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Is it easier to have been a wanted child?

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Is it really an opportunity to have been wanted by one’s parents? To raise this question is no doubt incongruous, even shocking, for all those who suffer for not having been born. Forty years after the advent of the pill, thirty-five years after the legalization of abortion, at a time when motherhood is glorified and procreation is medicalized, having the feeling of having burst into life is experienced as a wound. However, is it so comfortable to have been planned, dreamed, “programmed”? Not necessarily, especially since the question is often not so simple, and the desire to have a child is more ambivalent than it seems. It can be desired very consciously and much less unconsciously,” says psychoanalyst Simone Korff Sausse. The child pushes you towards death, towards another generation, which is difficult to accept. The other way around,
sometimes it comes by accident, but when it is there, it is very inverted: if it was not consciously desired, it was desired unconsciously.”

A child who feels legitimate

When we are children, or even teenagers, we all need reassurance about the circumstances of our coming into the world: by asking our parents if they loved us, we seek to prove their love for us. “Sometimes it is a way of reassuring ourselves when we feel unloved, for example after a divorce, the arrival of a younger child or when there are confrontations during adolescence,” comments Constance de Champris, psychotherapist and specialist in transgenerational analysis. Learning from parents that the arrival in this world is not due to chance represents a kind of original security, a narcissistic comfort, especially when the separation took place shortly after birth, as was Cleo’s case. As a child, I needed to check with my mother that I was really loved,” recalls the young woman, now 27. I was always intrigued by the expression ‘getting pregnant’, as if it were a fall, an accident. The fact that I was thought of, that I was expected, gave me a legitimacy to be born.

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However, asking the question to one’s parents means taking the risk of knowing more than one would have wished to know about one’s intimate life…”. I am struck by the fact that in my practice I see young women for whom the fact of having been “excessively” desired is a real issue,” says Muriel Flis-Trèves (Baby’s attitudePlon, 2005), psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. As transparency and the idea of telling everything have become commonplace, their mother has told them that she miscarried before or after her birth. And they feel guilty for being alive, while their possible brothers and sisters have not been born, a kind of survivor syndrome. In addition, these young women often view their own desire to have children differently: they schedule less, let nature take its course and accept closer pregnancies more readily than their mothers did.

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A petition for the boy-kingby Simone Korff Sausse. Adored, but also criticized for the way they dictate their law to adults, today’s children are not so “kings,” the psychoanalyst assures us: if the
Society gives them a lot, but asks even more of them (Hachette Littératures, 2006).

A child afraid to disappoint

The desired child is the one whose parents have judged that he has arrived at the right time. But his “luck” often has a major drawback: he feels obliged to live up to it, to occupy as well as possible the place assigned to him in the parental “program”. Today, births are more planned and less numerous than fifty years ago,” says psychoanalyst Monique Bydlowski (Children of desireOdile Jacob, 2008). As many couples know they will only have one or two children, the pressure is at its highest – there is no question of missing out on this long-awaited child! As the bearer of the parents’ hopes, he feels pressured to get results. “It is as if they are being asked to remain, in reality, the imaginary child they were during pregnancy,” analyzes Muriel Flis-Trèves. Under these conditions, she finds it difficult to oppose her parents: she wants to comply with them, to be “the one we were expecting”. My parents don’t put any particular pressure on me, but I’m always afraid of disappointing them,” Cleo admits. During my studies, I often put myself in danger and, every time, I would go to them and ask, ‘What if I fail the exam, will you still love me? Basically, it was a way of testing the bond, asking them if I had the right to be less than perfect. I realize that I am reproducing this pattern in my professional life. I just started an internship and now I have only one fear: that my employers will regret their choice, just as I fear my parents will.”

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A child held hostage to his parents’ story.

To have been wanted is to be envied by all those who were not, to have no right to complain or to suffer. However, the child sometimes has the heavy burden of repairing something in the life of his parents: he wanted to fill a void, a narcissistic suffering. I see young women who are very eager to have a child, around the age of 37 or 38, so as not to grow old alone, to give meaning to their lives,” observes Constance de Champris. Some couples want their children to exist in relation to their siblings or their own parents. Their children are then at the service of a fraternal oedipal dynamic: their mission is to occupy space in relation to their cousins, to become the “best” grandchild of their grandparents. Trapped in the history of his parents, the child can feel alienated by excessive expectations. My mother always told my three sisters and me that if the pill had existed in her time, none of us would have been born,” says Sylvia, 55. I, on the other hand, really loved my children and often told them so. I realize that it’s hard for them to live up to what they mean to me, especially since I raised them alone.

A child who must reclaim his desire

For some, school failure and risky behavior become an unconscious way of emancipating themselves from this powerful bond, or of rebelling against an overflow of affection. It is intoxicating and de-structuring at the same time to see so much love in the eyes of the father and mother,” says Muriel Flis-Trèves. A child who expresses negativity very strongly may be trying to break free. But parents often find it difficult to set limits. By punishing him, they fear losing their love, “whereas – the psychoanalyst reminds us – these transitory movements of hatred allow him to build himself up”. The child should not feel obliged to do everything to please his parents”, summarizes Simone Korff Sausse. And the role of parents is not only to please their child. You have to get out of this narcissistic relationship in which everyone tries to project a positive image. Heavily invested, the desired child has a way to go to reclaim their own desire. They have the impression of being in debt and have a hard time feeling fully responsible for their own existence. “They need to reconnect with their ‘yes’ to life,” explains Constance de Champris. If he came into the world, it was because his parents were ready to welcome him, but also because he wanted to. Françoise Dolto used to say that it takes three desires to make a child: that of the father, that of the mother and that of the child.

