Contrary to our culture's model, Dr. Hendrix says intimate relationships are not really about romance. "It's an amazing thing that you're drawn together, in the romantic phase, to somebody who's similar to the worst traits of all the negative traits combined of all your caretakers," he says. "A romantic phase is an anesthesia. It's like nature is keeping you from knowing what it's about to set you up to do, which is to heal each other's childhood wounds."
Dr. Oz says Dr. Hendrix's theory has medical backing. When you are first in love, he says your body releases natural chemicals like dopamine, which is related to addiction, and oxytocin. "That makes you feel love and warm and cuddly," Dr. Oz says.
The romantic phase—with its natural high from chemicals—begins to wear away after a few years, Dr. Oz says. "Which sort of makes sense because that way the child is old enough that if the pair splits, they can make it," he says. "That's why I think you have to reinvent the marriage every five to seven years. You've got to reconnect."