Podcast 884: The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship with Nate Klemp

I have a returning guest for this podcast and he has been on the show before, author Nate Klemp, PhD.  His first book and podcast were about his book entitled “Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing” and in this podcast, we are going to be speaking about a new book he co-authored with his wife Kaley Klemp entitled “The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship.”

“Do you ever fight over fairness?” In this interview, we talk about  mindfulness, radical generosity, battle of fairness, domestic equality, parenting  and a lot more  to have a successful marriage and why 50/50 mindset of fairness will not work and has to be 80/80 Marriage.

If you want to read a book that will help your relationships and give more love, compassion and understanding, you will  want to listen to this very engaging interview with author Nate Klemp, and you will want to get a copy of this new book he co-authored with his wife Kaley Klemp entitled “The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship.”

To learn more about Nate and Kaley, and their book please click here to be directed to his website. You can also click here to  get a “Free Guide to EPIC Date Night”.  I hope you enjoy this great interview with Nate Klemp.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Nate Klemp, PhD

Nate is a writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur. Along with Eric Langshur, he is the co-author of the New York Times Bestseller Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing (Simon & Schuster: North Star Way) and is a weekly columnist for Inc. Magazine. He is also a founding partner at Mindful, one of the world’s largest mindfulness media and training companies. Nate holds a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD from Princeton University.

Kaley Klemp

Kaley is one of the nation’s leading experts on small-group dynamics and leadership development. She is a TEDx speaker and the author of three books, including the Amazon Bestseller The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, The Drama-Free Office, and 13 Guidelines for Effective Teams. A favorite with Young Presidents Organization (YPO) forums and chapters, Kaley has facilitated retreats for more than 400 member and spouse forums throughout the world. Kaley is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Sociology, with a focus on Organizational Behavior.

 

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to inside personal growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of inside personal growth. And we have returning guest actually, Dr. Nate Klemp, PhD, he is joining us from Boulder, Colorado, where he was introduced to me by Beau parfit, who wrote a book that's boy A long time ago, die trying one man's quest to conquer the seven summit. But I became very good friends with Bo as a result of that. And Nate and I did a podcast, which we'll put a link to on a previous book, but we're going to be talking about this book, and it came out of he and his wife's own pain in their marriage. So they decided to write this book for everybody. And it's called the ADHD marriage, a new model for a happier stronger relationship, naked data. How are you doing?

Nate Klemp
I'm doing well, Greg. I'm just happy to be here. Thanks for having me again. Well, it's always good to get guests on that are speaking about topics that are timely. You know, I think there are so many things today that are timely, it's I every time I get on, I learned and that's the best way to do this. And same thing with my listeners. And I always thank them because they come from around the world. We've got the largest United States, second is Canada, and third is United Kingdom. So for all of you who are out there, and those three regions and everywhere else that are listening, thank you for taking the time to listen today. And we're obviously going to be talking about relationships and how to build better relationships.

Greg Voisen
And Nate is, let me just tell the listeners a bit about you. He's a former a philosopher, professor and founding partner at mindful and you can check it out. There's a website for that. He's the co-author of start here, a New York Times best-selling guide to mindfulness in the real world. Nate received his Ba and Ma from Stanford University and PhD from Princeton. Now his wife Kaylee is also a highly sought after executive coach specializing in building trust, and synergistic change. She is also an anagram expert. And I got into that really deep. So I need to have a conversation with Kaylee because we've had several Instagram authors on the book, actually, one of the kings of anagram was on who lives up in the Bay Area. TEDx speaker and co-author of the 15 commandments of conscious leadership, she received both her Ba and Ma from Stanford. So I'm assuming both of you lovers met at Stanford?

