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80/80 Marriage

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These Outsiders Can Make Marriage Impossible

What do you do when someone outside your marriage disrupts the system?

 

One of the most profound marriage insights comes down to some simple math. There’s the two of you: you and your partner. And then there are your “thirds.”

Now, this idea alone isn’t groundbreaking. It’s not going to radically change your life.

But here’s something that might. Marriage therapist and author Stan Takin argues that these “thirds” pose one of the greatest...

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Are Your Quarantine Hangover Habits Impacting Your Marriage?

coronavirus habits risk stress Jun 25, 2020

How can you unwind your quarantine hangover habits?

 

Now that stay-at-home orders and quarantines are easing (for some of us), we’ve noticed a pattern, both as individuals and as a couple. It’s a pattern we're calling "the quarantine habit hangover."

Just like a real hangover from a night where you had a little bit too much fun, this hangover starts with an earlier attempt to seek short-term pleasure. But unlike the morning after a wild party, this one is more...

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How to Navigate the Sex/Stability Paradox in Challenging Times

coronavirus risk sex space Jun 18, 2020

Can sex and radical uncertainty co-exist?

 

“The challenge for modern couples lies in reconciling the need for what's safe and predictable with the wish to pursue what's exciting, mysterious, and awe-inspiring."

 

These are the words of Esther Perel, the master theorist of sex and eroticism in marriage. Her big idea is that marriage consists of two conflicting aims. On one side, we crave security, comfort, and safety. On the other, we crave adventure,...

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The Best Way to Change Your Partner (Hint: It's All About You)

conflict fairness stress Jun 10, 2020

What's the best way to change your partner?

 

At some point along the journey of marriage, we've all had this thought. We’ve all contemplated thoughts like: if only my partner appreciated me more or loved me more or listened better, things would be different.

It's a thought based on an assumption, the assumption that change starts, not from within, but when our partner finally gets it together. 

The problem? You don't control your partner. If you did, your efforts to...

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Non-Complementary Behavior: A Radical Tool for Ending Arguments in Marriage

conflict fairness stress Jun 04, 2020

 

Can you end an argument in 30 seconds or less?

 

One of the unique quirks of the human brain is its propensity to mirror the states of others. When we see an eight week old baby smile, we can’t help but smile. It just sort of happens.

But the opposite is also true. When we experience our partner's irritation and anger, we get pissed. We feel an instant surge of irritation and anger. It just sort of happens. 

Psychologists have a name for this phenomenon. They call it...

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The Power of Creating Physical and Mental Space in Marriage

How can you create space when you're stuck at home together?

 

Over the last couple months, many couples have experienced the disappearance of space. Physical space is gone. We used to have work, business trips, the gym, and all sorts of other events and activities in life that provided this kind of physical space and separation from each other.

But that’s only part of the problem. We are also experiencing the disappearance of mental space. This form of space is less tangible...

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Closing the Pandemic Gender Gap between Men and Women in Marriage

coronavirus fairness roles May 21, 2020

How to overcome the pandemic gender gap?

 

Last week, the New York Times reported a stunning statistic in an article entitled, "Nearly Half of Men Say They Do most of the Home Schooling. 3 Percent of Women Agree." According to a recent survey, 45 percent of men say they are spending more time homeschooling or helping their children with distance-learning during this crisis. 80 percent of women, by contrast, say they are spending more time homeschooling or helping their...

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How much risk is too much during the coronavirus pandemic?

conflict coronavirus risk May 14, 2020

How can you resolve disagreements about risk?

Couples have always had to navigate differences in risk. And yet, over the last couple months, the potential for explosive conflict around risk has grown exponentially. Because now, everything is risky.

Should you get a haircut? Or is that taking on too much risk?

Should you get a check up at the doctor? Is going or not going the bigger risk?

Should you let your child play with a friend? Or will that turn your kid into a disease vector?

If you're...

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How to Overcome Resentment in Marriage

conflict fairness May 12, 2020

What's the fastest way to dissolve resentment?

 

We interviewed over 100 people about their marriages for our book The 80/80 Marriage. One of the things we discovered is that resentment might just be the primary emotion in modern married life.

It’s that bitter sting that lands when your partner makes plans without asking you. It's the irritation you feel when you're doing more, caring more, or trying harder (at least from your point of view).

What's the source of...

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How to Prepare Your Marriage for Death

coronavirus death May 12, 2020

Are you and your partner ready for death?

 

We know, could there be a more depressing way to start a newsletter?

Probably not. But, let’s face it, we are in the midst of a global pandemic, witnessing the spread of a disease that is killing thousands of people each day.

Hopefully, you won’t get coronavirus. And if you do, hopefully you won’t end up in the hospital or worse, dying.

But it might be worth using this moment, when death has been thrust into the forefront of...

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