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Your Spouse is Into Something Weird (What Do You Do?)

conflict habits stress Jan 19, 2022

Last year, Nate took up a bizarre practice. After reading the book Breath by James Nestor, he became convinced of the benefits of nasal breathing (breathing through your nose instead of your mouth).

The scientific case for nasal breathing is robust. A vast body of evidence shows that simply breathing through your nose improves sleep quality, reduces stress, and enhances our ability to absorb oxygen.

There’s just one problem. How do you breathe through your nose at night?

Enter...

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How to Have a Sane Relationship When the World's Gone Mad

 

Is it just us or does everyone seem overwhelmed and ragged these days?

Consider the last few days of 2021. The 30th of December kicked off with the terrifying news of the Omicron variant spreading throughout the world at record pace.

Then came the texts that afternoon asking, “Are you guys OK? Is your house on fire?" We soon learned that an ember storm was barreling down on the southern part of our beloved city of Boulder, a winter wildfire driven by hurricane force winds...

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4 Subtle Signs You're Really Fighting About Fairness

 

Fairness is the air that we breathe in modern relationships.

We breathe it in as we watch our partner failing yet again to be helpful and load the dishwasher like a sane human being. We breathe it out as we complain either out loud or in the privacy of our own minds about their shortcomings.

Like the air that surrounds us, fairness is also mostly invisible.

We discovered this during our interviews with couples for The 80/80 Marriage. We asked each couple, “How does fairness show...

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5 powerful marriage habits for a happy new year in 2021

habits priorities sex Dec 29, 2021

Ah, 2021.

One year ago, we thought this would be the year of -- well -- everything going back to normal.

That's not exactly what happened. And, if anything, we're learning that the 'new normal' can be summed up in a single word: uncertainty.

Whether our kids will be at school in person in a week -- uncertain.

Whether Covid will ever disappear and fade into a bad memory -- uncertain.

If you're like just about everyone we know, all of this uncertainty may have taken a toll on your...

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These Outsiders Can Make Marriage Impossible

 

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 threats to the health of a marriage. A third could be your friend or...

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The 10-Minute Role Clarity Playbook for Optimizing Modern Relationships

We're shifting our format for this week's 80/80 Newsletter.

We want to start with the exciting news of our recent segment on the TV news show The Los Angeles Times Today

The subject?

We talk about the gender gap in marriage and how clarifying roles can help mitigate inequality. To watch, click here.

 

The 10-Minute Role Clarity Playbook

And now for a practice that relates directly to the subject of roles. It's a practice we recommend all couples do at some point and,...

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Stop Talking About the Weather in Marriage (Talk About This Instead)

communication stress Dec 08, 2021

There are two ways to talk to your partner.  

The first kind of conversation transports you and your partner to new dimensions of connection and love. In these conversations, you reveal the full truth of your experience, your little victories, your hopes and dreams, and even the things that scare you. You open up to each other, and your connection grows.

Then there's the second, more ordinary, way that we talk to each other in relationships. In these conversations, you and your...

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6 Questions to Reignite the Spark of Conversation in Marriage

communication habits stress Dec 01, 2021

 

Has this ever happened to you?

You and your partner finally carve out time to be alone together. You go on date night or you take a weekend away together or maybe you just take 45 minutes to walk around the neighborhood.

But then, as you enter into this precious time reserved for connection, you stare blankly at each other wondering, “Shouldn't we have more to talk about?"

It’s a marital predicament experienced by couples at all stages, by newlyweds, those who have...

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How to Pay Down Your 'Emotional Debt' in Marriage and Life

 

When it comes to money, we all understand the concept of debt. If you spend more than you have, at some point, you’re going to have to pay it back, with interest.

But what about emotions?

What happens when you spend more energy than you have by trying to push your emotions away through busyness and distraction?

The answer: you take on “emotional debt."

We noticed this happening in our marriage a couple months ago. We were both navigating intense situations that gave...

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Solving the 'Upper Limits' Problem in Your Relationship

communication habits stress Nov 03, 2021

 

It’s called the “upper limits" problem.

Never heard of it? You've definitely experienced it, likely without even knowing it’s happening.

The idea comes from Gay Hendricks, one of our favorite relationships experts. He has observed that we all have an upper limit when it comes to happiness and connection in relationships.

In his words, “Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to...

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