Couples: how to get rid of harmful beliefs that harm our relationship?

Preconceived notions of love, often very persistent and inherited from childhood, can shake the fragile foundation of our relationship. To better flush them out, psychologist Camille Rochet wrote the book The 5 Beliefs That Prevent You From Being Happy As A Couple (ed. Larousse). We met her.

One day my prince will come “,” contradictions attract “,” with me he will end up changing “… Without even being aware of it, we are shaped by many beliefs that are inherited from childhood. These can have a negative impact on our lives as a couple by projecting an idealized and erroneous picture of what a romantic relationship is supposed to look like.To better identify and deconstruct them, psychologist and author Camille Rochet wrote the book The 5 Beliefs That Prevent You From Being Happy As A Couple, published by Larousse editions. A practical guide, full of testimonies and concrete solutions, to free yourself from false beliefs and flourish in love. Meet.

NEON: What was the starting point for writing this book?

Camille Rochet, psychologist and author: After more than ten years of therapy with couples that I see evolving on a daily basis, I identified several sticking points that emerged during our exchanges: especially tenacious beliefs that undermined the relationship between the people who consulted me. I am thinking in particular of the myth of “well person “, the one according to which life as a couple is a long calm river, or that opposites attract … Preconceived ideas inherited from a long time that sometimes pushed my patients to want to leave their spouse without even trying to recover. The goal of my book was therefore that: to learn to renounce these false beliefs, precisely those that guide us unconsciously, and to learn to question ourselves before we throw everything away from us.

Among the 5 beliefs about the couple that you have identified during your therapies, which one do you think is the most problematic for a relationship?
Instinctively, I would say it is the belief in “passion at all costs”. That according to which a love is more beautiful and stronger when it is new, when it overwhelms us, when we have butterflies in our stomachs. The thing is, this passionate phase sooner or later ends up disappearing in a relationship, to give way to something more justified. And that even though we know it rationally, it is very difficult to accept when we are caught up in the momentum of passion. I do not count the number of people who come to see me for infidelity because they suddenly relive the intoxicating heartbeat at the beginning of a relationship, and who wonder if they have not been “mistaken” by their partner, and are considering a break with him.

What advice do you give to these people?
Not to leave their spouse to another. It’s not because I fell in love with another person that my relationship is necessarily over with the one who shared my life. The best thing, in my opinion, is rather to break the extramarital affair and work on my relationship with my partner.

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But if we fall in love with someone else, it might be a sign that we need to end our previous relationship, right?
Be careful, we can not be slaves to our emotions. If I fall in love with someone else, it may just be a sign that I have to ask myself questions about my current partner’s condition, about my need for security, self-esteem, recognition… But my relationship is not. based only on the feeling of love. There are so many other things that nurture our mutual attachment and the feeling comes and goes throughout our lives together. On the other hand, falling in love happens to you, in spite of yourself, at any time in your life and several times too! Whereas loving is a decision, a choice, a commitment … that requires energy.

In your book, you unravel the myth of the “right person”. At the same time, we live in a hyper-connected society, where dating sites like Tinder maintain this worn-out imagination and offer us a new profile every day that seems to suit us better. Do these platforms lock us more firmly into our security about the couple??
I think they limit us, yes, because on social networks and dating platforms, we present ourselves according to certain very specific criteria, and we are not taken at all in our entirety. Unconsciously, we would think that there will always be someone better somewhere else, someone there Matches better, and we will be in this constant search for the “right person”, with the risk of always being dissatisfied. Some people will scroll through ten profiles a day on dating apps and focus on one small detail, a criterion they dislike, and continue their search for Prince Charming. While in reality, when we take the time to chat with someone, we realize that there are lots of other positive things about them, we take it in its entirety, and this little mistake goes to the other level.

The other risk with these applications is that you can really hide the reality by showing the image you want to show. So it takes time to meet the other, to meet his environment, to live together experiences that allow us to know ourselves better in the test, sometimes, and surpassing ourselves.

So to be happy with the love, it is better to get rid of Tinder and company? I have a couple of friends who met on this type of platform years ago and who are very happy today …
I do not want to demonize dating apps because I know strong couples can form on them. You can not throw everything away! But if I have any advice to give the users, then it is not only too fast to meet the person they are chatting with online, but also and above all to meet their close companion. It is the best way to get an objective idea about the person because there is something about us that flows through others. We learn much more about the other in this way than by focusing on the criteria – often misleading – spread on social networks.

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In your book, you explain that many of the beliefs about the couple are rooted in childhood. How can one deconstruct them when they are so internalized that we are not even aware of their existence?
We become aware of these false beliefs when suffering invades us and prevents us from continuing to move calmly forward. In general, the beliefs that will be discovered are the ones that arise when I struggle between the ideal of what I want and the reality of what I experience. It really is when I want to say to myself, “Why do I absolutely need this to feel good?” It’s like all our fragility and our weaknesses: As long as we are not aware of it and that it does not make us suffer, you can do therapy, it does not go away.

Several couples you quote in your book have managed to break with these beliefs through therapy. Are people who do not succeed doomed to be unhappily in love all their lives?
Of course, some people hold on to these beliefs. Typically, the myth of “passion at all costs,” which we talked about earlier, can lead to leaving one’s spouse to another, even when one knows that this passionate phase is doomed to subside over time.

And then there are people for whom these beliefs are also a means of survival. Let us take the example of the myth according to which the couple is a long calm river: a person who grew up in a family where violence prevailed will sometimes cling to an idealized conception of love, represented in the form of a zone of non -conflict, where the partners always agree on everything, where there is never one word higher than the other. For these people, the violence experienced in the past is so ingrained and painful that they do not understand that love can sometimes be difficult, and therefore do not agree to do a deep work to shake up this belief, for fear of having to see it. , they fear most.

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What advice would you like to give to our single readers, for whom relationships are often far removed from the representations they give of love?
What you need to know is that the older you get, the more you have to accept meeting people who have injuries. It is inevitable. Being single at 40 means that there has been an experience before, sometimes a long journey of suffering, sometimes more disappointments, often affected self-esteem … All this must be taken into account because we arrive in the couple with this baggage. You then have to ask yourself a question: “Do I have false beliefs about the couple that prevent me from opening up to certain people and opening the door to a relationship?” Understand that a relationship will not always be passionate, not always fluid and easy, and agree not to delay getting help when things go wrong in the couple, to fully understand the other, the way we see the couple on each other, the belief that we bring it into it … To perform this work from the beginning of a relationship, to deconstruct these beliefs, is to ensure more stability.

* The 5 Beliefs That Prevent You From Being Happy As A Couple, ed. Larousse, in bookstores since January 5, 2022, € 16.95


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