Nate Klemp
No. it would seem that way Wouldn't it? We met just before we both grew up in Boulder, which is where I currently am. And we met in high school, we were at Boulder High School. We were chemistry lab partners, our senior year. So we actually met and started dating and then we both ended up going to the same school Stanford. But just before we left, we pragmatically broke up. We're like, you know, we're 17 We're too young. Right? And then we got back together seven years ago, or seven years after that, sorry,

Greg Voisen
Stanford a great school. Both of you, which we all know, kudos out to all the professors that I've had on from Stanford. The most recent as a gentleman who actually is a on-site physician and teaches pediatric medicine at Stanford. And we just did an interview with him. It was great. I'm thinking of his name is we're talking it's Greg something, but we both have the same name, but Nate, and Kaylee. And in this case, Kelly's not here to fend for herself during this, this marriage thing, but that's fine. Marriages today, Nate as you know, our undue amounts of stress pandemic trying to raise kids, you know, putting on the masks, doing the whole routine, the vaccine not available for kids under 12 concerns, whatever it is that you want to throw out into the world today that young people have been attempting to navigate it's there and it takes its toll on marriages. My son who's 40 has two young ones lives in San Rafael works for Adobe, I understand the pressures.

Based on your personal experience. Why do you believe that we are seeing more couples in counseling, and I was actually looking at the statistics? The divorce rate hasn't gone.
up, it's actually gone down. It was an interesting one, because I actually did some research before we got on. But we are certainly seeing an upsurge in kind of counseling. And you guys have come up with a formula here and a model, which you believe could help a lot of people speak with us about it.

Nate Klemp
Yeah, well, I think there's good news and bad news when it comes to looking at the state of modern marriage. So the good news, I think, is actually what you're referring to that there are more and more couples going to counseling. And I think that's good news. Because there's this strange stigma around working on your marriage. And it was interesting, we even saw this when we were promoting the book. You know, I had some friends come to me and say, hey, yeah, I bought your book on Amazon the other day, and my husband saw that there was this book called The 8080 marriage, this marriage book and our cart, and was automatically like, Is there something wrong with our marriage? Did I do something wrong?

And I thought that was really telling because, yeah, that's the mindset we have around marriage. And it's so different than other things. I mean, if you were to buy a book on how to be a better leader, nobody would say, Oh, you must be a terrible leader. Or if you were to buy a book on how to be a better parent, nobody would say like, wow, you must be the worst parent in the world. Right? They would say, Oh, great, you're improving leadership skills. you're optimizing your parenting. And yet, when it comes to marriage, there's all this stigma, and this belief that we should have it figured out that it should be easy. And if you have to work on it, then you're doing something wrong, and you're just somehow not good at it.
Greg Voisen
I totally concur with you. You know, what the days of Dr. Ruth and Dr. Phil, are out there. But you know, there's always been talk radio around love, sex and marriage. I mean, there's all kinds of talk radio, people that are out there doing that. And I think it's kind of like this, you know, they're always on it late night. Cuz when you look at it, it's like, we're not going to do this during primetime drive today, because there's a stigma attached to this. So we're just going to let the people stay up late night.

Nate Klemp
Exactly. And, but I do think that that's changing. So the fact that more people are going to counseling and getting help, I think is a sign that it's starting to change. Yeah. And you know, I'm a big fan of the idea that, hey, we don't have to treat marriage, like this weird taboo thing, or sex or intimacy. Like, we can try to optimize marriage and be good at marriage, just like we were trying to be good at everything else, parenting work, etc. So that's kind of I think, like, the good news part of the picture. And then I think the bad or the challenging news is that just over the last year, too many couples have experienced this really challenging, difficult time. And as you said, the divorce rate has not skyrocketed. A lot of people thought and COVID was happy that and I actually think it's become a disincentive to getting divorced, because there's all sorts of complications that now come from living a COVID life with kids and things like that. Yeah. But I think what has happened, what we've been hearing is that it has amplified, whatever it is that you had in your relationship, pre COVID. So for couples that were close and doing fairly well, in many cases, COVID has made things better, like they have more time to be together. But for couples that were sort of teetering on the edge of conflict and tension, in a lot of cases, it's just amped up and you know, kind of like crank the volume up on that.

Greg Voisen
In the book, you speak about the battle for fairness in a marriage. Yeah. You know, this goes back to john gray, who endorsed your book. Would you rather be right? Or would you rather be in love? You know, and I see this happen where it's that in that that is a battle for fairness, right, but it's also about being right. You mentioned that the 5050 shared situation wasn't working for you and Kaylee.

