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...
We have some reassuring words for you today.
If you've ever had a knock-down-drag-out fight or even just a heated argument on date night, you are not alone.
We certainly have. In fact, we had our most explosive fight ever during what should have been a wonderful date night sitting outside on the patio at a Mediterranean restaurant.
It's an argument we recount at the beginning of The 80/80 Marriage -- an argument over which one of us would pick up our daughter from daycare.
Imagine your relationship as a boat.
In this boat, you've got you and your partner. You might also have a kid or three. And then you've got parents, in-laws, friends, and extended family hanging off the stern.
Oh, and don't forget about things like careers, financial planning, daily logistics, shopping, Instagram and TikTok time, house repairs, laundry, cleaning, school events, and the thousand or so other things that take up space on this boat of marriage and life.
Now imagine what happens...
Over the last 50 or so years, we've witnessed a strange shift in the definition of success. Success used to mean becoming excellent at one thing. You could be a successful writer by authoring great books. You could be a successful cook by creating delicious meals. You could be a successful businessperson by getting regular promotions at work.
Today, however, the scope of success has shifted, from being good at one thing to, well, just about everything. It’s not...
Imagine marriage as a two-player game.
Each morning, you wake up and accumulate points by doing all the things you do: going to work, buying groceries, or helping out your kid with that impossible algebra problem.
The goal? To win the game, together.
But that begs an essential question, a question that most couples never ask: “What's the game that we're trying to win together?"
It's an essential question because, let’s face it, a happy marriage could arise from striving...