Researchers at Oxford University wonder whether wedded bliss can be guaranteed through a daily dose of intranasal (i.e. up the nose) oxytocin, also known as “the love hormone.” Could more marriages really stay intact with the help of biochemicals?
A recently published paper states that since about half of all marriages end in divorce — 20 to 72 percent caused by cheating husbands compared with 10 to 54 percent failing from cheating wives — that the chemical manipulation of neural systems might overcome some of the biological limitations of marital well-being.
The researchers theorize that the fragility of marriage is due to "deeply-rooted disparities" between our high-minded ideals and low-minded loins. They say natural selection and the blind need to promote the reproductive success of our species, coupled with the conscious values of modern marriage, clearly results in tension.
To illustrate this point, the researchers point out that most people say they want to be married, but only 37% of couples claim to be ‘very happy’ in their marriages. And while they acknowledge that other therapies can be effective, they insist “research also indicates that a sizeable percentage of couples fail to achieve significant gains from couples therapy or show significant deterioration afterward."
Their proposed solution? Neurochemical enhancers used in conjunction with counseling and other controlled activities to facilitate communication and the pursuit of ideals between couples experiencing conflict.
In a society that puts such a premium on ‘true love,’ will we accept needing hormones to stay with someone we’re ‘supposed’ to be married to forever? And what about our partners? How will we feel if they ‘need’ drugs just to cope with being married to us?
Although we don’t hate the idea of having a pill that makes everything in life better, for now we’re happy trying marriage the old-fashioned way.
What do you think, moms: Do we need medication to stay happy and faithful? Would it help? Tell us below.