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5 Tips for Improving Date Night in Marriage

communication habits space Jul 14, 2021

In the early days of a relationship, you go on these things called "dates." You don’t live together. You don’t share finances. So dates are the only time you see each other.

Then you get married, add a kid or three to the picture and, all of a sudden, you start to have the opposite experience. You're now together. All. The. Time.

You eat together. You sleep together. You spend hours and hours planning the logistics of life together.

So now you need to bring dates back into...

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Less Fun, More Logistics: The Reality of Marriage With Kids

Last week, we had a conversation with a recently married younger couple. They told us about the challenge of transitioning from those early days of dating, where everything is fun and fresh, to the early days of marriage, where you end up spending way more time on navigating conflict and life logistics.

In that moment, something clicked. We uncovered an insight that was always there but that we had never seen with such clarity.

We call it The Fun-to-Logistics Ratio.

Here’s how it works....

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3 Tools for Living Your Highest Priorities in Relationships and Marriage This Summer

habits priorities space stress Jun 02, 2021

The theme of this summer is change.

If you have young kids, you're experiencing the change from the academic calendar to camps, vacations, and unstructured time.

If you've spent the last year holed up in your house, avoiding large crowds, airplanes, and social gatherings, you may be experiencing the change to a more packed social calendar.

With these changes comes an essential question: what are your priorities?

Of course, you don’t have to answer that question. You can just let random...

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Angry With Your Spouse in Marriage? Do These 3 Things

During an event we did with ParentMap last week (click here for the full video), we received a great question, "How do you keep mindfulness alive in the heat of the moment?" someone asked. “It seems much easier when things are calm but it’s needed more when situations are stressful.“

This question reminded us of one of our favorite quotes from the Austrian psychologist Victor Frankl, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to...

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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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