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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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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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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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