Relationship conflicts come in all sorts of flavors.
There’s the power struggle, the fight over decision rights, or the argument about money.
There’s the classic fairness fight, the dispute over the exact 50/50 balance of housework, child care, and the thousand or so other random logistics of modern life.
But there’s also a subtler, more surreptitious, form of conflict. We call it the I-miss-you fight.
We experienced it just last week. Kaley was away all week for an...
Marriage is a lot like owning a car. You don’t have to take it in for regular tune-ups, nor do you have to change its oil or fill up its tires. But sooner or later, this haphazard approach is likely to leave you stranded on the side of the road or with no car at all.
The same is true in marriage. You don’t have to reveal all of those microscopic truths: the subtle resentment you feel when cleaning up after your partner or the irritation that springs from feeling controlled....
Lately, we’ve been thinking about two seemingly opposite ways to build connection in relationships.
On one side, there’s safety.
In a chaotic and crazy world, we need this. It’s the feeling of structure, support, and routine that reminds us everything is going to be alright.
On the other, there’s adventure.
When we take risks, do something new, and explore the edges of our comfort zone, we also grow together.
Both safety and adventure build...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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:
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...
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...