They are in love but no longer love

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Some couples continue to love each other in spite of the absence of sexual relations. They say they don’t suffer. How do they maintain the flame while the desire is gone ?

Caroline Desages
Isabelle Taubes
– Updated on February 17, 2019 at 14:10


The last time they made love ? Mathieu and Éva, the quarantine in full bloom, do not remember. Married for thirteen years, proud parents of two children, they have, by their own admission, put in small side of their sexuality. This does not prevent them from laughing together, to give the hand in the street or sleeping one against the other.

Without the claim, or enroll in the mainstream of no sex in vogue in the past few years, Mathieu and Eva have found a balance in marriage that belongs to them, refusing to make of this lack of having a ” problem “. A choice taken less rare than it seems, the heart has its reasons that sometimes the body ignores… love without making love, is it really possible ?



How does the sexual desire ? What is the physical desire in men and in women ? Confidences, intimate and explanations in seven questions and answers (…).

Often, it is after childbirth, the loss of a loved one or a job, situations of grief that assoupissent the libido (the sexual impulse) and, in the case of unemployment, are a severe blow to the self esteem, the couple stops any sexual activity. The hugs are becoming increasingly rare, until they disappear completely from the landscape of marriage. Because the less we made love, the less the urge is there, since the sexual impulse is self-feeding, a bit like a battery. Our partner excites our desire not because he is handsome, he smells good and he is intelligent, but because it occupies a special place in our organization psychic.

According to freudian theory, unconsciously, a woman frequently sees in his partner is the man who will make her a mother, or the savior who has killed symbolically her father to release her from her status as a little girl. A man tends to see his girlfriend one that will allow him to surpass his own father. This is the reason why the birth of a child whom we know to be the last of the siblings omen sometimes a long period without sex or mark definitely the end of lovemaking.

Therefore, the spouses must invent a sexuality other, where the problems of maternity and paternity have disappeared. This is also the case with menopause. It is necessary to reconstruct scenarios interiors, focusing this time mainly on the only enjoyment. Psychic task difficult if their relation to the pleasure is tinged with guilt.

These couples do not live as brothers and sisters, or roommates. Suffer ? Very often, it is the idea to seem abnormal in a society where the enjoyment is a norm, a duty almost, that can make them suffer. And the lack of sex is not painful in itself. This is the frustration, the inability to access the pleasure hoped, desired, which makes people sick. Freud, inventor of a theory linking sexuality and neurosis, had stopped all sex life to the quarantine.

A reality that reminds us that, for psychoanalysis, the subject, in fact, there was no standard. “Love takes many forms, and it is clearly possible to find other ways to cement a couple,” explains Gérard Tixier, a psychiatrist and sex therapist. I would even say that, when we rest together, in spite of the abstinence, that is probably because of love, because we decided to invest in his family, in common interests, in the comfort of a life to two. “

“This is not how I saw myself growing old confirms Éva, but I too love Matthew and everything that we’ve built these last ten years to decide to give up the ground that we have no more envy of one another. “

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