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...
The other day, we had an argument that got pretty heated. It was over how to prioritize our time on a Sunday afternoon. Kaley wanted to meet up with a friend. Nate wanted to do an activity together as a family.
The conversation started out well. But then, it went off the rails. At some point, we both felt frustrated and angry. We both felt like the other person wasn't really hearing us.
In that moment, we realized we had a choice between two very different paths. The first...
It’s the marital equivalent of the Wi-Fi network in your house. It’s an invisible force and yet it’s always there, operating in the background. And, just like your Wi-Fi, when power goes out of whack, you feel an instant surge of irritation, anger, and sometimes even rage.
When we started writing The 80/80 Marriage, one of our primary goals was to better understand the dynamics of power in marriage. We had both experienced first-hand the sting of resentment that...
Here are two common traps in marriage.
The first is getting so lost in errands, to-dos, and the thousand or so other demands of domestic life that you forget about caring for yourself. At the end of the day, you feel scattered, tense, and exhausted. You’ve been carrying the weight of your family system but you haven’t been caring for yourself.
The second is this problem in reverse. It's overdoing self care. Instead of following through on important logistics or doing the things...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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...
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,...