Alain Valtier

Love Within the Couple Publication date : April 13, 2006

Since the Sixties’ life-style revolution, love has been regarded as an essential condition for the survival of a couple — to the extent that when love begins to disappear or simply to flag, couples drift apart, the relationship deteriorates, and they separate.
But if a couple cannot survive without powerful, intense love, if life with a partner will last only as long as love in this most intense form persists, what future is there for the couple as an enduring form? Should we give up on it? Or, on the contrary, should we try to make it last, whatever the cost? And, if so, why, and how?
Perhaps, suggests the author, love cannot exist without the couple, i.e. outside an extended time frame.
Must we choose between intense love and life with a partner? What reasons can be found to make a couple endure? What can we learn from the specific cases of contemporary men and women?
This is a progressive, subtle defence of the couple as a laboratory of love, a unique source of strength, and as the place where interaction between partners takes place and where differences are constantly tested and experimented.

Alain Valtier is a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist specialising in couple therapy. He is the author of La Solitude à deux (2003).