed a stupidity to our mother so that she would not have to think about it anymore.

How to do? Well, precisely, one allows oneself to be free: to think, to feel, to fantasize. If one deprives oneself of our freedom in the name of love, not only one destroys oneself, but one destroys the other. For we make a bond in which resentment replaces sentiment, a simulacrum made of jealousy, reproaches, and untimely demands. One can also wonder about oneself whenever one prepares to say too much: “What reaction do I expect from him? Why ? Moreover, what am I going to do with it? ”

Happy intimacy is invented

As we know, the love relationships have changed. The liberation of the woman went through that, forcing us to brandish our hard-won autonomy as a prerequisite to the relationship. Now, one can not love without running the risk of the dispossession of oneself.

Why is it difficult? If a man is less subject to passion and abandons in love (ah, the fear of castration!) In women too, there is now this fear of dispossession. Nathalie Sarthou-Lajus explains that dreading being reduced to old submissions makes love difficult for many women. Hence the risk that the couple’s life, if at all possible, can be reduced to a simple contract where everyone negotiates his emotional and material security, his pleasure and the certainty of his reproduction.

How to do? “Take love for what it is: paradoxical. At the same time place of the dispossession of self and the conquest of oneself, “says Nathalie Sarthou-Lajus. For her, “the couple – their habits, the sharing of everyday life – produces much more than a regular prison. He creates, over the days and nights, a precious familiarity: that of a face, gestures, humor and gives us the possibility of exposing ourselves. What, in the end, is a real freedom …

Is infidelity a freedom? The psychologist’s opinion

Jean-Pierre Winter, psychoanalyst: “To invoke the right to one’s liberty about infidelity is to rationalize what is played out on another plane and escapes us.” Racine said: “One must believe oneself beloved to find oneself unfaithful “Indeed, listening to patients who deceive their partners, it is often what one hears: they genuinely doubt the love of the latter, when it is not the case, the infidel has The impression of betraying and, in general, he pays for it with his anguish, which can be translated into missed acts in which he will “reveal” to the other the existence of his bond. In fact, the question of infidelity arises more for the infidel than for the one who is deceived.

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