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80/80 Marriage

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The Cure for 'Mental Overload Syndrome' in Marriage and Relationships

habits priorities space stress Mar 31, 2021

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...

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Close But Not Connected:
The COVID-19 Marriage Paradox

COVID-19 has brought most married couples closer, but not in the way you might think.

We now live our lives closer together: traveling less, leaving the house less, and working nearer to each other during the day. We also do more of the daily activities of life together (parenting, cooking, cleaning, etc.).

We're close. But we are often not connected.

Here’s what this marriage paradox looks like for us. We get to the end of the day and realize that -- even though neither of us has left...

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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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Do Your Own Inner Work
(The Secret to a Happy Marriage)

habits science space stress Jan 27, 2021

As the authors of The 80/80 Marriage and this newsletter, we have a confession to make. We've talked here about all sorts of tips, strategies, and tools for improving your marriage. But, when it comes down to it, working on yourself might just be the most powerful way to enhance your marriage.

The reason?

Something happens several microseconds before you can even begin to utilize these marriage tools. It’s what the Austrian psychologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl...

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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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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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Marriage doesn’t have to be hard. Good habits make it easier.

 

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...

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The Power of Creating Physical and Mental Space in Marriage

 

Over the last six or so months, many couples have experienced the disappearance of space. Physical space is gone. We used to have work, business trips, the gym, and all sorts of other events and activities in life that provided this kind of physical space and separation from each other.

But that’s only part of the problem. We are also experiencing the disappearance of mental space. This form of space is less tangible but perhaps even more significant. It’s space from...

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How to Find Novelty in a Time of Pandemic-Induced Marital Monotony

If you're like us, you’re probably grappling with one of the peculiar experiences of pandemic life: the loss of novelty.

In pre-Covid times, life seemed full of novelty, of new and fresh experiences. You might have had dinner parties or barbecues to attend. You might have had movies, festivals, sporting events, or concerts on your calendar. You might have looked forward to exciting new trips and vacations. 

You might have even found novelty at work in the form of team...

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You Can't Have It All in Marriage (But You Can Have This)

habits roles space stress Sep 15, 2020

Over the last several decades, our culture has adopted a new definition of success. It used to be that success in life involved being really good at one thing.

You might be an amazing writer. A brilliant teacher. A savvy businessperson. Or a devoted stay-at-home parent.

Nowadays, however, we've expanded the scope of success. It’s no longer enough to be good at just one thing. We now have to be good at, well, everything.

If you're an overachiever at work, with a stressful job, you...

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