When people start a new relationship, most of our attraction is thanks to an irresistible cocktail of chemicals. Unbeknown to us, our brain entices us to crave affection. But how?
Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in New Jersey has been conducting research on the brain chemistry of what she calls ‘the emotion systems associated with mating, reproduction,and parenting.’ Helen suggests that the three emotional systems (or ‘stages of love’) —lust, attraction, and attachment—“ are somewhat disconnected in human beings…” But the situation is not hopeless. Fisher argues; “the role of the prefrontal cortex in humans is to control and direct these emotions—if we so choose.”
As for love these days, let’s talk statistics. The divorce rate in the United States is expected to reach 67 percent before the end of the decade. Currently, some 80 percent of divorced men and 72 percent of divorced women remarry; but 54 percent and 61 percent, respectively, divorce again. High divorce and remarriage rates are seen in many other cultures, as well.
When it comes to animosity in relationships, at least 25 percent of homicides in the United States involve spouses, sexual partners, or sexual rivals.
Each year, some one million American women are followed and harassed by rejected lovers; 370,000 men are stalked by former partners; and approximately 1.8 million wives in the United States are beaten by their husbands. In fact, male sexual jealousy is the foremost cause of wife battering in cultures worldwide.
Husbands, although to a lesser degree, are physically abused by wives. Men and women in societies everywhere can experience clinical depression when a love relationship fails; and psychologists say that a sign? I cant think of the percentage of those who commit suicide because they have been rejected by a beloved.
But WHY? Could our brain chemicals be driving some people to act in an extreme way? It’s highly possible!