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80/80 Marriage

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

conflict habits stress Jan 19, 2022

Last year, Nate took up a bizarre practice. After reading the 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 through your nose at night?

Enter...

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4 Subtle Signs You're Really Fighting About Fairness

 

Fairness is the air that we breathe in modern relationships.

We breathe it in as we watch our partner failing yet again to be helpful and load the dishwasher like a sane human being. We breathe it out as we complain either out loud or in the privacy of our own minds about their shortcomings.

Like the air that surrounds us, fairness is also mostly invisible.

We discovered this during our interviews with couples for The 80/80 Marriage. We asked each couple, “How does fairness show...

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These Outsiders Can Make Marriage Impossible

 

One of the most profound marriage insights comes down to some simple math. There’s the two of you: you and your partner. And then there are your “thirds.”

Now, this idea alone isn’t groundbreaking. It’s not going to radically change your life.

But here’s something that might. Marriage therapist and author Stan Takin argues that these “thirds” pose one of the greatest threats to the health of a marriage. A third could be your friend or...

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How to Pay Down Your 'Emotional Debt' in Marriage and Life

 

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...

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4 Tools for Rebuilding Trust in Relationships and Marriage

 

What's the best way to rebuild trust in your relationship?

Here's the easy answer: try not to lose it in the first place.

You can do this in all sorts of ways. There's staying in the mindset of radical generosity, revealing your full experience, and getting clear on your values as a couple. All of these 80/80 strategies will help you get more connected and, as a result, strengthen the fabric of trust. 

But what do you do when there is a significant loss of trust in...

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Is Staying in Your Comfort Zone Hurting Your Marriage?

conflict habits risk Oct 06, 2021

 

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...

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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 afternoon where...

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The Power of Mindfulness in Marriage

conflict habits stress Jul 21, 2021

Imagine that it’s been one of those days.

You’re tired, cranky. You feel stressed and irritated. And, on top of it all, you feel like you’re the one doing everything -- at work, with the kids, and at home.

Then, your partner casually strolls through the door and says, “I thought you were planning to have dinner ready by 6 PM?"

In an instant, a tidal wave of thoughts and emotions washes over you. You feel the piercing sensations of anger rising through your belly...

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Less Fun, More Logistics: The Reality of Marriage With Kids

Last week, we had a conversation with a recently married younger couple. They told us about the challenge of transitioning from those early days of dating, where everything is fun and fresh, to the early days of marriage, where you end up spending way more time on navigating conflict and life logistics.

In that moment, something clicked. We uncovered an insight that was always there but that we had never seen with such clarity.

We call it The Fun-to-Logistics Ratio.

Here’s how it works....

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Why Your Partner's Grass Is Always Greener

In last week's newsletter, we explored envy outside of marriage, toward friends or other couples. This week, we want to go one level deeper into the sensitive subject of envy towards your partner.

We experienced this just last week. With our daughter out of school and in camps for the summer, we decided to modify our work schedules.

Nate slowed down a bit so he could take on more of the camp drop offs and pick ups and random life logistics. Kaley, meanwhile, ramped up her travel for work,...

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