Be unrealistically happy???

Of course, everyone wants a happier marriage — even if one’s marriage is pretty darn good!

So, the punch line on a recently released study is that the less realistic you are the better it is for your marriage. They key, is to be unrealistically positive about your spouse. Love their flaws. Idolize their strengths. Go ahead, put em’ on a pedestal.

Here’s the link to the article —

And here’s a link to a great way to get less realistic. This activity is a five message text or e-mail (choose when you sign up) that will help get you thinking positive thoughts about your mate!

Hard as it can be. . . happy, happy and happier.

— Dr. Hirsch

ps Just want to add that, of course, when a spouse is totally out-of-bounds a more realistic approach is most certainly called for!

SNL Pokes Fun at Government Compromise

I enjoyed the SNL opening this past weekend, which pokes fun at the last-minute agreement Congress reached to avoid a government shutdown.   The sketch refers to all the unhappy people involved in the agreement (a lose-lose), and stands in stark satirical contrast to the type of decision making we promote at Power of Two: Win-Win.

Conventional wisdom says that marriages only work because of compromise.   Dr. Heitler, on the other hand, argues that skilled couples can resolve any conflict in a way that makes both people feel truly happy, using a technique called win-win decision making.  With win-win decision making, couples dig beneath surface-level initial positions to discover the underlying concerns that are feeding their conflict.  Once both people understand the underlying emotions, fears and desires that are supporting each other’s initial positions, they find solutions that satisfy ALL of the concerns on the table.

Its amazing how creative thinking can generate a set of solutions (complicated problems usually require multiple solution components) that makes both people happy.

Alternatively a compromise leaves both parties feeling like they sacrificed something they wanted, and end up only partially happy.  Compromises may be necessary in the volatile and cynical world of politics, however in a marriage two individuals can find a surprising amount of common ground if they separate initial positions from underlying concerns, and think creatively about mutually satisfying solutions.

For more information about how to do win-win decision making, see this video from our online marriage counseling program, Power of Two Online.


William and Kate: Where will they ‘Moon?

With the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton fast approaching, royal watchers are dying to know where the regal couple will spend their honymoon.    Vegas bookies have kenya as the odds-on favourite with the Maldives, Scottland, and Canada rumored to be in the mix.   Where will they end up?   And how will they decide????  DO THEY HAVE GOOD CONFLICT RESOLUTION SKILLS??????

Let us imagine this conversation:

Kate: William my darling?

William: Yes my dearest queen?

Kate:  I’ve been thinking about where we might go on our honeymoon…

William:  Ho boy.

Kate: I thought it could be fascinating to go to Kenya!   Wouldn’t that be amazing?

William:  Kenya.

Kate: Its supposed to be beautiful.   It would really be an adventure!

William: I dunno, Kate.  Seems a little ‘rustic’ to me.  What if one of us gets sick?   Do they have western medicine there?   And how would we get around?  I don’t speak Kenyan.

Kate: We’ll bring our own doctors!  Come on, its an chance to try something different.  Learn about a new culture…

William: Ughg…those buses… you know how I hate crowds.  And the heat.  Let’s just go to Manchester.

Kate:  Honestly William I can never get you to go anywhere!   I want to do something interesting.

William: Well how about this.  Lets go to Scotland, and visit my family there.

Kate:  That’s like 50 miles from here.  I want something far away.

William: Okay I’ve got it.  CANADA.  Its far away and different, and its got Western medicine and they speak English.  We’re both happy!

Kate:  Sounds good to me!  I’ve never been to Canada.   A Win-Win!  We are going to be the best monarchs ever!!

And SCENE.   The royals used great Power of Two decision making skills to sort out this conflict.   How did they do it?   Check out!

Case closed!


Moved to tears. . .

I was moved to tears listening to this Story Core piece on National Public Radio about a couple who couldn’t get their marriage to work, divorced and then realized that they truly were destined for each other.

Click here to listen to the story (and the audio is WAY better than the transcription!)

At Power of Two we believe in divorcing yourself from a marriage that isn’t working. Paper work free :).

Just decide that from today forwards you’re done with the old ways of doing things, and then start fresh with the same spouse you had the good sense to marry in the first place. Then use to get your new marriage off to a great start!

Forget the 80 hour work week

Stop kidding yourself.  The 80 hour work week is a myth.  No one really can do productive, creative, useful work for 80 hours a week.  Likewise, no one can drive a truck safely or fill orders accurately for 80 hours a week.

It’s always nice to find a fellow voice for sanity out there – . Thanks for the reminder StartupBoy.

Here’s the other truth.  Marriages and families need time too.  If you’re at work 80 hours a week, there’s no way your marriage is getting the time it needs.  At Power of Two we work 35 good, hard, productive hours a week.  Focused hours. Creative hours.  And then we all go home and enjoy our lives.

Having done this for four years now, I can tell you, this approach has made our team wildly productive.  It lets us pause and catch mistakes before heading down dead-end paths.  It means everyone is rested and excited when we’re at work.   It keeps our team energized.

How well do you do balancing work and life?   Click here for a quick way to find out.