So tell our listeners about your research and why you believe the 80/80 marriage, which is 30% more
is a better solution. And I agree, because what you're trying to do is come together close surprise. You didn't write it the 100/100. Yeah, yeah. Well, we actually have a reason why we didn't do that, which I'll get into in a second.

Nate Klemp
But no, it's a great question. So, you know, when we decided to write this book, we wanted to look at both our lives carefully, but also the lives of many other couples. So we interviewed about 100 people
To really understand what was going on in the modern state of marriage, and we found that it was really helpful to kind of zoom out. Because I think a lot of us here relate

Greg Voisen
How did you choose those 100 people was their economic, social background, educational background, was it a pretty diverse group?
Nate Klemp
Yeah, we were striving for as much diversity as we could get. So you know, initially, we started with people we knew. And then from there, we kind of grew our list, you know, asking for various, you know, other couples to see if they'd be interested in this as well. So, so we tried to get as much diversity as possible Good luck, we, we, you know, had a number of same sex couples of both genders.

Greg Voisen
So because you didn't get quite the great cross section that you need. Because I think for people coming from lower socio economic area, trying to raise kids earning a lot less money, it, there's a lot more struggles in it in it, it can show up in the marriage. But on the other hand, I'm glad you took a cross segment. So anyway, go on, I just was making sure that we had a pretty good cross segment of people.

Nate Klemp
Exactly. Yeah, yeah, well, and so we find it really helpful to kind of zoom out from our current situation. Because I think for many couples, you're so focused on the micro, day to day level of relationships, that there's something important that we all miss, which is that there's been this monumental change in the institution of marriage. So you know, if you think about the 1950s, you think about your grandparents, or maybe even your parents, there was likely a very gendered model where one person did 80%, or more generally, the woman, the other person did 20%, generally the man. And what we have now generationally is this shift to what we call the 50/50 model. And this is a model that I think in many ways is to be celebrated, you know, that, we're now in a situation where, for many couples, it doesn't matter whether you're the man or the woman in the relationship, you know, you both have equal opportunities to do amazing things, you can both go to graduate school, you can both become an attorney, or whatever you want to do, the world is your oyster. And that's what we were told, growing up is, you know, realize your potential as an individual. The complication with that, that we ran into, and many of the people we interviewed, is that marriage is a very different kind of institution, it's not really built for individual success. And so what we did and what many couples are doing now, is saying, Okay, well, the, the way we can be equals and in love, is to make everything perfectly 5050, fair knology we're going to use to do that is this really kind of clunky tool where we just keep this mental tabulation of everything that we've done, and everything that our partners done, and we're constantly comparing it, and we're arguing about who did the dishes last, or who took the kid to school. And so we're getting into this conflict, over fairness. And we're in this mindset of making everything 5050 that, hey, I'm just going to do my 50%. And if I do more than that, now you owe me, which just isn't really the most like loving or intimacy boosting way of thinking about relationships. So the basic insight behind the 5050 marriage is that if you want to get out of that fight that struggle over fairness, that conflict, that resentment, the best way to do it is to begin shifting your mindset by contributing way more so. So we think of it as 80%, right? Which makes no sense. And it's crazy. And it's based on this idea of radical generosity, that I'm sure we'll talk about more. But the basic idea is that by shifting the goalposts from 50%, to something radical and crazy, that makes no sense, really 80% you're actually able to dramatically and sort of radically shift the underlying culture of a relationship.

Greg Voisen
Well speak with me for a minute because behind this fairness question at its root, is our ego. And I think that the, you're obviously in mindfulness, sought after speaker and coach and look at this area. You know, the monkey mind goes around and around and around and people start getting these thoughts. And, as we used to say, you don't have to believe everything you think. But the reality is, is that's what's happening here. You're seeing something and experience something and you're believing that that's the truth and your mind is telling you that's the truth when in essence it's just a matter to basically just do what needs to be done, right? I'm not putting anything against the 8080. I think the extra 30% is great. The reality, though, is at the core of this, and you probably can speak to it as, as good as anybody is what the self-talk is that's going on behind the scenes. Yeah. What advice would you have for our listeners out there about this negative self-talk? It's constantly pervading about; did she do this? Did I do that? Did who do this needed to do? It really shouldn't be that at all, should it?

