By Patrick Hereng
We live in the centre of PARIS (1st Arrondissement) and regularly travel abroad (Africa, Asia, ...) in addition to our professional activity. With the confinement everything stopped abruptly and we took refuge in our second home in the Drôme. It's a natural containment as the first neighbor is 1 km away....
All of our social activities stopped overnight, just like everyone else.
An important part of our Parisian life was our "couple fraternity". We met about every month with 3 other Parisian couples to exchange news and reflect as a couple on a specific topic related to the current events of our couples.
Containment has therefore also put a stop to this practical and we thought that the virtual could be a response to our need for exchange between couples. So, we planned on April 30th our first virtual couple fraternity ...
And the result was friendly and surprising: in addition to the friendly exchange of news during the skype aperitif, we felt the closeness and brotherhood between us with great benevolence. The three young couples live the confinement pretty well. They juggle pregnancy or their baby while teleworking or partially unemployed.
They take more time to exchange in their relationship and do activities (sport, cooking, ...) together. They manage to find time to pray and meditate.
A little wink for us: we were able to enjoy the applause in Paris at 8 pm.
Following the news, a text refocused discussion on the impacts of containment and post-containment. We then had a couple time (offline) from the open questions.
This time was appreciated by all the participants and we were surprised that there was the same involvement as in physical brotherhood. It has been useful even with "problem-free" couples in the current situation.
So, I recommend that you copy us. You can take a time with your spouse or containment partner to answer questions. You can also associate a few friends and start with a skype aperitif.
Attached is a frame that you can copy, broadcast or amend without moderation
Couple and containment: Love in the time of Corona.
Side effect of the virus: an opportunity to review its priorities in the contemporary frenzy. On this occasion we share a beautiful text by Raffaele Morelli, psychiatrist and founding president of the Riza Institute of Psychosomatic Medicine.
I believe that the cosmos has its way of rebalancing things and its laws, when they come to be too upset. The moment we live, full of anomalies and paradoxes, makes us think...
In a phase where climate change, caused by environmental disasters, has reached alarming levels. First China, and then so many other countries, are forced to block; the economy is collapsing, but pollution is decreasing considerably.
The air is improving; we use a mask, but we breathe...
In a historical moment where, all over the world, certain discriminatory ideologies and policies are reactivated, powerfully recalling a petty past, a virus arrives, which makes us experience that, in an instant, we too can become the discriminated, the segregated, the ones that are blocked at the borders, which bring disease.
Even if we had nothing to do with it.
Even though we're white, Western, and we travel first class
In a society based on productivity and consumption, in which we all run 14 hours a day after it is not clear why, without Saturday or Sunday, without more pause in the calendar, suddenly the "stop" arrives.
All at a standstill, at home, for days and days.
To account for a time whose value we have lost, as soon as it is no longer measurable in money, in profit.
Do we only know what to do with it?
At a time when the education of our own children, by necessity, is often delegated to various figures and institutions, the virus closes schools and forces us to find alternative solutions, to reunite mothers and dads with their own children.
It forces us to rebuild a "family."
In a dimension where relationships, communication, sociability, are played essentially in this non-space of the virtual of social networks, giving us the illusion of proximity, the virus takes away the proximity, the one that is very real: no one should touch each other, no kisses, no kisses, distance, in the cold of non-contact.
Since when did we take these gestures and their meaning for granted?
In a social climate where thinking about oneself has become the rule, the virus sends us a clear message: the only way out is reciprocity, a sense of belonging, community, feeling part of something bigger, which needs to be taken care of, and that can take care of us. Shared responsibility, feeling that our actions depend not only on our own fate, but on the fate of others, on all those around us. And that we depend on them.
So if we stop the "witch hunt" to ask who is to blame and why it has all happened, and instead to ask ourselves what we can learn, I think we all have a lot to think about and act on.
Because with the cosmos and its laws, obviously, we have an excessive debt.
He reminds us of it at a high price, with a virus.
What joins me in this text? (each quotes a sentence)
Couple working time (45 min)
10 min of personal reflection
- In my personal and current situation, what is a source of joy for me?
- What is difficult for me personally?
- Did I discover resources in my home that I didn't suspect? And / Or checked already familiar resources?
- Did I discover in my house limits that I didn't suspect? And / Or checked already familiar boundaries? What would be the learnings I would like to do?
- COUPLE - STATE OF PLAY
- What do I like about our relationship in this situation?
- What is difficult for me in our relationship in this situation?
- How could you help me ... I express a need
- What would I need to live well in the rest of this period of confinement?
- COUPLE - ASPIRATION
- What would make me say that I succeeded - that we succeeded and optimized this time?
- What are the 3 invitations and concrete actions that I would like to live personally and together in this period?
- What invitation to change do I welcome?
20 min exchange
- Everyone shares their thoughts in 5 minutes, the other listens and notes without interrupting
- He rephrases what he has heard about the fears and difficulties and joys of others, about these needs and invitations
- We're changing
10 mins of consolidation of our action plan
- Everyone notes the ideas that join him, what he proposes to live better and enjoy this time (3 min)
- Sharing and validating 2-3 concrete actions that are appropriate for both