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80/80 Marriage

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Planned Eroticism: The Case for Scheduling Sex

communication habits sex space Feb 24, 2021

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...

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Is power balanced in your marriage?

conflict fairness sex Jan 06, 2021

Power.

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...

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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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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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What do you do with those random and automatic sexual thoughts in marriage?

affairs habits science sex Sep 09, 2020

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re walking down the street. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice a strikingly beautiful man or woman.

You turn your gaze toward them and, without knowing why, you find yourself drawn to the sight of this person.

Seconds later, you may even find yourself lost in a mental daydream, a spontaneous fantasy where you're seducing this innocent bystander in a chaise lounge by a pool. Or perhaps you just feel the tingling sensations of sexual energy...

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5 science-backed ways to improve your marriage

habits science sex Jul 29, 2020

 

There’s something odd about the very idea of "the science of marriage." Raising kids together, negotiating disputes, or having outrageous sex – these aren't "scientific" activities. It would be odd to use predictive analytics to improve your parenting. It would be even stranger to use data sets of your past trysts to spice up your sex life. 

All that's to say that science can't explain the mystery of marriage -- the actual experience of being in love. 

And...

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When do Friendships Outside of Marriage Turn Into Entanglements?

affairs conflict sex Jul 22, 2020

 

Will and Jada Smith recently introduced a new word into the vernacular of marriage: “entanglements." It’s their way of referring to the people outside your marriage who blur the line between friendship and an emotional or actual affair.

We thought this whole idea of “entanglements" raised a fascinating question: when does a relationship outside of marriage become something more like an emotional affair? When does it begin to undermine intimacy and trust in...

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How to Navigate the Sex/Stability Paradox in Challenging Times

coronavirus risk sex space Jun 18, 2020

 

“The challenge for modern couples lies in reconciling the need for what's safe and predictable with the wish to pursue what's exciting, mysterious, and awe-inspiring."

 

These are the words of Esther Perel, the master theorist of sex and eroticism in marriage. Her big idea is that marriage consists of two conflicting aims. On one side, we crave security, comfort, and safety. On the other, we crave adventure, excitement, and sometimes even risk.

Ideally, these...

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How to Have a Happy and Healthy Sex Life in The Midst of Coronavirus Quarantine

coronavirus sex May 12, 2020

 

We thought we’d ask because this is a real question for many couples. 

In the abstract, getting stuck together in a small space for months at a time sounds downright erotic. Don’t people travel long distances and pay tons of money for that sort of thing?

But then there's the reality of quarantine. The daily stream of heart-wrenching news updates. The background hum of stress and anxiety. And the fact that you now see each other, your pets, and your...

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