Here’s the first thing the world tells us about relationship success: find a unicorn.
Find your Mr. or Mrs. Right. Find that rom-com-worthy, diamond-in-the-rough guy or gal.
What happens then? Magic.
Once you find this unicorn partner, they will make everything okay. They will shower you with love and affection.
Unicorns, after all, aren’t like the rest of those other losers out there. They’re always turned on and in the mood. They cook and do all the dishes for fun....
When we interviewed couples, we heard tragic stories of divorce, constant conflict, and affairs.
But we also heard about a milder, more insidious, force pulling most couples apart.
Think you don't have a problem with your phone? Think again.
Most research estimates that fifty percent of us admit to experiencing a full-on behavioral addiction to our phones. And while we might touch our partner lovingly several times a day, we touch our phones an average of ...
Along with summer comes a parenting and relationship paradox.
Less structure means more space. Time for spontaneous fun. Picnics. Trips to the pool.
But less structure may also mean that your priorities fade away.
And for couples with kids, this often means that even though you have more time for fun, you have less time for each other.
Here are two ways to approach this challenge:
If you're reading this newsletter, chances are that (1) you've heard of the marshmallow test and (2) you've set your life up around passing it with flying colors.
The marshmallow test, of course, comes from a classic 1972 experiment conducted at Stanford University. Children were given the choice between eating one marshmallow now or getting two marshmallows if they were willing to wait for 15 minutes (all while staring at the marshmallow in front of them). ...
If you've read The 80/80 Marriage, this newsletter, or any book on relationships, you know about the power of appreciation.
It's a relationship tool validated by a vast body of scientific research.
It's easy to do.
And its impact is nothing short of game-changing.
A single appreciation for your partner can turn even the most tense exchange into an opportunity for connection and intimacy.
But there's also a hidden trap when it comes to appreciation.
We call it appreciation deflection....
It's invisible. It's unconscious.
But polarity -- the play of oppositional forces -- exists everywhere in our relationship.
Take messiness. In most couples, one partner occupies the messy side of the polarity, leaving dishes in the sink and dirty laundry on the floor. The other occupies the cleanliness side, trying desperately to keep things tidy.
Take connection. In most couples, one partner is typically the glommer, the one who leans in and wants more love, attention, and time...
You sit down at an austere and strange table, one you have never sat at before. The hard wood chair pierces into your mid-back.
Just then, someone else sits down across the table.
That’s when it happens. You've just dropped into a moment of intimacy like a skydiver dropping from a plane.
It's intense, kind of awkward, and, just, too much, too soon.
This might sound like a riveting interrogation scene from a movie or like some sort of inhumane psychology experiment.
Have you ever had a single line of text change your life?
We have. Here’s a line that changed ours from two of our mentors Gay and Katie Hendricks:
“In all times and every way, we are getting exactly what we are committed to getting.”
Take a moment to sit with this idea.
Take a moment to let it in.
Consider the idea that, somehow, you are committed to getting all the problems and challenges you experience throughout the day.
Most of us recoil at the...
Has this ever happened to you?
You’re tired, exhausted even, and so is your partner.
In this moment, it's like someone somewhere flipped a cosmic switch, suddenly making your partner's every act excruciatingly annoying.
The words coming out of their mouth. The gross slapping sound they make when chewing food. That they never seem to take their eyes off their damn phone.
That’s when it happens. Your mind presents you with a long list of grievances. You're...
New Year’s Eve is just days away.
If you’re like us, you’re beginning to think about new intentions, resolutions, and habits for 2023.
So we wanted to use this newsletter as a subtle nudge, a reminder to think not only about your individual habits but also about your habits as a couple for 2023.
Your relationship, after all, rests on a vast system of often unconscious habits. It’s a system perfectly designed to create both the good and bad in your life...