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In recent years commentators have speculated on the "collapse" of the couple and the family, highlighting the increasing fragility of couple relationships making them vulnerable to crises and break ups. Now, more than ever, and prompted by changes that have shaken our assumptions about socio/cultural context, the reasons that make couple relationships unstable are sought in the negotiations and redefinitions required by the changes themselves. New types of families are emerging and consequently new issues are being raised about the dynamics of family relationships. This book underlines the role of attachment as a central motivational system in couple relationships, and focuses on the relationship between past and present experiences in determining choices, perceptions, and feelings in couple relationships. It considers what other motivational systems interact with attachment in constituting a couple's dynamics, and looks at aspects more directly experienced by couples: in particular, how they feel about their relationship, especially in terms of the degree of intimacy between them (something that attachment theorists might look at in evaluating how "good" a relationship is).
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