Can MDMA Improve Failing Relationships?
What can you do when you’re in a failing relationship that is well past the point of being fixed by couples therapy? Well, assuming that you and your partner both want to stay together happily, there’s a controversial idea that some have suggested—MDMA.
MDMA—otherwise known as ecstasy or “the love drug”—might just be the secret you and your SO are looking for. Not only does ecstasy encourage better communication and bonding, but back in the 1970s, clinicians used this modern party drug to treat medication-resistant depression, PTSD, and you guessed it, relationship issues.
In 1985, MDMA became a Schedule I substance, causing it to be banned in psychology practices all across the US.
Now let's fast forward to the present day, 2020. There are currently clinical research trials taking place, attempting to prove that MDMA-assisted therapy can better facilitate the psychotherapeutic process—allowing people to better connect with their inner selves, therapist, and partner in a safe setting.
While I would never advise anyone to purchase drugs off the street, I do believe that the facts are worth sharing.
“MDMA has a remarkable ability to heal painful tensions or dynamics that may be damaging relationships,” according to Janelle Lassalle, psychedelic expert and science writer.
She explained that there are three main reasons MDMA can maybe save a failing relationship. Essentially, when two people are at their wit's end with one another and their relationship is falling apart, consuming ecstasy tablets can create a safe space for emotional catharsis.
“We often get so tangled up in our reactions and emotional responses that we fail to see the actual point our significant other is trying to make. And when that happens it can become so easy to get trapped in a cycle of reacting rather than listening, which is why the problem itself so often goes unsolved," Lassalle said.
In order to work out difficult issues, both partners need to feel like they have a safe, non-reactive space to communicate. MDMA can greatly assist with lowering our inhibitions and natural fight response. This, in turn, can foster the kind of environment where real listening is happening, where both partners feel heard and respected.”
Our emotional responses play a huge role in relationships—have you ever been so pissed off that you couldn’t even hear your SO speaking because you were too busy yelling? Not a lecture, trust me, I have been there far too many times.
My partner and I talk about resentments often—we know how much harm they can cause if left unresolved. Lassalle said that MDMA lowers our inhibitions and helps us achieve empathy while releasing the resentments that we have been holding onto. She added that feelings of shame can manifest into us feeling too afraid of saying how we actually feel.
“MDMA removes the negative, judgmental, self-critical filter we often impose on ourselves so that what was shameful before no longer is. This gives us the freedom to share our true wants and desires with our partners despite our fears. In doing so, we clear up resentment and bond together over new, shared interests, reigniting what brought us together in the first place. We grow closer together by allowing ourselves to be truly vulnerable,” she continued.
I’m 30 years old, and I have been married and divorced two times already. I am now in a happy and healthy relationship, but I'm still not exactly ecstatic about the two divorces on my record. If I had the option to partake in MDMA-assisted therapy back in the day, I would have scheduled an appointment ASAP, especially when my two failed marriages were at their worst.
Michelle Janikian, the author of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion, said that MDMA shouldn’t be taken more than four to six times per year or else it can become neurotoxic. Neurotoxicity is when someone ingests high quantities of natural or manmade toxic substances, including empathogens like MDMA.
Don’t snort ecstasy, stay hydrated, and have fun—be your most free self and fall in love all over again. Or you can choose to err on the side of caution and wait until MDMA is legal on a federal level again for the purpose of couple’s counseling.
The love drug helped people worldwide with its pleasant side effects decades ago—we can only hope that it’ll regain that ability soon. Lassalle concluded by saying that when MDMA becomes a legal medication, it will help relationships by creating a non-threatening environment for couples to talk their issues through, encouraging them to bond together over new activities, which promotes play, dancing, and sex—all of which help heal the soul.