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80/80 Marriage

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

conflict science stress Aug 24, 2022

 

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...

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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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The Best Way to Change Your Partner (Hint: It's All About You)

conflict fairness stress Jun 14, 2022

 

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...

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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 an episode of...

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Summer Is Here: What Are Your Vacation Values?

conflict habits vacation May 25, 2022

 

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...

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2 Tips for Dealing With Recycled Issues in Your Relationship

conflict fairness stress May 04, 2022

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...

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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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