Posted By Erik Fleming on October 15, 2013
The hormone oxytocin helps prevent men from straying, say scientists. Dubbed the ‘cuddle drug’, oxytocin is naturally made in the body and is involved in sex, attraction, trust and confidence.
Research published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that men in romantic relationships given a dose of the ‘fidelity hormone’ kept their distance from attractive strangers, staying four to six inches further away from good-looking women than those given a dummy drug. In contrast, oxytocin had no effect on single men!
Madly in love? Relationship coach and author Frank Vilaasa has this advice:
If you’re in love and it’s not returned, try to remember that when we fall in love, dopamine is released, which leads to obsessive thinking about the other person. If you find that this is happening, distract yourself with something interesting. Don’t dwell on the other person. Remind yourself it’s dopamine that is affecting your thinking, and wait for it to run its course for garcinia cambogia uses
My husband has become very secretive, working late and keeping his phone with him all the time. I’m beginning to think he’s having an affair. Should I confront him?
It very much depends on what you want. If you want to stay in the relationship, I’d say (maybe
surprisingly) no, I wouldn’t suggest you confront him. While I’m usually all for honest communication, there are times when its best to let sleeping dogs lie.
Why? Well, leth just think what would happen if you did lay all the cards on the table. On the one hand, he might deny it, in which case you’d actually be worse off, because you still wouldn’t know for absolute sure and would have created a difficult atmosphere of mistrust. Or, he might come dean and admit it — and then where are you? Either he will up and go or he will say he wants to stay with you (and call off the affair). But, if the latter, will you really be able to forgive him? Or will you find yourself using it as a stick to beat him with? It’s quite possible your relationship may still collapse anyway… but just a little further down the line.
To be very honest, whether he is really having an affair or not is neither here nor there. The bottom line is that you don’t trust him and I would imagine that, reading between the lines, your relationship isn’t a bed of roses right now.
People don’t usually start suspecting affairs when everything is going great in their relationship.
So, I’d suggest that you try to stop about what he is or isn’t doing and put all of your energy into yourself. I know that probably sounds hard but truly, you can’t change other people, only yourself. And while you may not be able to change the situation, you can absolutely change how you react to it.
All of us have heard of foreplay – but what about after play? I believe that what happens after sex is just as important as what precedes it or even the act itself. It is easy to see penetration or the act of orgasm as the ‘main course’ of sex. In my clinic, I frequently hear how many people have become overly focused on these ideas. The time spent in penetration is, studies tell us, only about 4% of the average sexual interaction, and for most people the period of orgasm is less than a minute’s worth of pleasure. So aren’t we overlooking something?
My answer is a resounding yes! Far from sex being the main course, I see sex as akin to a sandwich. What happens before and after penetration and orgasm is key. The time taken to warm up the body’s arousal mechanisms, to connect with your partner, and to allow yourself to relax into (and to get aroused into) a physical and emotional state where you are ready to allow more intimate contact, is essential to good sex. Anticipation of the act is often at least as enjoyable as the act itself.
Enjoy the after glow
In fact, it is in the minutes following sex that we can really alter our body’s experience and the impact it has on our relationship. In the post coital haze that follows a positive sexual encounter the body is awash with neurochemicals. Oxytocin (the ‘cuddle hormone’) is released during sex and helps us to feel connected with our partner. Unfortunately dopamine is also produced and although this has a short-term positive effect (making the brain feel satiated and giving a short-term sense of well-being), its levels quickly reduce, leading to withdrawal symptoms and irritability. Some scientists argue that the reason we lose desire in long-term relationships may be because we come to associate sexual intimacy with those feelings of annoyance, thus causing us to avoid sex. Many people counter this by going out and finding new partners to feed their dopamine habit whilst avoiding the irritability feelings which may be put onto a regular partner.
So how do we counteract the emotional rollercoaster? The answer is oxytocin. Although after orgasm levels of oxytocin begin to fall, you can sustain them by continuing to maintain close body contact, hugging and holding each other.
Hugs lasting more than 20 seconds have been shown to cause the release of oxytocin, which, as well as increasing pair-bonding, has been shown to have multiple positive effects: lessening cravings and reducing addiction, less stress, increasing sexual receptivity, speeding up wound healing and facilitating learning, lowering blood pressure. It seems almost a miracle hormone!
So to maintain desire and deepen your bond, don’t let sex end right after orgasm. Hold one another and you’ll see the benefits blossom in your relationship.
Focus on doing the things you enjoy doing – get a life rather than obsessing over his. Make it all about you, not about him. Remind yourself of the real you. What fires you up? What makes you excited? Be good to yourself; be real. Maybe look into meditation and yogic breathing (pranayama), exercises that make you focus on what is, rather than imagining what might be.
Then, one of two things might happen. Either he will fall in love with you all over again and the affair (if indeed there ever was one) will just fade away all of its own accord. Or you will realise that you and he have fallen too far apart to pick up the pieces and will find yourself naturally wanting to move on. All relationships run the risk of turning stale over time. This kind of ‘what’s going on’ moment can actually be helpful. Look on this not as a trial but as an opportunity to grow.
Feeling in need of a hug but nobody to reciprocate? The Boyfriend Pillow could be just the trick A machine-washable cushion made out of memory foam, and shaped to resemble one arm and one half of a shifted chest, the pillow (235.99 from wayfairco.uk) allows the user to wrap themselves in the nook of an arm and be cuddled to sleep, and would be ‘a great gift for a friend or relative with a good sense of humor that would love to have a little more cuddling at night!