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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Marriage

In Forge. More on Medium.

🧽 Talk to your partner every day about who’s doing what tasks.

The division of household chores can be a sore spot for even the happiest couples. One simple solution comes via Don and Carrie Cole, therapists and master trainers with the Gottman Institute, a relationship-focused research organization: Have daily check-ins to ensure that each of you feels okay about who’s doing what household tasks.

As Brigid Schulte writes in Forge, couples should approach these check-ins as “a regular ritual of connection to make sure you’re both on the same page.” All it takes is a few minutes of each…


The pandemic threatens to set gender equality back a generation. Here’s how to temper that in your own home.

Photo: Giselleflissak / Getty Images

All happy couples are alike — or at least, the happiest couples tend to have something in common, which is that they’re either fairly egalitarian or they’re seeking to be.

Relationships with fairer divisions of labor aren’t just happier; they’re also more stable and healthy, more fun, and more intimate. And research has shown that most people would prefer to equally share the labor of work and home — even though, as the past year has laid bare, that’s rarely how things shake out in practice. …


Why haven’t we been doing this all along?

Photo: Jamie Street/Unsplash

My husband, Josh, is a politics reporter. On January 2, he flew to Atlanta to cover the Senate elections, then went straight on to Washington, D.C., where he stayed through the inauguration. I was alone with the kids for three weeks. We were fine! I treated us to a meal delivery service and was amazed at how much space I had in my brain when I didn’t have to think about what to make for dinner. But what’s more interesting is how we coped after he returned home.

Even though Josh had been the only guest in his Washington hotel…


Go to bed angry, appreciate each other out loud, and other lessons

Photo of a couple lying on opposite sides of the couch.
Photo of a couple lying on opposite sides of the couch.
Photo: Fuse/Getty Images

Co-authored by Rob Cottingham

It’s our 20th wedding anniversary. This feels like both a blessing and an achievement, and we wanted to celebrate by sharing what we’ve learned — and what we’ve recognized in retrospect — about how to make a marriage work over the long haul.

The truth is, happiness in marriage is largely a function of choosing the right person in the first place. (It tells you a lot about our compatibility that we both thought that writing a marriage guide would be a fun way to spend our anniversary.) …


Treat your spouse with the same level of politeness you would afford, like, any other human being

A couple sits on opposite sides of a coffee table, working on their laptops together at home.
A couple sits on opposite sides of a coffee table, working on their laptops together at home.
Photo: Yagi Studio/DigitalVision/Getty Images

My husband and I are both writers who have worked at opposite ends of our kitchen table for the past 10 years — just imagine that for a minute. Because we’ve been together virtually around the clock, we’re at least somewhat equipped to deal with our new reality of Lockdown Living.

For instance: Recently, as we were tapping away at our computers, Tom unleashed what I call a “screeze” — a nerve-jangling combination of a scream and a sneeze.

A few years ago, I would have yelled at him. I have always been the hothead in our relationship. Our fights…


Joint Accounts

When a financial problem is really an emotional one

An illustration. A woman rides a wave made of Monthly Statements and money. The woman’s husband holds an umbrella underneath.
An illustration. A woman rides a wave made of Monthly Statements and money. The woman’s husband holds an umbrella underneath.
Illustration: Justin Cassano

Dear Joint Accounts,

I got married a year and a half ago. My wife has always been an extravagant spender — special outfits, expensive restaurants, exotic trips with friends — and while I voiced my concern several times while we were dating, she always assured me that she knew what she was doing. Since we got married, however, she’s only gotten worse.

My wife has much more in savings than I do, and our finances are still largely separate — we have a joint account for rent and other day-to-day expenses, but otherwise, her money comes from her account. But…


Allow wanderlust, rather than your partner, to be your travel buddy

Credit: David Freigner / EyeEm/ Getty Images

I’m writing this from atop a futon in New Orleans that I’ve been paying $26 a night to sleep on. I’ve spent the last two days people-watching in the French Quarter, hiking through swampy state parks, and sipping drinks named after both natural and human-made disasters.

At a seafood stand in a rural area, I approached a couple that reminded me of my parents. I had some questions about my walking route that only a local would know, and they looked like people I could trust with the truth that I was traveling alone.

Predictably, the husband’s jaw dropped. He…


Illustrations: Andrea Chronopoulos

The novel ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ is one of a slew of new books examining our generation’s particular iteration of the midlife crisis

Like everyone on my Twitter feed, I recently read (and loved) Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s novel of midlife marital strife, Fleishman Is in Trouble. It was as good as everyone said it was: the murderously sharp observations, the nuanced characters, and what anthropologists should one day recognize as a near-complete catalogue of women’s workout tank-top slogans in the early 21st century.

I read it on my Kindle, which tallies the number of fellow readers who have highlighted certain passages of a book. …


Joint Accounts

Fixing it up is making us broke and miserable

Illustration: Laurie Rollitt

Dear Joint Accounts,

Two years ago, my husband and I bought our first home and almost immediately regretted it. Our home required so much fixing up (and still does) that it’s become a major added stress in both our lives.

We’re so miserable that even though moving wouldn’t be financially advantageous, I think it’s worth it. My husband disagrees — he thinks that we’re too financially tied to the house, even though the stress is putting a strain on our relationship. Am I being too shortsighted on this? Or is he being stubborn?

Sincerely,

Bring on the Packing Boxes

Something…


This Works for Me

Working together to win a game reveals a lot about a relationship

Credit: destructoid.com

“Do something!” I said, desperately.

“It’s done,” my husband replied.

This is our marriage in Overcooked 2: Carnival of Chaos. We found the video game at the end of a quest for a shared indoor activity. As a pair of neurotic overachievers, we spend many of our nonworking hours trying not to fret about our jobs.

My husband tends to worry about whether everyone is secretly disappointed with him, and I about whether I’ve relinquished too much control or put myself into circumstances that I can’t succeed in. …

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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