How to Fail at Your Relationship

Original title: Comment rater son couple a coup sûr

Publication Date:

September 2024



Original language and publisher

French | Les Arènes


Personal Development

Number of copies sold:

6,000 print run

How to Fail at Your Relationship

Original title: Comment rater son couple a coup sûr


Renowned psychologist with 15 years of experience illustrates the frequent vicious cycles many couples find themselves in: what are the most dangerous errors we make, and how can we avoid them?

A couple is not just two people who love each other: it is a system of interactions that is more than the sum of its parts. According to the Palo Alto School of Thought, a couple is prone to “utopia syndrome,” meaning each person has an idea how their couple should function, and clinging to this ideal can generate disappointment and suffering. In short, we create our own misery!

Escaping these toxic thought cycles is often more difficult than we think. Especially when, in many cases, we always think that it is the other person that is the one who needs to change!

The first step in breaking out of vicious cycles within a couple is realizing what mistakes we are making. Emmanuelle Piquet, as a licensed psychologist and couple therapist, traces the story of a dozen things that can go wrong, and how to fix them. From needing to control the other’s feelings, to requiring the other to express a certain level of desire, and even avoiding confrontation, these schemas can be found in many relationships. Piquet draws on the plethora of her experiences in her doctor’s office, helps us take a 180-degree turn, and shows us how we can work toward happiness.

Psychologist Emmanuelle Piquet has been working with couples for over fifteen years. She trains many people in the principles and tools of the Palo Alto school, of which she is a specialist in Europe. Her books include Votre enfant face aux autres (2022), Te laisse pas faire ! (Payot, 2014), Faites votre 180° ! (Payot, 2015) and Comment ne pas être un prof idéal (Payot, 2018). She has also written children’s books in partnership with Les Arènes Jeunesse.