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:
New Year’s Eve is just days away.
If you’re like us, you’re beginning to think about new intentions, resolutions, and habits for 2023.
So we wanted to use this newsletter as a subtle nudge, a reminder to think not only about your individual habits but also about your habits as a couple for 2023.
Your relationship, after all, rests on a vast system of often unconscious habits. It’s a system perfectly designed to create both the good and bad in your life...
This week, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite recent articles on marriage and relationships.
Up first, The Joys (and Challenges) of Sex After 70. The New York Times took a deep dive into the sex lives of older couples. When interviewing them, they stumbled upon an unexpected and hopeful insight: for some couples, sex in the final decades can be the best they've ever had.
Up next, Can MDMA Save a Marriage? As scientists expand their research on psychedelic compounds like...
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...
Sex and marriage might just be two of the most contradictory activities we humans engage in.
Sex is all about freedom, pleasure, and spontaneity. It thrives on breaking routines, novelty, risk, and experimentation.
Then there's marriage. Place that word next to sex, and it feels heavy, almost boring. Marriage, after all, is about commitment. It demands safety, hard work, and steady routines. It's less about spontaneity, more about predictability and structure.
Perhaps this is why one...
One year ago, we thought this would be the year of -- well -- everything going back to normal.
That's not exactly what happened. And, if anything, we're learning that the 'new normal' can be summed up in a single word: uncertainty.
Whether our kids will be at school in person in a week -- uncertain.
Whether Covid will ever disappear and fade into a bad memory -- uncertain.
If you're like just about everyone we know, all of this uncertainty may have taken a toll on your...
We have some reassuring words for you today.
If you've ever had a knock-down-drag-out fight or even just a heated argument on date night, you are not alone.
We certainly have. In fact, we had our most explosive fight ever during what should have been a wonderful date night sitting outside on the patio at a Mediterranean restaurant.
It's an argument we recount at the beginning of The 80/80 Marriage -- an argument over which one of us would pick up our daughter from daycare.
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...
It’s the marital equivalent of the Wi-Fi network in your house. It’s an invisible force and yet it’s always there, operating in the background. And, just like your Wi-Fi, when power goes out of whack, you feel an instant surge of irritation, anger, and sometimes even rage.
When we started writing The 80/80 Marriage, one of our primary goals was to better understand the dynamics of power in marriage. We had both experienced first-hand the sting of resentment that...
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...