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How to Discover What You're Really Fighting About in Marriage

The other day, we had an argument that got pretty heated. It was over how to prioritize our time on a Sunday afternoon. Kaley wanted to meet up with a friend. Nate wanted to do an activity together as a family.

The conversation started out well. But then, it went off the rails. At some point, we both felt frustrated and angry. We both felt like the other person wasn't really hearing us.

In that moment, we realized we had a choice between two very different paths. The first...

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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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Looking Back on the (Hard to See) Gifts of 2020 for Your Marriage

There are so many ways to describe 2020. But we think some of the most accurate descriptions come from the various T-shirt memes circling the Internet...

 

In just about every conversation these days, someone, at some point, says something like, “2020 has been a horrible year."

And, of course, there are valid reasons for viewing this last year as a social, political, and public health dumpster fire. Racial unrest. A divisive election. And the global pandemic that has kept us...

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Where's the line between being selfish and self care in marriage?

conflict priorities stress Dec 15, 2020

Here are two common traps in marriage.

The first is getting so lost in errands, to-dos, and the thousand or so other demands of domestic life that you forget about caring for yourself. At the end of the day, you feel scattered, tense, and exhausted. You’ve been carrying the weight of your family system but you haven’t been caring for yourself.

The second is this problem in reverse. It's overdoing self care. Instead of following through on important logistics or doing the things...

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3 Tips for Eliminating Drama During a Covid-19 Pandemic Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving (the good news)!

Covid-19 rates are peaking (the bad news).

And that means that all the drama we normally experience at Thanksgiving -- the strange political discussions or the arguments over whether the stuffing should be gluten-free -- now includes all sorts of new emotionally explosive questions.

Questions like:

  • "Do we still try to eat a turkey dinner together but just do it outside in the freezing cold, huddled around a patio heater?"
  • "Isn't there some way to...
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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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Is 'Completion Addiction' Hurting Your Marriage?

habits priorities space stress Aug 12, 2020

Several years ago, we noticed a strange pattern in our lives together. With marathon to-do lists, overflowing inboxes, and the constant demands of raising a small human being, we spent much of life trying to achieve "completion."

Completion might be getting to inbox zero. Or it might be finally planning out all of our daughter's summer camps. Or it might be that ecstatic feeling of having a house that's perfectly clean and in order.

What’s the problem with completion? The problem, we...

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Why You Should be Failing More at Life

habits priorities stress Jul 15, 2020

 

Over the last 50 or so years, we've witnessed a strange shift in the definition of success. Success used to mean becoming excellent at one thing. You could be a successful writer by authoring great books. You could be a successful cook by creating delicious meals. You could be a successful businessperson by getting regular promotions at work.

Today, however, the scope of success has shifted, from being good at one thing to, well, just about everything. It’s not...

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