Welcome

Philippe Brenot

Inventing the Couple

If you live with a partner and find yourself having problems, you shouldn’t be overly worried. It seems that living in a couple is not natural — at least not in the form the couple has taken in contemporary western society, where it usually means indissoluble, lasting monogamy. Nature offers very few examples of such unions. Civilisation, however, offers a myriad of different types of unions and partnerships, but it would seem that originally human beings were polygamous.
Why do so many couples have the feeling that they have somehow failed? Why are there so many daily difficulties, misunderstandings and frustrations? Perhaps it is simply because the couple, as we understand it today, is a recent invention, the product of a major psychological, social and sexual revolution which we are still trying to come to terms with. Perhaps it is simply because we expect too much from the couple, wanting it to reconcile such contradictory demands as sexual fulfilment and intellectual companionship, fidelity and imagination, equality and difference, passion and constancy.
It is up to today’s couples to reinvent themselves. This means becoming aware of their deepest aspirations in order to construct a union with their partner in which each individual can grow and develop. To do this, they should ignore all ready-made models and fully respect the desires of each individual.
Philippe Brenot trained as a sociologist and anthropologist and is a keen ethologist. He is also a practising psychiatrist and couple therapist. In this book, he offers all the necessary tools to enable readers to reconsider their problems and find the solutions adapted to their own personal needs.

Philippe Brenot is an anthropologist and psychiatrist. He is the director of studies on sexology at the University of Bordeaux 2-Victor Ségalen. He is the author of Les Mots du Sexe, L’Education Sexuelle, La Sexologie, Les Medecins de l’Amour and De la Lettre d’Amour. He is the co-author with Suzanne Képès of Relaxation et Sexualité.
If you live with a partner and find yourself having problems, you shouldn’t be overly worried. It seems that living in a couple is not natural — at least not in the form the couple has taken in contemporary western society, where it usually means indissoluble, lasting monogamy. Nature offers very few examples of such unions. Civilisation, however, offers a myriad of different types of unions and partnerships, but it would seem that originally human beings were polygamous.
Why do so many couples have the feeling that they have somehow failed? Why are there so many daily difficulties, misunderstandings and frustrations? Perhaps it is simply because the couple, as we understand it today, is a recent invention, the product of a major psychological, social and sexual revolution which we are still trying to come to terms with. Perhaps it is simply because we expect too much from the couple, wanting it to reconcile such contradictory demands as sexual fulfilment and intellectual companionship, fidelity and imagination, equality and difference, passion and constancy.
It is up to today’s couples to reinvent themselves. This means becoming aware of their deepest aspirations in order to construct a union with their partner in which each individual can grow and develop. To do this, they should ignore all ready-made models and fully respect the desires of each individual.
Philippe Brenot trained as a sociologist and anthropologist and is a keen ethologist. He is also a practising psychiatrist and couple therapist. In this book, he offers all the necessary tools to enable readers to reconsider their problems and find the solutions adapted to their own personal needs.

Philippe Brenot is an anthropologist and psychiatrist. He is the director of studies on sexology at the University of Bordeaux 2-Victor Ségalen. He is the author of Les Mots du Sexe, L’Education Sexuelle, La Sexologie, Les Medecins de l’Amour and De la Lettre d’Amour. He is the co-author with Suzanne Képès of Relaxation et Sexualité.