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I don’t believe in chemistry, not the love kind, not really. I’ve read a frightful number of articles today all about making sure you have good chemistry with the one you love, because this magical, mystical thing called “chemistry” is the glue that holds a relationship together.

No wonder people get married and complain that their spouse is a different person! Of course they are, nothing remains stagnant except perhaps pond water. If your faith has been placed in something ethereal, vague, this unexplainable concoction of mystical pheromones we call “chemistry” than what happens when the weather gets bad? Life attacks? Illness? Conflict?

Pheromones, hormones, “chemistry,” are fickle things that tend to ebb and flow, that are vulnerable to our diets, our emotional states, our environment, our thoughts. All in good fun here, but I remember “chemistry” a couple of times, alas, boys can trigger that sort of thing. “Chemistry” that lasted about ten days. “Chemistry” that vanished into the abyss as quickly as it came.

I suppose I dislike these notions of “chemistry,” because they tend to set people up for failure, they are disempowering, they tend to create an idol out of something we falsely believe we have no control over. “Chemistry” renders us powerless, whereas an understanding that we can influence our own chemistry puts us back in the driver’s seat.

We really can influence our own “chemistry.” We can change our entire mood by simply taking a walk in the sunshine. Sometimes a change in our diet can positively impact our chemistry. Our thoughts certainly influence our chemistry. The words we speak over ourselves and others have incredible power. So too does the chatter going on within our own brains.

In marriage we can reverse engineer our own chemistry, that is, kill it off with our thoughts and behaviors…..or bring it back in the precise same way, by changing our thoughts and behaviors.

So, it is with some frustration that I read things like Scott’s, “Why chemistry matters…” because the real conversation we all need to be having is about the malleability of our own chemistry, what we do in marriages to kill it,  and how we can empower people to embrace it. I really dislike this American cultural attitude that insists there is always a pill for ails us, or in this case, a pill that caused our ailment. People are so much more complex than “chemistry,” and this propensity we have to perceive ourselves as powerless victims, completely helpless when it comes to our marriages, our relationships, and our sexuality, serves no one.