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Articles on the
80/80 Marriage

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Why We're Proud to be
Love and Marriage Idealists

communication habits Apr 07, 2021

During the years we spent writing The 80/80 Marriage, we often wondered: what will our future critics point to as the book’s primary flaw?

We imagined there might be political critiques – some would see us as too progressive and others as too conservative in our defense of marriage.

We also imagined that critics might seize on the fact that we're not licensed marriage therapists. "Writing marriage books," they might say, "is a pastime reserved for those who dole out...

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Riding the Big Waves of Emotion
in Marriage, Together

communication death stress Mar 23, 2021

If emotions are like waves, our local community got hit by a tsunami this week.

We like to call Boulder our "souls' home." It’s where we were both born. It’s where we met, during our senior year at Boulder High. It’s where we got married 15 years ago. It’s where we've raised our daughter for the last eight years.

So you can imagine the shock and horror we experienced when we started receiving texts from friends and family members throughout the world asking if we were...

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Reveal Your Truth in Relationships
(Without Triggering a Huge Fight)

Marriage is a lot like owning a car.  You don’t have to take it in for regular tune-ups, nor do you have to change its oil or fill up its tires. But sooner or later, this haphazard approach is likely to leave you stranded on the side of the road or with no car at all.

The same is true in marriage. You don’t have to reveal all of those microscopic truths: the subtle resentment you feel when cleaning up after your partner or the irritation that springs from feeling controlled....

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Planned Eroticism: The Case for Scheduling Sex

communication habits sex space Feb 24, 2021

Here’s one way to approach sex in marriage. Call it the “wing it” approach.

Sex should be spontaneous, wild, and free, like something out of a teenage fantasy or romance novel. You can’t make it happen. You have to just allow it to happen organically. That’s what makes it so amazing, mind blowing, and erotic.

Here’s another way to approach sex in marriage. Call it the “planned eroticism" approach.

Sure, it would be amazing to hook up on a...

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Reintroducing Us and The 80/80 Marriage

At long last, we've launched our new book The 80/80 Marriage.

So we thought we would break from our usual format this week and use this as a chance to reintroduce ourselves and this idea of the 80/80 marriage.

So who are we anyway? Well, we met each other 24 years ago, during our senior year of high school. Ironically, we met in chemistry class, where the two of us shared the same lab table. We dated for a short while, went to senior prom together, and even got into the same college. But...

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Assess Your Marriage to See if It Passes The Brag Test?

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...

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When Feedback in Marriage Turns from Helpful to Annoying

communication habits stress Jan 20, 2021

If you were to distill down the learnings from the thousands of studies conducted on the psychology of marriage, you're likely to end up with a conclusion like this: Communication is good. Not talking to each other is bad.

But that's only part of the story. Because open communication and feedback in marriage is a lot like eating kale or broccoli in a balanced diet. It's good -- to a point. The moment you start overdoing it, new problems emerge. 

No, we're not talking...

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How to Discover What You're Really Fighting About in Marriage

The other day, we had an argument that got pretty heated. It was over how to prioritize our time on a Sunday afternoon. Kaley wanted to meet up with a friend. Nate wanted to do an activity together as a family.

The conversation started out well. But then, it went off the rails. At some point, we both felt frustrated and angry. We both felt like the other person wasn't really hearing us.

In that moment, we realized we had a choice between two very different paths. The first...

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Looking Back on the (Hard to See) Gifts of 2020 for Your Marriage

There are so many ways to describe 2020. But we think some of the most accurate descriptions come from the various T-shirt memes circling the Internet...

 

In just about every conversation these days, someone, at some point, says something like, “2020 has been a horrible year."

And, of course, there are valid reasons for viewing this last year as a social, political, and public health dumpster fire. Racial unrest. A divisive election. And the global pandemic that has kept us...

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End Conflicts in Marriage Using 'The Gandhi Move' (a.k.a. Non-Complementary Behavior)

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...

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