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Navigating and Resolving Political Conflicts in Marriage

conflict fairness stress Oct 13, 2020

Ah, politics.

It’s on everyone’s mind these days. And, let's face it, conditions of polarization and disagreement haven’t just intensified in government, society, and the media. They've also intensified in marriage.

Some couples experience the most extreme form of these political conflicts, with one partner representing the far Left and the other the far Right. In the US right now, this looks like an ardent Biden supporter and an ardent Trump supporter, struggling each...

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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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The 'Blame Game' in Marriage Doesn't Work (Do This Instead)

conflict fairness stress Sep 22, 2020

When something goes wrong, horribly wrong, our first instinct is to blame.

We experienced this first hand last year during our family trip to Mexico (ah, vacations...remember those?). On our drive from the airport to the hotel, we were pulled over by the Mexican police for 45 minutes.

Then, our hotel room ended up sharing a wall with the all-night New Year’s Eve dance party, which meant that we (and our 8-year-old) slept, not at all. And then after moving to a new resort,...

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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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Keeping Score is Bad. Accountability is Good. But what's the difference?

conflict fairness roles stress Sep 02, 2020

It’s date night. You've arranged the childcare. And you and your partner have a clear agreement to meet at 6pm.

There’s just one problem. It’s now 6:15pm, and your partner is nowhere to be found.

You feel angry and rightly so. You text them: "WHERE ARE YOU?" When your partner finally does arrive, at 6:20pm, how do you respond?

It's a question worth asking because your response in moments like these has the power to strengthen or destroy your connection. When...

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Your Spouse is Into Something Weird (What Do You Do?)

conflict habits stress Aug 26, 2020

A couple months ago, Nate took up a bizarre practice. After reading the recently released book Breath by James Nestor, he became convinced of the benefits of nasal breathing (breathing through your nose instead of your mouth).

The scientific case for nasal breathing is robust. A vast body of evidence shows that simply breathing through your nose improves sleep quality, reduces stress, and enhances our ability to absorb oxygen.

There’s just one problem. How do you breathe...

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How to Eliminate Envy and Jealousy (And Improve Your Marriage in the Process)

conflict science stress Aug 19, 2020

Has this ever happened to you?

You notice something about a friend, something they have that you wish you had. 

The perfect body - I wish I looked more like that.

Effortless success at work - why is everything so hard for me?

Their annoyingly upbeat mental state - I wish I had that energy.

Or maybe you experience this with another couple you know.

They go on amazing trips – we never go on vacations like those.

Their seemingly relaxed and stress-free life – why are we so...

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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 can you tell the difference between big and little problems in marriage?

The last several months have been hard on everyone. We've heard this from countless couples. We’ve also heard them say, “Sometimes, I can't tell whether we are just having a bad day or whether something is really wrong.”

At the individual level, this can show up as having trouble distinguishing life's ordinary upsets from something more serious: chronic anxiety, depression, or burnout.

In marriage, this can show up as having trouble distinguishing everyday tiffs...

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