Madmen Season Five Reveals Most Common Relationship Mistakes, Says Bonding Relationship Expert, and Specifically the Effects of Too Much Dopamine in the Brain

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A noted relationship expert from reveals how brain chemistry causes the characters on Madmen Season 5 to have affairs and be dissatisfied with their partners. This is due to too much of the brain hormone dopamine and and not enough oxytocin, says the expert.

Madmen season five is starting, and according to relationship expert Matt Cook, the show reveals the most common mistakes people make in relationships brought on by too much dopamine in the brain.

That's right, it's all due to brain chemicals, says Cook.

In Madmen, Betty Draper has divorced Don and rebounded with another man but between the demands of her kids and the man himself, Betty is not happy.

"Don and Betty could have created an amazing space for themselves as a couple," said relationship expert Matt Cook, author of Endless Honeymoon. "But the fact that Don was away so often led him to the search for a novel sexual partner which is the hallmark of relationship disorders all brought on by the hormone dopamine."

According to Cook, partners seek affairs because people are genetically programmed to spread their genes around and make babies.

"The search for a novel partner is brought on by brain chemistry, specifically the hormone dopamine. But it doesn't have to be this way. Nature also provided a bonding hormone, oxytocin, that can bring couples together and make them crazy for each other no matter what they are going through."

Cook said that Oxytocin is often called "the love hormone." Levels of oxytocin rise in the brain when people bond with others, including babies, pets and spouses. "The key to relationships lasting is that partners need to use brain chemistry to increase their oxytocin levels and decrease the effects of dopamine," said Cook.

Recent studies reported by the National Institutes of Health show that high oxytocin levels are correlated with partners who stay together.

Cook said that the same relationship mistakes that Betty and Don made are now to be repeated in season five of Madmen.

"The writers have a very keen sense of human nature and the role of dopamine and bonding behavior especially how couples behave when oxytocin levels are not high enough," said Cook. "Don Draper and Betty, and the other characters, will continue philandering and losing out in their existing relationships all because of the genetically designed hormone balance between dopamine and oxytocin."

Cook said that the couples in Madmen could in fact have a fantastic monogamous relationship. "But that wouldn't be nearly as interesting to the public," said Cook.

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Richard Geller

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