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Understanding the I-Miss-You Fight in Your Relationship

 

Relationship conflicts come in all sorts of flavors.

There’s the power struggle, the fight over decision rights, or the argument about money.

There’s the classic fairness fight, the dispute over the exact 50/50 balance of housework, child care, and the thousand or so other random logistics of modern life.

But there’s also a subtler, more surreptitious, form of conflict. We call it the I-miss-you fight.

We experienced it just last week. Kaley was away all week for an...

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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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How to Master the Safety/Adventure Cycle in Your Relationship

 

Lately, we’ve been thinking about two seemingly opposite ways to build connection in relationships.

On one side, there’s safety.

In a chaotic and crazy world, we need this. It’s the feeling of structure, support, and routine that reminds us everything is going to be alright. 

On the other, there’s adventure.

When we take risks, do something new, and explore the edges of our comfort zone, we also grow together. 

Both safety and adventure build...

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Dissolve Conflict By Changing Your Breath

 

We’ve all been there.

It’s the end of a long, hard, day. You’re exhausted. So is your partner. And, all of a sudden, everything they do becomes excruciatingly annoying: the way they chew their food, the way they cut you off in the kitchen on your way to the fridge, or that thing they said at dinner.

Avoiding conflict in these conditions is like avoiding getting soaked during a massive rain storm. Sometimes, it feels inevitable.

But what if you...

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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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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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Our Must-Read Marriage and Relationships Articles

communication conflict sex Apr 27, 2022

 

This week, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite recent articles on marriage and relationships.

Up first, The Joys (and Challenges) of Sex After 70. The New York Times took a deep dive into the sex lives of older couples. When interviewing them, they stumbled upon an unexpected and hopeful insight: for some couples, sex in the final decades can be the best they've ever had.

Up next, Can MDMA Save a Marriage? As scientists expand their research on psychedelic compounds like...

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2 Ways to Build Connection in Your Marriage By Revealing

communication habits space Apr 20, 2022

 

In the dance that is marriage, we encounter a daily, moment-to-moment, choice. We can lean in towards each other up and dance like pros. Or we can lean away, awkwardly embraced, clutching each others shoulders like thirteen year olds at a middle school dance.

In every moment, in other words, we can either lean in or lean away.

Of course, the consequences of leaning away go beyond mimicking the fumbling awkwardness of a teenage romance. In long-term intimate relationships, they can...

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Letting Go of The Desire to Control Your Partner in Marriage

communication habits stress Apr 07, 2022

 

The modern world has sold us on the illusion of control.

Time management systems tell us that we can control the passing hours of each day.

Influencers tell us we can control our mind, body, and emotions by taking the right supplements, eating the right foods, and doing the right practices.

Our society at large tells us that we can control our sense of self-worth and happiness by winning big at the game of capitalism.

So it’s no surprise that one of the most frustrating...

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3 Ways to 'Spring Clean' Your Relationship or Marriage

 

Spring is finally here.

If you're like us, you might be cleaning out your closet, sweeping the garage, or tossing out old files from your office.

There's something cathartic about spring clean up. And yet we think this ritual shouldn’t be limited to your home, garden, or storage room.

As you transition out of the snow, cold, and long nights of winter, what would it look like to also spring clean your relationship?

Here are our three favorite tools.

 

Tools

 

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