We’ve all been there.
It’s the end of a long, hard, day. You’re exhausted. So is your partner. And, all of a sudden, everything they do becomes excruciatingly annoying: the way they chew their food, the way they cut you off in the kitchen on your way to the fridge, or that thing they said at dinner.
Avoiding conflict in these conditions is like avoiding getting soaked during a massive rain storm. Sometimes, it feels inevitable.
But what if you...
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...
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...
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...
Spring is finally here.
If you're like us, you might be cleaning out your closet, sweeping the garage, or tossing out old files from your office.
There's something cathartic about spring clean up. And yet we think this ritual shouldn’t be limited to your home, garden, or storage room.
As you transition out of the snow, cold, and long nights of winter, what would it look like to also spring clean your relationship?
Here are our three favorite tools.
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...
Has this ever happened to you?
You just spent all morning making breakfast, unloading the dishwasher, and packing lunches for the kids. Your partner, meanwhile, just strolled in from a morning workout, seemingly oblivious to all your hard work.
Or you just spent ten hours working your face off so that you and your partner can afford the vacations, the house, and the cost of day care. Your partner, meanwhile, just arrived home from a long walk with a friend and a spacious afternoon where...
We're thrilled to report that The New York Times did a review this week of our book, The 80/80 Marriage. They linked radical generosity in life to what happens in the bedroom. Read the article and ask yourself: "How does the way I do life show up in sex?" Click here to read the full article.