What we're about to tell you may be hard to hear.
So take a breath.
See if you can get curious.
One of the biggest barriers to a happier relationship is this: you haven't updated your model of love since high school.
You remember high school love. It's when desire struck like a lightning bolt of dopamine, when you had endless hours of free time, when you could make the spur-of-the moment decision to cut class to hang out together at the mall without...
Here’s a fun question for your next date night: “Do we feel rich?"
Notice that the question here isn’t, “are we rich?" That’s a much less interesting question, one you can easily answer with a quick Google search.
"Do you feel rich?" is a better question because it turns out to have almost nothing to do with the dollars in your bank account.
We first learned this in our interviews with couples for The 80/80 Marriage.
One couple decided that they...
We call it the pleasure guilt cycle.
And we’re guessing that you take a ride on this merry-go-round of indulgence and self-loathing most days. We certainly do.
The pleasure guilt cycle is what happens when two conflicting mental messages collide.
The first comes from the suffocatingly helpful zeitgeist of modern wellness influencer culture. It goes something like this:
Why do you feel stuck? Here’s the answer served up by our modern world: your partner.
Just think about the way conversations with friends go down. When was the last time you were out with a group of women talking about their husbands over drinks and heard the line, “I think my real issue with Steve is that I need to do a little bit more introspective work on myself. I need to figure out how I am creating this dynamic?”
Is that what you heard? Or did you...
Here’s the first thing the world tells us about relationship success: find a unicorn.
Find your Mr. or Mrs. Right. Find that rom-com-worthy, diamond-in-the-rough guy or gal.
What happens then? Magic.
Once you find this unicorn partner, they will make everything okay. They will shower you with love and affection.
Unicorns, after all, aren’t like the rest of those other losers out there. They’re always turned on and in the mood. They cook and do all the dishes for fun....
When we interviewed couples, we heard tragic stories of divorce, constant conflict, and affairs.
But we also heard about a milder, more insidious, force pulling most couples apart.
Think you don't have a problem with your phone? Think again.
Most research estimates that fifty percent of us admit to experiencing a full-on behavioral addiction to our phones. And while we might touch our partner lovingly several times a day, we touch our phones an average of ...
If you're reading this newsletter, chances are that (1) you've heard of the marshmallow test and (2) you've set your life up around passing it with flying colors.
The marshmallow test, of course, comes from a classic 1972 experiment conducted at Stanford University. Children were given the choice between eating one marshmallow now or getting two marshmallows if they were willing to wait for 15 minutes (all while staring at the marshmallow in front of them). ...
If you've read The 80/80 Marriage, this newsletter, or any book on relationships, you know about the power of appreciation.
It's a relationship tool validated by a vast body of scientific research.
It's easy to do.
And its impact is nothing short of game-changing.
A single appreciation for your partner can turn even the most tense exchange into an opportunity for connection and intimacy.
But there's also a hidden trap when it comes to appreciation.
We call it appreciation deflection....
You sit down at an austere and strange table, one you have never sat at before. The hard wood chair pierces into your mid-back.
Just then, someone else sits down across the table.
That’s when it happens. You've just dropped into a moment of intimacy like a skydiver dropping from a plane.
It's intense, kind of awkward, and, just, too much, too soon.
This might sound like a riveting interrogation scene from a movie or like some sort of inhumane psychology experiment.
Have you ever had a single line of text change your life?
We have. Here’s a line that changed ours from two of our mentors Gay and Katie Hendricks:
“In all times and every way, we are getting exactly what we are committed to getting.”
Take a moment to sit with this idea.
Take a moment to let it in.
Consider the idea that, somehow, you are committed to getting all the problems and challenges you experience throughout the day.
Most of us recoil at the...