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Why Speed Is the Enemy of Understanding in Relationships

communication habits space Jul 10, 2024


When you and your partner start fighting, all sorts of things happen.

Your heart rate increases.

Stress hormones pulse through your body.

Your muscles clench.

You become more defensive, less curious.

But there's something else that changes, something so subtle that it often flies under the radar of our awareness: everything speeds up.

The conversation shifts from a meandering 40 mph drive through the countryside to a 120 mph drag race.

And, just like driving, having contentious...

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How Avoid the RKO (Relationship Knock Out)


There is an invisible urge out there, destroying relationships everywhere.

It often shows up while talking about money, politics, social planning, or parenting.

It surfaces anytime you feel defensive, like your partner has just accused you of even the slightest marital misdeed.

They might question your latest purchase. Did you really need that supplemental butt cushion for the car?

They might question your politics. Are you really voting for that guy again?

Or they might...

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Why Your Partner Should NOT Be Your Everything


Here's a passage from Esther Perel's Mating in Captivity that just about knocked us off our chairs the first time we read it:

Today, we turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did: a sense of grounding, meaning, and continuity. At the same time, we expect our committed relationships to be romantic as well as emotionally and sexually fulfilling. Is it any wonder that so many relationships crumble under the weight of it all?

Perel's big insight? That we now expect ...

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Marriage is Like a Boat - What Do You Need to Throw Off It?

 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...

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Are You the Glommer or the Splitter?

There's an invisible tug-of-war happening in your relationship.

It's not about who does the dishes.

It's not about who tucks in the kids at bedtime.

It's about connection.

And in just about every couple we've encountered, partners unconsciously take on one of two roles.

First there's The Glommer. This is the partner who most craves connection. They just can't get enough quality time and deep conversation. They're always craving more of their partner.

Then there's The Splitter....

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The Magical Meta-Feedback Question

Want to start a massive fight with your partner?

Here's one great place to begin. Give them feedback that is the exact opposite of what they hope to receive.

For instance, let's say they just had a hard day at work and want to vent about their boss who fancies himself as a kind of cubicle-ruling autocrat.

How can you turn this moment into a raging conflict?

Easy, interrupt your partner mid-rant with a laundry list of clever ideas and solutions to their problem.

You might say, "Well, have you...

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Letting Go of The Desire to Control Your Partner in Marriage

communication habits stress Feb 22, 2024


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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5 Relationship Habits for a Happy New Year in 2024


Happy New Year!

If you’re like us, you’re beginning to think about new intentions, resolutions, and habits for 2024.

So we wanted to use this newsletter as a subtle nudge, a reminder to think not only about your individual habits but also about your habits as a couple for 2024.

Your relationship, after all, rests on a vast system of often unconscious habits. It’s a system perfectly designed to create both the good and bad in your life together.

Bad habits create...

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Poop, Pop, 'Preciate -- 3 Words That Might Change Your Relationship


We live in an age of hyper connection. 

We can text our partner at all hours of the day and night. We can track their every move using Google Location Sharing. We can even FaceTime them when we’re thousands of miles away. 

So why is it so hard for modern couples to stay connected?

Researchers at UCLA have an answer. They followed around thirty modern couples, observing them like anthropologists as they ate, got the kids ready for school, and navigated the logistics of...

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What to Do (and Not Do) When Things Aren't Fair in Marriage


Has this ever happened to you? 

You just spent all morning making breakfast, unloading the dishwasher, and packing lunches for the kids. Your partner, meanwhile, just strolled in from a morning workout, seemingly oblivious to all your hard work.

Or you just spent ten hours working your face off so that you and your partner can afford the vacations, the house, and the cost of day care. Your partner, meanwhile, just arrived home from a long walk with a friend and a spacious...

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