Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Being One Flesh

I’m talking about marriage in class today—my very favorite lesson to teach and wanted to share with you one of the quotes I will be using. This comes from the book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, by Dr. Daniel G. Amen who has used fMRI technology to learn a great deal about the brain and how it works. 

*         One of his discoveries is that “Whenever a person is sexually involved with another person, neurochemical changes occur in both their brains that encourage limbic, emotional bonding. Yet limbic bonding is the reason casual sex doesn’t really work for most people on a whole mind and body level. Two people may decide to have sex “just for the fun of it,” yet something is occurring on another level they might not have decided on at all; Sex is enhancing an emotional bond between them whether they want it or not.”

This takes us right back to the scriptures where we are told that “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Elder LeGrand Richards explains this verse by saying:  “It is evident that the Lord did not have in mind that they should be one in purpose and desire, for he makes himself clear as to what this oneness should consist of: ‘one flesh.”

*         Dr. Amen goes on to explain that because of this oneness, “Losing a spouse or lover is traumatic in a different way from losing any other loved one. Once you have made love with a person on a regular basis, death can be extraordinarily painful because the deep limbic connection has been broken. The spouse has become part of the chemical bond of that part of the brain, and it takes time for that bond to dissolve.”

This would also be true in the case of divorce when one partner doesn’t want the divorce and explains why it is such a traumatic experience for that person. It is not simply a loss, death and divorce from someone you love is literally losing part of yourself.

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