It is now urgent to claim not that the failures of our private lives are the result of weak psyches, but rather that the vagaries and miseries of our emotional life are shaped by institutional arrangements… What is wrong are not dysfunctional childhoods or insufficiently self-aware psyches, but the set of social and cultural tensions and contradictions that have come to structure modern selves and identities.
It is therefore unsurprising that love has been historically so powerfully seductive to women; it promised them the moral status and dignity they were otherwise denied in society and it glorified their social fate: taking care of and loving others, as mothers, wives, and lovers. Thus, historically, love was highly seductive precisely because it concealed as it beautified the deep inequalities at the heart of gender relationships.
By juxtaposing the ideal of romantic love with the institution of marriage, modern polities embed social contradictions in our aspirations, contradictions which in turn take a psychological life. The institutional organization of marriage (predicated on monogamy, cohabitation, and the pooling of economic resources together in order to increase wealth) precludes the possibility of maintaining romantic love as an intense and all-consuming passion
– from a brainpickings article, about Why Love Hurts by Eva Illouz