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In Nederland gaat bijna veertig procent van de stellen uit elkaar. Is een duurzame relatie nog wel van deze tijd? Esther Kluwer stelt dat het hebben van een goede relatie belangrijk is voor het welzijn van mensen en voor hun inzetbaarheid in werk. Aan de hand van psychologische theorieën en onderzoek laat zij zien dat partners hiertoe beter in staat zijn wanneer zij hun autonomie weten te behouden in de verbondenheid met hun partner.

Wat is het geheim van een duurzame relatie?’ Deze vraag is mij vaak gesteld door journalisten. En elke keer kon ik geen eenduidig antwoord geven. Dat zit zo: er is geen geheim. Dat wil zeggen, er is geen protocol. Er is geen set van voorschriften of gedragsregels die ervoor zorgt dat men een leven lang gelukkig blijft met de gekozen partner. Filosofen, schrijvers, dichters, muzikanten, filmmakers, en tegenwoordig bloggers en vloggers, houden zich al eeuwen bezig met de liefde. Het aantal zelfhulpboeken, datingsites en websites over relaties is ontelbaar. Het thema relaties is voor veel mensen een prangende kwestie. En terecht! De meest ingrijpende gebeurtenissen en emoties die we in ons leven meemaken hebben te maken met relaties: verliefd worden, een relatie beginnen, trouwen, maar ook afgewezen worden, ruzie maken, scheiden, of een partner verliezen. Partnerrelaties zijn niet alleen heel fundamentele maar ook heel complexe sociale relaties. Ten eerste heb je de mechanismen die zich tussen partners afspelen: hoe nemen…

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