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3 Tips for Eliminating Drama During a Covid-19 Pandemic Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving (the good news)!

Covid-19 rates are peaking (the bad news).

And that means that all the drama we normally experience at Thanksgiving -- the strange political discussions or the arguments over whether the stuffing should be gluten-free -- now includes all sorts of new emotionally explosive questions.

Questions like:

  • "Do we still try to eat a turkey dinner together but just do it outside in the freezing cold, huddled around a patio heater?"
  • "Isn't there some way to...
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2 Tips for Dealing With Recycled Issues in Marriage

conflict fairness stress Oct 28, 2020

There’s something strange about conflicts in marriage.

Modern couples could fight about thousands of things. Life these days, after all, is messy, complicated, and full of an endless stream of logistical challenges, to-dos, and parenting dilemmas.

And yet, when it comes to what we actually fight about, most of us have a pretty short list. The same three to five recycled conflicts just keep popping up, again and again.

For us, it's three things: balancing time spent with each...

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Marriage doesn’t have to be hard. Good habits make it easier.

 

Over the last few years, we've immersed ourselves in the cultural conversation on marriage. What we've found is that just about everyone, from bloggers to therapists to celebrities, seems intent on promoting the same marital cliché: marriage is hard.

It's a platitude that is at least partially true. Early on in marriage, it's helpful to hear this. For us, for example, we walked into marriage with all sorts of misguided ideas. We thought marriage would be more like...

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Navigating and Resolving Political Conflicts in Marriage

conflict fairness stress Oct 13, 2020

Ah, politics.

It’s on everyone’s mind these days. And, let's face it, conditions of polarization and disagreement haven’t just intensified in government, society, and the media. They've also intensified in marriage.

Some couples experience the most extreme form of these political conflicts, with one partner representing the far Left and the other the far Right. In the US right now, this looks like an ardent Biden supporter and an ardent Trump supporter, struggling each...

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The 'Blame Game' in Marriage Doesn't Work (Do This Instead)

conflict fairness stress Sep 22, 2020

When something goes wrong, horribly wrong, our first instinct is to blame.

We experienced this first hand last year during our family trip to Mexico (ah, vacations...remember those?). On our drive from the airport to the hotel, we were pulled over by the Mexican police for 45 minutes.

Then, our hotel room ended up sharing a wall with the all-night New Year’s Eve dance party, which meant that we (and our 8-year-old) slept, not at all. And then after moving to a new resort,...

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Keeping Score is Bad. Accountability is Good. But what's the difference?

conflict fairness roles stress Sep 02, 2020

It’s date night. You've arranged the childcare. And you and your partner have a clear agreement to meet at 6pm.

There’s just one problem. It’s now 6:15pm, and your partner is nowhere to be found.

You feel angry and rightly so. You text them: "WHERE ARE YOU?" When your partner finally does arrive, at 6:20pm, how do you respond?

It's a question worth asking because your response in moments like these has the power to strengthen or destroy your connection. When...

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Your Spouse is Into Something Weird (What Do You Do?)

conflict habits stress Aug 26, 2020

A couple months ago, Nate took up a bizarre practice. After reading the recently released book Breath by James Nestor, he became convinced of the benefits of nasal breathing (breathing through your nose instead of your mouth).

The scientific case for nasal breathing is robust. A vast body of evidence shows that simply breathing through your nose improves sleep quality, reduces stress, and enhances our ability to absorb oxygen.

There’s just one problem. How do you breathe...

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How to Eliminate Envy and Jealousy (And Improve Your Marriage in the Process)

conflict science stress Aug 19, 2020

Has this ever happened to you?

You notice something about a friend, something they have that you wish you had. 

The perfect body - I wish I looked more like that.

Effortless success at work - why is everything so hard for me?

Their annoyingly upbeat mental state - I wish I had that energy.

Or maybe you experience this with another couple you know.

They go on amazing trips – we never go on vacations like those.

Their seemingly relaxed and stress-free life – why are we so...

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How can you tell the difference between big and little problems in marriage?

The last several months have been hard on everyone. We've heard this from countless couples. We’ve also heard them say, “Sometimes, I can't tell whether we are just having a bad day or whether something is really wrong.”

At the individual level, this can show up as having trouble distinguishing life's ordinary upsets from something more serious: chronic anxiety, depression, or burnout.

In marriage, this can show up as having trouble distinguishing everyday tiffs...

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When do Friendships Outside of Marriage Turn Into Entanglements?

affairs conflict sex Jul 22, 2020

 

Will and Jada Smith recently introduced a new word into the vernacular of marriage: “entanglements." It’s their way of referring to the people outside your marriage who blur the line between friendship and an emotional or actual affair.

We thought this whole idea of “entanglements" raised a fascinating question: when does a relationship outside of marriage become something more like an emotional affair? When does it begin to undermine intimacy and trust in...

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