How do we love each other today? What are the implicit bases of the contract? How do we avoid lassitude? Six couples, aged 21 to 68, tell each other.
Chloé and Fernando
22 years old, legal secretary and 21 years old, head chef in the hotel business.
Chloé and Fernando have been living together for six months. They met five years ago, still teenagers, and then lived with Fernando's parents. Both of them already recognize that living in couples requires effort. "For example, says Fernando, Chloe explains that I empty the tube of toothpaste badly and shows me how to do.I confess that this kind of remarks gets drunk, but she seems to hold on to it! " Fernando is hallucinated by the disorder that Chloe is able to sow in a house: "I do the housework because her free time is taken by long phone conversations with her friends, but she takes care of shopping and cooking, which she does very well. "
" I thought that a life too regulated would bring boredom, surprised Chloe, and I discover that it is the opposite.We have habits. We go rollerblading on Sunday, we will see Fernando's parents, and when we feel a flutter in our schedule, we rent a videotape. " Fernando adds: "To fight boredom, just invent an exit." And every Saturday night, it's a ritual, they'll practice Colombian salsa. "Fernando is a great dancer," says Chloe. This does not prevent the girl from going sometimes in nightclub with girlfriends to dance the Cuban salsa, "because that one, it does not know to dance it".
On the other hand, Chloe does not like Fernando at all. It scares him. There is jealousy in the air, but Fernando is very understanding: "I have three sisters to whom I have been a confidant, so I am very familiar with female psychology." "What's great," says Chloe, "is that he does not criticize me very much because he deeply understands women."
If they feel so close to each other: "It's because that we met very young and that we evolved together ", thinks Chloe," And because I like her way of being, adds Fernando She is kind, a little shy, looks serious, and that me please. " And sexuality? "If it does not work, the couple does not work, Chloe responds immediately, and when it does not go well in bed, our agreement suffers." Anyway, for Chloe, life with his lover is magical: "In fact, I impose few constraints on me, I live in lightness thanks to Fernando who has his feet on the ground."
Raymonde and Lucien
60 and 68 years old, retired from the RATP.
"It's so fast," said Raymonde laughing, apologizing for the banality of her reflection, but really, these forty years of life together, neither Lucien nor she have seen them pass. that we have never lived one folded over another, adds Raymonde, and that we have always been passionate about social issues, me as a union leader, and both as political activists. " Raymonde and Lucien built strong friendships in Paris and in the village of Corrèze, where they retired, married on April 25, 1959. They had known each other for two years, and lived with her mother. The failure of his first marriage had not traumatized Lucien: "He forced me to think and I was more flexible then."
Raymonde and Lucien do not never argue. "In a household, one must consider the opinion of the other, otherwise it is untenable, explains Raymonde. So we talk a lot. I'm lucky, Lucien is a tolerant man, an easy-going husband. "
Boredom" Do not know! "We are traveling abroad now that we can afford it. Younger, with our two children to raise, it was too hard economically. "When asked about their sexuality, they answer that if it was primordial when they were young, they evolved at the same pace and give it a lot less important today, what is the recipe that makes their relationship last for more than forty years? Magic or vigilance? "A quiet attention to the other," they answer with one voice.
Martine and Patrick
48 years old, takes care of vocational training and 53 years old, consultant, a second couple and a stepfamily, five children between them.
Martine and Patrick first went out as friends, The two couples they formed previously were related to each other until they became aware of each other's feelings and, in just one month, they left their respective spouses to live together. "It was obviously not a rational step. Everything has become obvious, "says Patrick, since then they have almost never separated, except for cases of force majeure." We have the same tastes, adds Martine, the same hobbies, the same holiday desires , the same friends and, above all, the same values. "
Both believe that sexuality is important for a couple's general understanding, and if it does not adopt the same forms as at the beginning of their relationship meeting, it remains essential today. "We are not a sexless couple!" exclaims Patrick.
Asked to what extent the fact of having lived previously with two has served them to better succeed the second time, they say that a first couple is in no way an experience from which we can learn.They never think in terms of "before, I did so, so I'm going to do something else to make it work". "Besides, our first couple were not in any way whatsoever," says Patrick. did not hold the shock to the particular feelings that Martine and I have felt for each other. "
Unalterable feelings since twenty-two years later, weariness is still not on the agenda "Of course it takes attention between partners, but it takes in life in general, a kind of requirement vis-à-vis oneself and others," says Martine. It's not a question of letting life slip into total unconsciousness, adds Patrick, we do not live in a couple as we would live alone, we must be attentive to the other, but it is not an effort, it flows naturally of the emotion one feels for him. "