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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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Are Your Quarantine Hangover Habits Impacting Your Marriage?

coronavirus habits risk stress Jun 25, 2020

 

Now that stay-at-home orders and quarantines are easing (for some of us), we’ve noticed a pattern, both as individuals and as a couple. It’s a pattern we're calling "the quarantine habit hangover."

Just like a real hangover from a night where you had a little bit too much fun, this hangover starts with an earlier attempt to seek short-term pleasure. But unlike the morning after a wild party, this one is more like a three-month daze brought on by all sorts of odd...

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How to Navigate the Sex/Stability Paradox in Challenging Times

coronavirus risk sex space Jun 18, 2020

 

“The challenge for modern couples lies in reconciling the need for what's safe and predictable with the wish to pursue what's exciting, mysterious, and awe-inspiring."

 

These are the words of Esther Perel, the master theorist of sex and eroticism in marriage. Her big idea is that marriage consists of two conflicting aims. On one side, we crave security, comfort, and safety. On the other, we crave adventure, excitement, and sometimes even risk.

Ideally, these...

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The Power of Creating Physical and Mental Space in Marriage

 

Over the last couple months, many couples have experienced the disappearance of space. Physical space is gone. We used to have work, business trips, the gym, and all sorts of other events and activities in life that provided this kind of physical space and separation from each other.

But that’s only part of the problem. We are also experiencing the disappearance of mental space. This form of space is less tangible but perhaps even more significant. It’s space from...

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Closing the Pandemic Gender Gap between Men and Women in Marriage

coronavirus fairness roles May 21, 2020

 

Last week, the New York Times reported a stunning statistic in an article entitled, "Nearly Half of Men Say They Do most of the Home Schooling. 3 Percent of Women Agree." According to a recent survey, 45 percent of men say they are spending more time homeschooling or helping their children with distance-learning during this crisis. 80 percent of women, by contrast, say they are spending more time homeschooling or helping their children. And, as the article's headline...

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How much risk is too much during the coronavirus pandemic?

conflict coronavirus risk May 14, 2020

 

Couples have always had to navigate differences in risk. And yet, over the last couple months, the potential for explosive conflict around risk has grown exponentially. Because now, everything is risky.

Should you get a haircut? Or is that taking on too much risk?

Should you get a check up at the doctor? Is going or not going the bigger risk?

Should you let your child play with a friend? Or will that turn your kid into a disease vector?

If you're lucky, you and your partner agree on...

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How to Prepare Your Marriage for Death

coronavirus death May 12, 2020

 

We know, could there be a more depressing way to start a newsletter?

Probably not. But, let’s face it, we are in the midst of a global pandemic, witnessing the spread of a disease that is killing thousands of people each day.

Hopefully, you won’t get coronavirus. And if you do, hopefully you won’t end up in the hospital or worse, dying.

But it might be worth using this moment, when death has been thrust into the forefront of life, as a catalyst to consider whether you...

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How to Divide Up Chores and Housework When Crisis Hits

 

Most working couples have tasted the amazing benefits of outsourcing. Things like having a school with administrators and teachers where you can send your kids. Having a cleaner who comes by every once in a while. Or having a babysitter who watches the little ones when you go out on date night.

Outsourcing is often the ultimate antidote to resentment and fights over what is or isn’t fair. So it follows that the temporary death of outsourcing results in a reemergence of all sorts...

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How to Have a Happy and Healthy Sex Life in The Midst of Coronavirus Quarantine

coronavirus sex May 12, 2020

 

We thought we’d ask because this is a real question for many couples. 

In the abstract, getting stuck together in a small space for months at a time sounds downright erotic. Don’t people travel long distances and pay tons of money for that sort of thing?

But then there's the reality of quarantine. The daily stream of heart-wrenching news updates. The background hum of stress and anxiety. And the fact that you now see each other, your pets, and your...

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