Better Together: Backpacking, Perceptions, Criticism, and Play.

Welcome to Better Together. The only newsletter focused on showing you how amazing your marriage can be, and not afraid to tell you what it really takes to get there. Each week we give you a brief glimpse into our lives and three potentially life-changing ideas to help you become a better partner. We hope that you will find this newsletter inspirational and practical.

We believe that “close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives.” [1] We believe that by strengthening marriages, and families, we can improve the world at large.

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1. the Grant Study, a 75-year-long Harvard research project on human development

From Our Lives

15 years ago, Nathan and I went on an overnight backpacking trip together. We kept talking about going again, but we let other things get in the way. We were too busy. We didn’t want to sleep on the ground. Etc.

This week we finally went. (Video montage.)

We made it a priority. Set aside the time. And didn’t back out when the week got crazy, like they often do. It took time and determination but the trip was a lot of fun!

We are all guilty of saying something is important but never making the time in our busy lives to actually do it. This could be exercise, eating better or just getting enough sleep. Look at your priorities and make sure they are actually in alignment with what you are saying.

Stop being in the “thick of thin things.”

What We Have Been Reading

“We have to be very careful with our perceptions, otherwise we will suffer. It is very helpful to write on a piece of paper, “Are you sure?” and hang it up in your room.”

— “Anger” by Thich Hanh

“Start by asking for criticism, not by giving it. Don’t dish it out before you show you can take it.”

— “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott

“We don’t need to play all the time to be fulfilled. The truth is that in most cases, play is a catalyst. The beneficial effects of getting just a little true play can spread through our lives, actually making us more productive and happier in everything we do.”

— “Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul” by Stuart Brown M.D. and Christopher Vaughan

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Now, go give your spouse a hug and tell them you love them!

Written and published by Nathan & Kelli.

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The purpose of “The Couple Project” is to learn more about what makes a strong marriage or relationship. We share what we are learning, which ideas we are trying, and which ideas helped improve our relationship. We realize not everything that works for us will work for you, but we still hope you will find our journey valuable.

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