To some, particularly those who have never tried MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy, this might sound insane — how could taking drugs help save a relationship? On the other hand, if you have ever taken this drug, you’ve likely experienced firsthand how open and communicative you become.
Believe it or not, MDMA’s use in this regard has been studied extensively already. Up until the drug was criminalized in the United States in 1977, it was frequently used in couples therapy sessions.
I need to make something very clear before continuing, however. This article is in no way pushing the use of drugs on anyone, and I do not endorse the acquisition of potentially unsafe and illegal drugs. There are a lot of dangers associated with these types of drugs, and because they are now illegal, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find them in their pure form. There are many risks associated with taking drugs that, while sold on the streets as MDMA or ecstasy, are often merely a chemical compound filled with who knows what.
Now, let’s continue…
PhD Candidate Katie Anderson’s work focuses on how taking MDMA affects romantic relationships. She argues that, because the drug enhances empathy, it can help people reach a deeper emotional understanding with their significant other.
After interviewing many different couples, Anderson discovered that MDMA could actually be a catalyst for getting the conversation started around more tricky subjects, including sexual fantasies and relationship types such as non-monogamy, and that the trust inspired by greater levels of empathy actually made for more understanding and forgiving conversations.
During one MDMA-assisted therapy session, one couple admitted to each other that they’d both previously been unfaithful. The revelation resulted in a rocky few days followed by a year of separation.
Some of the disclosures did spark anxiety during the ‘come-down’ from the experience, but nonetheless, Anderson emphasized that in most instances, couples found the sessions improved their relationship.
Lydia, who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), told ELLE, “Holding back has done a lot of damage to my relationships in the past. If I’ve been distant, worrying about something, or don’t know how to start a difficult conversation, taking MDMA gives me that ‘loved-up’ feeling and allows me and my boyfriend to talk openly at length about things we wouldn’t usually bring up.”
When you are in the space of truly connecting with one another, and you are feeling compassion and empathy toward your partner, there is no room for the ego. This is one of the reasons that it is much easier to communicate while on MDMA; instead of thinking about yourself, you are fully immersed in what the other person is telling you and you can more readily see things from their perspective. In other words, you may not take what is being said so personally, which makes it easier to see the issue objectively.
Other Ways This Particular Drug Has Helped People
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has seen a lot of success in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and popular natural soap company Dr. Bronner’s has taken notice, recently donating $5 million to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies’ (MAPS) effort to make MDMA an FDA approved drug for therapy. More recently, the state of Oregon decriminalized MDMA.
These all represent a shift in public perception and suggest we may be one step closer to finally being able to study and tap into the full potential of psychedelic medicines.
Recently, someone told me that psychedelics are like the new medical marijuana, and their legalization for health and mental wellness purposes is likely something that we will see in the near future. Provided awareness keeps being raised, so that these studies are able to get the funding necessary to be conducted in the first place, I think they might be right.
Has MDMA Helped Your Relationship?
Do you have any experience taking MDMA with a partner that you would like to share? Did it improve your relationship? Let us know in the comments section!
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