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The “Love Hormone” And Your Marriage

Q: Are your parents to blame for your divorce?

Phoenix divorce attorneys are used to meeting clients who blame their spouses for the problems in their marriage. But a recent study out of Baylor University, published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, suggests their parents may also be to blame. 

Do I have to prove fault to get divorced in Arizona?

Unless you’re one of the very few couples who entered into a covenant marriage, you don’t need to prove that your spouse did anything wrong in order to get a divorce. Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. All you need to allege is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” in order to untie the knot.  

While fault is irrelevant, the Baylor University study shines some light on “how early, parental stress – – and the suppression of oxytocin that may result – – could also be linked to adult outcomes”. Depleted levels of oxytocin impact relationship issues– which could lead to divorce. Specifically, the study suggests that people who were children when their parents divorced may have difficulties forming lasting relationships as adults due to having “substantially lower levels of oxytocin– – the so-called ‘love hormone’.”

How can a childhood divorce experience impact a later adult relationship?

In comparison to those whose parents remained married, adults who experienced parental divorce during childhood and participated in the Baylor study were found to be:

  • “less confident,
  • more uncomfortable with closeness,
  • less secure in relationships,
  • less sensitive and close in their own caregiving style.”

The study asked questions touching on, among other things, the participants’ “memories of affection and feeling protected or abused” and measured their oxytocin levels through urine samples taken after questioning.

This isn’t to suggest that all marriages of children of divorce are destined for divorce court. The cycle does not necessarily repeat itself automatically. Those recognizing themselves in the characterizations of the study participants can self-correct the behavior, and seek therapy and/or mediation to strengthen or save their relationships.

If you’re considering getting divorced in Arizona, or if you’ve been served with divorce papers, or have questions regarding any family law matter, the experts at Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation

From our office in Phoenix, we are totally focused on helping clients throughout Arizona navigate their family law issues with a non-judgmental and compassionate approach. 

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