At some point along the journey of marriage, we've all had this thought. We’ve all contemplated thoughts like: if only my partner appreciated me more or loved me more or listened better, things would be different.
It's a thought based on an assumption, the assumption that change starts, not from within, but when our partner finally gets it together.
The problem? You don't control your partner. If you did, your efforts to change them would have achieved astounding...
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 an episode of...
Just the other day, twenty years into our relationship, we stumbled upon a shocking new insight about values.
We’ve always understood the power of getting clear on your values as a couple. In The 80/80 Marriage, for instance, we argue that it doesn’t matter whether you value wealth, adventure, philanthropy, or stability. What matters is that you and your partner both feel aware of and aligned with these values.
So what new values insight surprised us?
The power of a...
There’s something strange about conflicts in marriage.
Modern couples could fight about thousands of different 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...
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...
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?
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...
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...
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...
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...