Sophie is sitting in a sunny shared room. Twenty kilometers from her and Dennis’s place. The two have been married for almost three years, and she moved out two and a half months ago. They actually wanted to start planning their children now. “The week before last I wrote Dennis a letter,” says Sophie. “I was so angry I told him I married a man and not a sissy. That we promised each other to go through the hard times together. That we can’t give up now in our first crisis.”
In couple therapy, where the two now meet every two weeks, Dennis, 29, and Sophie, 27, have drawn up a kind of contract. For three months, it says, Sophie will live somewhere else. They meet up once a week and go to a concert, eat burgers or go to the cinema. “To prove to ourselves that we are not just a crisis,” says Sophie. On the one hand, Dennis likes that. On the other hand, he is afraid that they will fall back into this pattern, which has become stronger over the past three years.