This week’s broadcast of the Healing Talk segment of Prime Time Health will feature guest host Marilee VanWagenen, Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
After many years of counseling couples, as well as experiencing, nurturing and strengthening her own marriage of 40 years, Marilee will address the topic of “Maintaining Closeness in Your Marriage”
According to Marilee, most adults want to be happily married. Marriage exists in every culture and has been around for all of recorded history. So why is happiness so difficult to achieve in marriage? Why do married couples rarely discover the vast potential for joy and companionship that marriage promises?
Research shows that happy couples and unhappy couples have the same number of problems in their lives. What allows the happy couple to strengthen their relationship through difficulties while the unhappy couple’s relationship deteriorates?
What’s really going on in romance, the “honeymoon period”, and the all-too common disillusionment that can follow? Although many things are happening, a little neuroscience sheds light on some very characteristic experiences. When an individual falls in love, the brain gets a huge surge of the neurotransmitters dopamine and nor epinephrine. These neurotransmitters make a person feel like life is wonderful, everything is possible, the couple is invincible, and most of life’s pain is solved. But the brain cannot sustain this incredible burst of neurotransmitters for more than a few months. What happens when these neurotransmitters go back to normal levels?
What happens at this point if the couple is not committed, or married with unrealistic expectations, or simply doesn’t understand what is happening?
What happens if we have cultural notions of romantic love make it impossible for our spouse to meet our expectations?
The answers offer immediate help to individuals who desire to realize their marriage’s potential.