sad goodbyeIn a blend of contradictory emotions – from ecstasy to torture – human beings repeatedly demonstrate an addiction to love much the same as an addiction to, say, nicotine or cocaine.

That’s not surprising, since the same reward circuitry in the brain reinforces both.   Feeling good comes from neuro- and biochemicals, too, like oxytocin and seratonin.

Love’s intense longing and pining are singularly human and serve an evolutionary purpose:  no better way to get a guy and gal to stay together through insemination, birth, and the first year of an infant’s life than to be inextricably bind them by strong emotions.

What’s often forgotten in the blush and rush is that love is never enough, and that the newness of passion doesn’t last.

Mapping the heart and soul of love is as uncharted as  universes we’ve yet to imagine; where jealousy, fear, uncertainty, suspicion, anger, and even hopefulness are common.  It’s the same joy and the same pain that was described in a 4,000 year old Sumerian love poem, Shakespeare’s 400 year old description of Antony’s love for Cleopatra, and the love pangs heard in the 40 year old love songs of The Beatles.

All parts of society – from healthcare providers to legal and educational institutions — see the ramifications every day of love gone wrong.   Heartbreak affects society in increased illness and medical costs as well as lowered work production. Worst of all, relationship difficulties can result in poorly regulated and passion-fueled acts: verbal and physical abuse, violence, broken families, and children who grow up to repeat the same heartbreaks as their parents.

It’s a testament to our profound complexity that it’s still a mystery how love can lead to the very real, physical aching of a heart in love.

Specializing in couples work, Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family Therapist and Relationship Specialist.  For over 13 years, she and her husband, David, have conducted Couple Communication Workshops for hearts breaking because of poor communication.  Married for almost 30 years, one of the first questions Kathe ever asked David was if he’d ever had a broken heart.  Find the schedule for their next Couple Communication Workshop at where you can also find out more about each of them.

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© 2014 Being Heard

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