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80/80 Marriage

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2 Tips for Dealing With Recycled Issues in Marriage

conflict fairness stress Oct 28, 2020

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...

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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...

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Navigating and Resolving Political Conflicts in Marriage

conflict fairness stress Oct 13, 2020

Ah, politics.

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...

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The 'Blame Game' in Marriage Doesn't Work (Do This Instead)

conflict fairness stress Sep 22, 2020

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,...

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Keeping Score is Bad. Accountability is Good. But what's the difference?

conflict fairness roles stress Sep 02, 2020

It’s date night. You've arranged the childcare. And you and your partner have a clear agreement to meet at 6pm.

There’s just one problem. It’s now 6:15pm, and your partner is nowhere to be found.

You feel angry and rightly so. You text them: "WHERE ARE YOU?" When your partner finally does arrive, at 6:20pm, how do you respond?

It's a question worth asking because your response in moments like these has the power to strengthen or destroy your connection. When...

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

conflict fairness stress Jun 10, 2020

 

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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Non-Complementary Behavior: A Radical Tool for Ending Arguments in Marriage

conflict fairness stress Jun 04, 2020

 

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...

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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 to Overcome Resentment in Marriage

conflict fairness May 12, 2020

 

We interviewed over 100 people about their marriages for our book The 80/80 Marriage. One of the things we discovered is that resentment might just be the primary emotion in modern married life.

It’s that bitter sting that lands when your partner makes plans without asking you. It's the irritation you feel when you're doing more, caring more, or trying harder (at least from your point of view).

What's the source of resentment?

The feeling that things aren't fair....

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