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Separating from parental expectations is often an even more difficult challenge for the only child. “A child with siblings is less in direct contact with his parents: he can share their gaze, lean on the elders,” says Simone Korff Sausse. It is also up to parents to let their children fly: their love must carry them, reassure them, not lock them up. Even when they are sought after, they are there to escape, to surprise them, to become someone else. Life has been given to them: they are free to do what they want with it.

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Family / Couple

Breath play or erotic suffocation, a dangerous sexual practice

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It is sexual behavior that is controversial. the breathing game which literally means “breath play”, is a form of erotic asphyxiation practiced during sexual intercourse. But its dangerousness is often overlooked.

What is the breathing game?

ends sexual arousal”, defines the English version of Wikipedia. In practice, “erotic asphyxia” consists ofchoking your partner in the middle of a sexual act. However, playing with your breath can be very dangerous, even deadly. “May result in accidental death by suffocation,” the definition says.

However, despite the risk of injury or fainting, this practice has many adherents. A study conducted in 2021 among 4,000 American students indicates that 26.5% of those surveyed had drowned during their last sexual encounter. Another study carried out the same year on other students reveals more worrying figures: 58% of them have already been suffocated by a partner.

L’suffocation erotic it is also very popular in BSDM circles. A french website dedicated to this type of sexual practices, explains that this restriction of breathing is “practiced in different ways: hanging, suffocation, placing the head in a plastic bag or strangulation,” reports an article in female earth.

A sexual practice that can be deadly

Very risky, the breathing game was popularized by the porn industry, making it an act in its own right, especially in sexual relations marked by domination. But in reality, the consequences of this sexual practice can be fatal. Too much pressure on the larynx can cause death.

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Although there are no official figures on the number of deaths caused by this practice, Grace Millane, a 22-year-old woman, died from it in 2018. Police found traces of strangulation that could correspond to a “four to five minute” suffocation. His partner, Jesse Kempton, was convicted of femicide and sentenced to life in prison. The defense had confided “that the young woman had accidentally died at the end of a sexual game that had gone wrong, a version that had been categorically rejected by the jury,” he recalls. paris party.

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Couple: what your position on the sofa says about your relationship

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the posture adopted by couples when they sit on a sofait’s a window into your relationship status. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by Georgina Barnett, a British psychologist, on 2,000 cohabiting couples. “Tell me how you’re sitting, I’ll tell you if everything is fine in your relationship,” says the specialist in an interview with Stylish Maternity.

Sitting next to each other: a sign of imbalance?

While most couples tend to sit on the couch together, there are some pretty subtle signs that it can be signs of relationship problems. When the partners occupy only one corner of the bench and are too close together, this is synonymous with imbalance in your relationship. “The comfortable person in the corner takes up the space, is confident, and has power in the relationship. The other, on the other hand, seems less confident. He is looking for contact and reassurance, ”explains Georgina Barnett.

However, there is a nuance when they sit more in the center of the sofa, maintaining physical contact, such as a hand on the thigh or another. “Couples established in this way have trust your relationship and therefore can afford personal space. It is a mixture of intimacy and freedom”, analyzes the psychologist. But although in love, the latter no longer experience the passion of the first days, according to the expert.

When the position on the sofa heralds a crisis

According to the psychologist, time is serious in the event that the two partners are sitting at two different ends. “It’s even worse if her legs are crossed in opposite directions,” she says. This posture is generally a sign of a Tension in the couple. It can also be a sign that something was left unsaid or resentment, according to Georgina Barnett.

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And contrary to what one might think, if the partners are based on different bases, distanced from each other, it does not necessarily mean that they are in crisis. can only be couples comfortable enough with each other to have their own space. Although this study is based on a fairly large sample, its conclusions must be taken with caution.

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The Relationship Escalator: Are You Following This Conventional Love Pattern?

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Dating, formalizing your relationship, living together, getting married and having children. Many people perceive this life path map as the ultimate blueprint. This diagram has a name: the relationship escalator. The goal of those who take it is to peak by aging together, after checking a certain number of boxes.

What is a “relationship escalator”?

This expression designates a love pattern widespread, but increasingly questioned within society. The Urban DictionaryThe bible of slang and popular expressions defines the relationship ladder as “the societal expectation that a romantic relationship should automatically follow a set of stages and lead to marriage, parenthood, and home ownership.”

Amy Gahran, author of Off the Relationship Escalator, Uncommon Love and Life, was the first to mention this concept. She explains that this notion is “a standard by which most people assess whether an intimate relationship that develops is meaningful, serious, good, healthy, committed, or worth pursuing or maintaining.” In other words, the escalator of the relationship denotes ME’set of beliefs that perceive the most conventional pattern of love as the most rewarding and valued. This concept is made up of several steps that can vary depending on the culture. But they generally follow this timeline:

• Flirt for a few weeks/months

• Becoming sexually and emotionally exclusive

• Introduce your partner to loved ones

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• Live together

• Get married or settle down

• Acquire real estate

• Have children

• Get old together

A satisfactory relational schema if it is not imposed

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking this kind of path of love if it makes us happy. Instead, what can be problematic is imposing it on others as an absolute norm and the only valid model. Pointing fingers at this practice is also a way of denouncing the constant pressure on singles and couples who do not formalize their civil unions.

Gabrielle Smith, an author and poet who is very sensitive to issues related to sexuality and romantic relationships, analyzes this practice in an article by granist “The relationship escalator is designed for heterosexual relationships between singles and preferably for relationships within a two-income middle-class household. Many people are not part of this demographic, and those who are still feel the pressure it brings. »

If this mandate can affect all genders, it is particularly intense when it comes to heterosexual women. “Society makes you think it’s easy to get married, have children, or combine finances. But the reality for many is that it is neither possible nor smart”, concludes Gabrielle Smith.

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