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Authenticity, work and change: a qualitative study on couple intimacy

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Using the lenses of systemic family psychology and family sociology, this study explores the meanings of couple intimacy and the factors that have an impact on it. Through the qualitative analysis of 33 joint couple interviews, several links were found between current intimacy debates (ie, togetherness versus autonomy), which help to build a complex picture of relationship dynamics. The participants' perspectives provided three important results. First, couple intimacy was perceived as encompassing authenticity, sharing and trust, along with privacy, understanding and autonomy. Second, factors that have a negative impact on couple intimacy were related to the calibration of boundaries with other subsystems (especially work). Third, changing the everyday routine of couple life is the factor that influences intimacy in a most positive manner. These results allow us to provide a theoretical complexification and an empirical update of couple intimacy, as well as to contribute with relevant clues for couple therapy and preventive systemic interventions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected] 3: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: November 2013

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