Nate Klemp
Well, I love this question. Because as you say, mindfulness is a big part of what I think about and what I do. And you're absolutely right, that the default mental habit of most people in relationships is this soundtrack that's playing in your head. Yeah, it's basically presenting this completely skewed picture of your relationship in your life, where you're the one who's right, and you're the one who's doing more and your partner, if they could just do a little more, or if they just weren't so diluted about x, y, and z, you know, everything would be great. And basically, it's a world in which you have zero responsibility, your partner has 100% responsibility for making everything great. And so I think it's important from the perspective of mindfulness to recognize that that soundtrack is likely never going away. Like Kaylee, and I wrote this book. And we've spent the last several years where this is the central project of our life. And the soundtrack of 5050 has never left us, it's always there. But what you can do, I think there are two things you can do. One is, you can just begin to see it happening in real time, that's kind of the mindfulness move to just sort of, like, watch it, become interested in that soundtrack, because it's kind of crazy and interesting. And you know, it's like watching a sitcom or something, right. So that would be thing one, but then thing two, is to start to recognize that a lot of the assumptions that your mind is making are based on pure delusion. So this gets into some research we talked about in the book, which basically, you know, there's a whole line of research coming out of psychology showing that our assessments of fairness in relationships are clouded by a couple really interesting cognitive biases. So one is what researchers call availability bias, which is basically just a fancy way of saying that everything I do in my relationship, all of that information, and those amazing contributions, that's all available to me, I see all the socks going into the washing machine and the dishes and the trips to school with my child. But what's happening on my wife's side, all of her contributions, most of those aren't available to me at all. So I have this tendency to sort of underestimate what my partner is doing. And then there's a second cognitive bias, which is overestimation, where we have this tendency to just vastly overestimate the amount of time we spend on childcare and housework. Right. So like, if I'm doing dishes, I'll say that I did dishes for 60 minutes was probably more like 30 minutes, we're really bad at estimating this kind of work. So I think that's important, because it's just essential to see that this story that's going on in your mind is often based on really bad data and really bad assumptions that are actually not true. Not even close to being true.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. And, you know, look, we, as individuals, we've been taught this we've been engendered with it, we put labels on everything, including ourselves and others. So, you know, we'd like to label it with a noun or verb or something that says, hey, you know, this is what I label, and it is really quite interesting. I was talking with a hypnotherapist, the other day and the subconscious mind. I thought that was really, really quite something. Now, you know, in your first chapter, you speak about the work of Dr. Edwin, is it plus Pulaski, in his book sex today in the wedded life written in 1945? No, I think this is great, because we're talking about, you know, eons ago, way before I was born.
What is it about the advice that applies today as much as it did back in 1945? So when you look at a lot of these books that have been written were written on sex, or they were written on whatever I'm sure there may be funny to look at and embarrassed. Here we are today. And how does the 8080 model apply?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, yeah. Well, it's funny. We started with his book, in that first chapter, because it's
Really a chapter about the 8020 model, which is kind of the starting point. So we wanted to, to dissect and kind of unpack the essence of this model. And he was the perfect place to go. Because in the 1940s, in the 1950s, it's my understanding that there weren't really, you know, as many discussions happening about sex and intimacy and relationships. But this was one of the few books where it was discussed. And at the end, he has 10 commandments, for wives and for husbands. And it's a really fascinating list, because it's kind of a mixture of like, pretty good advice, and just totally sexist advice that you can imagine anybody uttering in this day and age, right, so. So you know that things like be a good listener, like, that's actually pretty good advice. Everybody should do that. But then, you know, for wives, he says things like, you know, don't burden your husband with your troubles. Because his yours will seem trivial in comparison to his right, things like that, where you're just like, wow, nobody would ever say that. And if they did, they wouldn't have a public platform ever again about today. Exactly. So we thought that was just interesting, because it shows like the precursor to 5050, where the assumption is, that one person, generally the man, always the man really has this sort of greater status in the relationship. And that's an assumption that has started to break down. And I think we would all applaud that. And yeah, the reason we start there is because that early model, while it's totally sexist, and culturally backward, I think we'd all agree on that. It actually did one thing pretty well, which is that there was a very clear structure of roles and responsibilities. And both partners were sort of aiming toward shared success. In contrast, many modern couples, many of the people we interviewed are dealing with a situation that we would call role confusion, where now that we're both equals we're both equally capable of making dinner, of doing the dishes of doing all the things that need to happen in our lives. And I and I'd add,

