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80/80 Marriage

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Planned Eroticism: The Case for Scheduling Sex

communication habits sex space Feb 24, 2021

Here’s one way to approach sex in marriage. Call it the “wing it” approach.

Sex should be spontaneous, wild, and free, like something out of a teenage fantasy or romance novel. You can’t make it happen. You have to just allow it to happen organically. That’s what makes it so amazing, mind blowing, and erotic.

Here’s another way to approach sex in marriage. Call it the “planned eroticism" approach.

Sure, it would be amazing to hook up on a...

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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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Do Your Own Inner Work
(The Secret to a Happy Marriage)

habits science space stress Jan 27, 2021

As the authors of The 80/80 Marriage and this newsletter, we have a confession to make. We've talked here about all sorts of tips, strategies, and tools for improving your marriage. But, when it comes down to it, working on yourself might just be the most powerful way to enhance your marriage.

The reason?

Something happens several microseconds before you can even begin to utilize these marriage tools. It’s what the Austrian psychologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl...

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When Feedback in Marriage Turns from Helpful to Annoying

communication habits stress Jan 20, 2021

If you were to distill down the learnings from the thousands of studies conducted on the psychology of marriage, you're likely to end up with a conclusion like this: Communication is good. Not talking to each other is bad.

But that's only part of the story. Because open communication and feedback in marriage is a lot like eating kale or broccoli in a balanced diet. It's good -- to a point. The moment you start overdoing it, new problems emerge. 

No, we're not talking...

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5 powerful marriage habits for a happy new year in 2021

habits priorities sex Dec 30, 2020

Ah, 2020.

If you're like just about everyone we know, this was a really strange and difficult year.

And, again, if you're like just about everyone we know, the challenges of civil unrest, a divisive election, and (let's not forget) a global pandemic may have taken a toll on your marriage.

Maybe you fight more.

Maybe you're frustrated more easily.

Maybe you feel like you have no space and that you're living on top of each other.

Or maybe you find that, like the economy, your sex life has...

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6 Questions to Reignite the Spark of Conversation in Marriage

communication habits stress Dec 02, 2020

Has this ever happened to you?

You and your partner finally carve out time to be alone together. You go on date night or you take a weekend away together or maybe you just take 45 minutes to walk around the neighborhood.

But then, as you enter into this precious time reserved for connection, you stare blankly at each other wondering, “Shouldn't we have more to talk about?"

It’s a marital predicament experienced by couples at all stages, by newlyweds, those who have lived...

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4 Ways to Transition From Work Life to Family Life in Marriage

habits priorities stress Nov 18, 2020

Originally published in Inc. Magazine.

Does this sound familiar?

You've just finished a long day, full of emails, Zoom calls, deadlines, and to-dos. You're now making the shift from work mode to family mode. But, for some reason, you just can't seem to turn it off.

You keep thinking about that meeting, that call you need to make, or all the things you weren't able to get to. You're living in yesterday, tomorrow, and five years from now, finding it impossible to slow down and be here now.

If...

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Shifting From Logistics Mode to Intimacy Mode in Marriage

habits priorities sex space Nov 11, 2020

After seventeen or so years of living together and carefully examining our habits, we started to notice the importance of mode switching in relationships.

All relationships have a variety of modes. For instance, we often get caught in logistics mode. This is the mode where we become like two startup cofounders, spending our days coordinating calendars, executing on important to-dos, and thinking ahead to upcoming events, trips, and kids activities.

Then there’s parent mode. This is the...

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3 Ways to Build Relationship Resiliency in Challenging Times

habits science stress Nov 05, 2020

 

Right now, the last thing you're likely thinking about is optimizing your marriage. If you live in the U.S., it's a time of deep uncertainty, stress, and anxiety.

So we thought we'd change it up today. We're going to break from our ordinary format and just give you three ultra-efficient tips for boosting relationship resiliency in stressful times like these. 

 

1. Take 3 long slow breaths.

Your breath is like an inner portal to a state of calm. For one thing, your breath...

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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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