As most of us probably know by now that a lot of action that human do is as a result from the chemistry happening in the brain. Human brain is basically a neurotransmitter that giving messages to our body on what to do and how to respond. Recently I have been thinking on how amazing human brain works. Even your feelings is a result of the chemical released from your brain to have certain feelings. I am no scientist, but I cannot help it but wonder that when you stop ‘loving’ someone everything you see about that person changed as well. This is why ‘love’ cannot be the only reason for people to get married. I am not saying it shouldn’t be the reason, but it should not be the only reason to get into a marriage.
Basically when we fall in love or when we are in love the brain releases chemicals that create a feeling of euphoria and pleasure and closeness to comfort. Technically the brain is hardwired to want to love and keep loving as part of a survival. I’m basically going to discuss some of the levels happening in our brain from a source-that i will cite later.
The first attraction when you have a crush on someone the brain will release dopamine that makes you feel happy and giddy and pleasure just by thinking that person – and this euphoria feelings also released during gambling and drug addiction. When you think about your crush, it will release more dopamine, each time.
The second stage would be early stage of courtship. When you really like someone you will feel nervous and sweating. This is because ‘In the early throes of a romantic relationship, your brain sends a signal to the adrenal gland (located on top of the kidneys) to pump out the chemicals adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, giving you a rush of excitement’. Norepinephrine is making us infatuated and obsessed and hence the brain will ask us to keep going.
The third stage is when you fall in love. Apparently they don’t call love is a drug for nothing. At this stage the brain has decided that love is important and it wants more. The brain keeps releasing dopamine which makes you crave the person you love more and more. When the object of your desire or the person you love is not around, you may feel in withdrawal, just like drugs you will get motivated to see them again. However, the high has diminishing returns, which is why after a few months, the rush can weaken and thats how people fall out of love. Unless they have become attached.
The fourth stage is called rose colored glasses. It is when the limbic reward system is lighted up and amygdala – which is a set of neurons that located in the temporal lobe and plays a big role to us when we need to react to stimuli is shut down, or more like taking a nap that could cloud our judgment regard that person or object.
The fifth stage is early attachment. As you spend time more with the person or the object you love, the brain release oxytocin. This is produced and released into the brains during intimacy. This oxytocin is a key to foster trust and commitment. Oxytocin actually subtler and stays longer leading into deeper attachment.
The sixth stage would be deep attachment. After it develop into deep companionship – it is when two people have committed to each other for years, the brain will show increased activity in the ventral pallidum. This region is rich with oxytocin and vesopressin receptors, associated with monogamy and deep attachment. The limbic reward system will remain active during this as well and hence why couples in this stage can experience the rush of early courtship along with deep attachment.
A bonding is critical in the first few years of relationship, hence it will prove whether or not a relationship can last in a marriage or even before. These chemicals in our brain affect our feeling and action. It is also helpful to understand why some people are having an affair. Once the ‘love’ cycle has matured you will regain your ability to think rationally and may or may not affect your relationship. You may have think that your partner has changed when he or she actually never did. You will have a new point of few regarding your partner.
I believe this is why some couples break up after some time. The pleasure and ‘feelings’ that has been blinding their judgment is gone and the reality strike them that their partner is not what they have hoped for. I supposed it is easier to let go or move on after these stages has passed, compare to breaking up during one of those stages because of some problems like ; unfaithfulness, environment, family, etc. I believe if it is broken up during those stages the person will be in so called withdrawal and hence the depression. Since every brain react differently to this withdrawal, time of moving on from this process will be different from each person. It is also possible that this withdrawal and depression can cause greater damage and causing the brain to release so called ‘bad chemicals’ and lead to mental/psychological effect.
Let’s not into details about it.
I actually have a story regarding this matter. It is based on real life story but i will change the name.
There is a couple that i know of for a long time, Dean and Rose. They have been together for 3 years. I was not very close with them but they showed affection and Dean is pretty much protective of Rose. After 3 years of relationship they finally moved to the next stage, which is marriage. Surprisingly, after 2 month of marriage I heard a rather sad and shocking news. Dean is cheating with someone else, and Rose eventually came to know about it. It seems that the affair started before their marriage. Dean confessed to Rose privately and expressed that he is no longer want to be with Rose and he is in love with the 3rd party. Rose was very sad – which is normal, and she was trying hard to prevent Dean to leave their house. Dean still insisted and actually hurt Rose physically just to get out of the house. Rose is actually pregnant with Dean’s child – on the note this is happen after the marriage, and it appears Dean does not care about it. Short story until now Dean never came back.
It is why I said before that love should not be the only base of a marriage. To have a commitment and to be committed into something we need to have responsibility and maturity to manage it. It is not easy I’m sure, but if we want to go into that stage we have to know the risk, the responsibility and what are the right things to do.
I guess, I , too, can understand why some people think that marriage is just a piece of paper and they rather have a a long lasting companionship until they’re old, instead of bonding it over marriage.
There is no right or wrong in this situation. There is only responsibility.