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 “complementary behavior." It’s a fancy way of...
What's one of the primary challenges modern couples face in the bedroom?
Researchers have a fancy name for it: sexual desire discrepancy or SDD.
It's a challenge that basically just comes down to this: one partner wants it but the other doesn’t.
It sounds so simple. And yet this disconnect in sex drive brings up all sorts of complicated dynamics of power.
From the perspective of the high drive partner – the partner who generally wants to have more sex – this dynamic...
You can take all sorts of surveys and assessments to better understand the strength of your relationship. But we want to propose that a single question—what we call "The Brag Test"—can tell you everything you need to know about the strength of your marriage.
We know what you're thinking. "What is the Brag Test and what can it tell me about my marriage?"
It’s basically this.
When you're talking about your partner in front of other people—friends, work...
Summer family vacations are a time of connection, joy, and fun.
They're also often the emotional equivalent of running an ultra-marathon or completing a full Ironman Triathlon.
During an ordinary workday, we have built-in breaks from each other. We go to school, go to meetings, check our email, or run errands around town alone.
During a day on vacation, however, this sprint-and-recover world of breaks flips upside down. We wake up, together. We eat, together. We drive long...
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 change them would have achieved astounding...
No, that’s not a typo.
We are actually writing a newsletter applying The 19th century German philosopher Karl Marx‘s philosophy of history to modern marriage.
Why on earth would we do such a thing? In spite of all the political baggage his "Manifesto of the Communist Party" brings, we believe that hidden deep within his theory of history lies an apolitical but profound insight about the challenges modern couples face.
At the risk of reducing the extreme complexity of Marx's...
Over the last few years, we've immersed ourselves in the cultural conversation on marriage. What we've found is that just about everyone, from bloggers to therapists to celebrities, seems intent on promoting the same marital cliché: marriage is hard.
It's a platitude that is at least partially true. Early on in marriage, it's helpful to hear this.
For us, for example, we walked into marriage with all sorts of misguided ideas. We thought marriage would be more like an episode of...
Just the other day, twenty years into our relationship, we stumbled upon a shocking new insight about values.
We’ve always understood the power of getting clear on your values as a couple. In The 80/80 Marriage, for instance, we argue that it doesn’t matter whether you value wealth, adventure, philanthropy, or stability. What matters is that you and your partner both feel aware of and aligned with these values.
So what new values insight surprised us?
The power of a...
It’s 6pm on Friday night. It's been a long week. You sit at the table for family dinner. You’re ready to leave work and the chaos of the week behind -- to relax and, finally, connect with your family.
But, somehow, your mind didn’t get the memo. No, the voice in your head sounds more like a heavily-caffeinated line manager, barking out orders like, “You forgot to send that email, didn't you?" “When are you going to book the reservations for the summer...
Today, we want to tackle a difficult topic -- burnout.
During the insanity of the last couple years, many of us have experienced at least some degree of this uniquely modern condition.
What is burnout? It's a reaction to our work or life situation characterized by three primary features: