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The Case for a Couples Retreat

Uncategorized Jul 29, 2021

For many couples, the thought of going on a couples retreat triggers a mixture of confusion and awkwardness. It leaves you with Vince Vaughn's bewildered look in the picture above from the classic film, Couples Retreat.

We know because this is exactly how we felt in the early years of our marriage. “Why would we ever spend a weekend together doing random exercises to help us love each other more?" we thought. “This whole marriage thing shouldn’t be that hard."

But then we...

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The Power of Mindfulness in Marriage

conflict habits stress Jul 21, 2021

Imagine that it’s been one of those days.

You’re tired, cranky. You feel stressed and irritated. And, on top of it all, you feel like you’re the one doing everything -- at work, with the kids, and at home.

Then, your partner casually strolls through the door and says, “I thought you were planning to have dinner ready by 6 PM?"

In an instant, a tidal wave of thoughts and emotions washes over you. You feel the piercing sensations of anger rising through your belly...

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5 Tips for Improving Date Night in Marriage

communication habits space Jul 14, 2021

In the early days of a relationship, you go on these things called "dates." You don’t live together. You don’t share finances. So dates are the only time you see each other.

Then you get married, add a kid or three to the picture and, all of a sudden, you start to have the opposite experience. You're now together. All. The. Time.

You eat together. You sleep together. You spend hours and hours planning the logistics of life together.

So now you need to bring dates back into...

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Less Fun, More Logistics: The Reality of Marriage With Kids

Last week, we had a conversation with a recently married younger couple. They told us about the challenge of transitioning from those early days of dating, where everything is fun and fresh, to the early days of marriage, where you end up spending way more time on navigating conflict and life logistics.

In that moment, something clicked. We uncovered an insight that was always there but that we had never seen with such clarity.

We call it The Fun-to-Logistics Ratio.

Here’s how it works....

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Why Your Partner's Grass Is Always Greener

In last week's newsletter, we explored envy outside of marriage, toward friends or other couples. This week, we want to go one level deeper into the sensitive subject of envy towards your partner.

We experienced this just last week. With our daughter out of school and in camps for the summer, we decided to modify our work schedules.

Nate slowed down a bit so he could take on more of the camp drop offs and pick ups and random life logistics. Kaley, meanwhile, ramped up her travel for work,...

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Improve Yourself Without Destroying Your Marriage

A woman in distress recently sent us a DM on our 80/80 Instagram account. She told us that her husband is withdrawing. He’s less interested in spending time together. He’s contributing less. And their marriage is suffering.

Why?

That’s where things get interesting. He’s withdrawing because she has made a commitment to self improvement. She’s reading new books, listening to new podcasts, and building new habits to improve her life.

You would think her partner...

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3 Tools for Living Your Highest Priorities in Relationships and Marriage This Summer

habits priorities space stress Jun 02, 2021

The theme of this summer is change.

If you have young kids, you're experiencing the change from the academic calendar to camps, vacations, and unstructured time.

If you've spent the last year holed up in your house, avoiding large crowds, airplanes, and social gatherings, you may be experiencing the change to a more packed social calendar.

With these changes comes an essential question: what are your priorities?

Of course, you don’t have to answer that question. You can just let random...

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Angry With Your Spouse in Marriage? Do These 3 Things

During an event we did with ParentMap last week (click here for the full video), we received a great question, "How do you keep mindfulness alive in the heat of the moment?" someone asked. “It seems much easier when things are calm but it’s needed more when situations are stressful.“

This question reminded us of one of our favorite quotes from the Austrian psychologist Victor Frankl, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to...

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3 Tools to Make Marriage and Relationships (More) Effortless

 

Earlier this week, we talked to Anna and Greg McKeown on The Essentialism Podcast. Greg is the author of one of our favorite books, Essentialism, and the newly released book Effortless.

We will let you know when the episode is released. But for now, we wanted to explore a question inspired by our conversation: how can marriage become more effortless?

This is one of the key moves in McKeown‘s new book, a tool that he calls “inversion." In his words, “Instead...

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What to Do When You Can't Understand Each Other in Marriage

“You don’t understand what I’m going through,” Nate said.

“Well, you don’t understand what it’s like for me,” Kaley told Nate.

After two years of marriage, we found ourselves caught in this trap. It's a predicament that so many couples find themselves in, a conflict that boils down to this: you don’t understand me.

For us, an unexpected accident triggered these feelings of misunderstanding. Thirteen years ago, Nate had a serious...

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