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80/80 Marriage

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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 an episode of...

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Summer Is Here: What Are Your Vacation Values?

conflict habits vacation May 25, 2022

 

Just the other day, twenty years into our relationship, we stumbled upon a shocking new insight about values.

We’ve always understood the power of getting clear on your values as a couple. In The 80/80 Marriage, for instance, we argue that it doesn’t matter whether you value wealth, adventure, philanthropy, or stability. What matters is that you and your partner both feel aware of and aligned with these values.

So what new values insight surprised us?

The power of a...

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The Cure for 'Mental Overload Syndrome' in Marriage and Relationships

habits priorities space stress May 18, 2022

 

It’s 6pm on Friday night. It's been a long week. You sit at the table for family dinner. You’re ready to leave work and the chaos of the week behind -- to relax and, finally, connect with your family.

But, somehow, your mind didn’t get the memo. No, the voice in your head sounds more like a heavily-caffeinated line manager, barking out orders like, “You forgot to send that email, didn't you?" “When are you going to book the reservations for the summer...

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How to Navigate Burnout in Your Relationship

habits science stress May 12, 2022

 

Today, we want to tackle a difficult topic -- burnout.

During the insanity of the last couple years, many of us have experienced at least some degree of this uniquely modern condition.

What is burnout? It's a reaction to our work or life situation characterized by three primary features:

  • Overwhelming exhaustion -- That feeling of being tired. All. The. Time. 
  • Feelings of cynicism and detachment -- The resigned attitude that says, "Who cares?" or "This sucks."
  • Declining...
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2 Ways to Build Connection in Your Marriage By Revealing

communication habits space Apr 20, 2022

 

In the dance that is marriage, we encounter a daily, moment-to-moment, choice. We can lean in towards each other up and dance like pros. Or we can lean away, awkwardly embraced, clutching each others shoulders like thirteen year olds at a middle school dance.

In every moment, in other words, we can either lean in or lean away.

Of course, the consequences of leaning away go beyond mimicking the fumbling awkwardness of a teenage romance. In long-term intimate relationships, they can...

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This Math Might Change Your Marriage

habits priorities stress Apr 13, 2022

 

Inspired by Oliver Burkeman's recent book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, we've been rethinking our relationship to time in relationships.

One of his most provocative insights arises from the title itself: Four Thousand Weeks.

That's the number of weeks we have to live, assuming that we're fortunate enough to make it to around 80 years old.

This means that, if you're in your forties, you have somewhere around two thousand more weeks, fifteen hundred if you're in your...

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Letting Go of The Desire to Control Your Partner in Marriage

communication habits stress Apr 07, 2022

 

The modern world has sold us on the illusion of control.

Time management systems tell us that we can control the passing hours of each day.

Influencers tell us we can control our mind, body, and emotions by taking the right supplements, eating the right foods, and doing the right practices.

Our society at large tells us that we can control our sense of self-worth and happiness by winning big at the game of capitalism.

So it’s no surprise that one of the most frustrating...

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Master The Relationship Superpower of Role Shifting in Marriage

habits roles sex Mar 30, 2022

 

Have you ever noticed that being in an intimate relationship is a lot like competing in a decathlon?

A winning decathlete can’t just be good at throwing a javelin. She must also excel at the high jump, running the 1600 meters, pole vaulting and a bunch of other seemingly unrelated events.

Likewise, in intimate relationships, you can’t just excel in one relationship role. You can’t just be amazing at sex or a wildly entertaining conversationalist or a superbly...

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3 Ways to 'Spring Clean' Your Relationship or Marriage

 

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.

 

Tools

 

1....

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How Much Slack Do You Have in Your System of Marriage?

habits priorities space stress Mar 14, 2022

 

The management scientist Edward Deming once said, "Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets."

Now, Deming was talking about large organizations and companies. But his insight applies perfectly to relationships for two reasons.

First, his words offer an important reminder. The results you and your partner are getting -- both good and bad -- aren't happening by random chance. They're created by an underlying system of habits, perfectly designed to give you those...

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