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...
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...
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...
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.
We talk about the gender gap in marriage and how clarifying roles can help mitigate inequality. To watch, click here.
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Does anyone else feel fear and anxiety in the air?
Perhaps it's because fall is the season of fear, at least according to many traditions. It's the time when the leaves fall, when the days get shorter, when the wind howls, and when we celebrate a day dedicated to scaring the crap out of each other.
But perhaps it's also because we're living in a time where so much is uncertain. Will this pandemic ever end? Will we ever repair the fractures in our society? How will all of this...
We thought we'd start this week's newsletter with the sage advice of the soulful R&B legend Lionel Richie. During American Idol last season -- yes, we're citing a reality show as a source of intellectual authority -- he told one eager contestant, "Your life begins at the edge of your comfort zone."
We think Lionel is right on. In fact, we think this might also be some of the best advice out there on enhancing your relationship.
So, to steal a line from the man who...