Research has demonstrated that good communication leads to successful relationships. Similarly, possessing the ability to compromise and an attraction to ones spouse are also important for a successful marriage life. Indeed, Rabbi Barry Holzer has asserted that if one wants their marriage to succeed, one should spend time with their spouse, listen to and support their partner, express gratitude, be kind and responsive, and argue respectfully. However, Bar Ilan University Psychology Professor Ruth Feldman, upon scientifically studying how the human brain works, has found that the secret to a long-lasting marriage can be found in a hormone called oxytocin.
Oxytocin, which is also known as the love hormone, has been linked to sexual reproduction, maternal bonding, empathy, trust, generosity, anxiety, and longevity in relationships. According to Live Science, Feldman had sought to uncover how oxytocin contributes towards successful bonds between couples. So, she took 60 couples, all of them in their 20’s and who had begun their relationship recently, and upon interviewing them, took their blood samples. Feldman then tracked these 60 couples over a period of six months. She found that couples who remained together after six months had about the same oxytocin level, while couples whose oxytocin level died off frequently separated.
Evidently, the oxytocin level is always the highest in the beginning of a relationship. While pregnant women also have high oxytocin levels, in order to assist mothers in developing a strong bond with her babies, young couples in the beginning of their relationship evidently have twice the amount of oxytocin in their brains that pregnant women possess. This is a biological way to assist couples in getting their relationship started. Couples who managed to maintain this oxytocin level were able to succeed in their relationships, forming close bonds with their spouses. Yet, couples who didn’t often broke up.
Given all of this, researchers have hypothesized, based on information gathered in this Israeli study, that perhaps inserting oxytocin into couples’ brains might be able to save a lot of relationships that are at risk. Adam Guastella of the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute told the Scientific American that giving people injections of oxytocin has also been found to help alongside marriage therapy. Guastella conducted a study of couples which found that inserting oxytocin into the brain caused couples to respond in a less confrontational manner on issues which they used to argue over. This means that inserting oxytocin might have the potential to save a number of marriages that are presently in crisis, by helping to improve communication between couples. For this reason, this Israeli discovery has great potential to help many people who experienced marital crisis.
By Rachel Avraham