Greg Voisen
And I'd add to that both capable of economically bringing in the right, so then the question is new, which didn't used to be as much right it is yet it is today. And back in 45, that probably wasn't the case. Now you're seeing wage equality. You're starting to see more of this happen. And I think that even from looking at the patriarchal matriarchal kind of situation, we came from a patriarchal, we obviously are going more into this matriarchal. And I think it's important that you bring up a very good point, because it's, it's there. And if you would speak with us about the many facets of fairness in a marriage? How do the fights over fairness show in relationships? And what can be done to mitigate these issues? You provide a list in the book, and I think that's a telltale, for any of our listeners, even if you rattle off a few of those things on the list, I think yeah.

Nate Klemp
Yeah, absolutely. And just to connect this to the earlier point, I mean, it's the fact that there is this confusion. And, and we're both now equally capable of doing everything, right. It signals in our minds a real power, to bring a little bit more intentionality and structure to the way that we think about our lives. And also just awareness, you know, to get back to mindfulness, just to become aware of fairness. So when it comes to these various phases of fairness, one of the really interesting things we found is that if you ask most modern couples, hey, do you ever fight over fairness? They will likely say Not really. Right? But then you dig a little bit under the surface and you ask a few more questions. And all sorts of fairness, fights begin to reveal themselves. And so that's why I think it is important to sort of like talk about well, how does this show up this battle for fairness? So one of the most classic fights is around sort of domestic equality. You know, so who's cooking? Who's cleaning? who's managing the social calendar? Who's doing kid logistics, right? Like a lot of couples find themselves fighting over what's 5050 what's fair when it comes to just sort of like the, the complicated logistics of everyday life. Then another way that shows up which showed up for us and a lot of people we interviewed is a fight over fairness when it comes to time with extended family and friends. So, you know, one couple told us about, they were going to divide up Mother's Day and Father's Day equally, so.His family got Father's Day her family got Mother's Day. But then the question became, like, how many hours exactly are we spending with your family versus my family, and that has to be fair, that has to be equal, then there's money, a lot of couples fight around fairness when it comes to saving or spending, you know, so there are some classic fights where one couple feel, or one person feels like the other person is spending too much. And it's not fair. You know, here I am saving, holding back on big purchases, and you just came back with a bag full of clothes from Nordstrom, that's not fair. And then finally, one of our favorites here is the fight over free time. And this is a fight that happens the moment you have a child. So you know, the moment you walk home from the hospital, with a kid, all of a sudden, free time, becomes this, like extremely precious, valuable, scarce commodity, you know, having an hour to go for a run or having an hour to go to a yoga class or to go fishing or whatever it is that you do. And so a lot of couples told us about these fights over how much free time do we have? and What counts is free time. So one woman told us that, you know, she went to Target and her husband was like, okay, you had your free time. Now I'm going to go for my run. She's like, wait a minute, I went to Target. That's not free time. What are you talking about? Right. So you can just see how all these sorts of conflicts start to fall out of these various areas of fairness, fighting.

Greg Voisen
And I, and I'd hate to say that, you know, it's about letting go. But really, you know, I know, it might sound a little bit trite to the listeners. But you know, if you can learn to stay in a space, like Nate is talking about.fairness is the state of mind, you said mindset that you created. It isn't the other person. It has nothing to do with the other person. It's how you perceive how the time that person is being used is spent and if you can, if you can at least shift your mindset or perspective, to look at it that way. You probably will reduce a lot of the tension. Now you talk about the two fallacies of fairness. What are those fallacies? And we explained to the listeners if you would?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, absolutely. And just one comment on what you were saying just there. Because I think it's so important is that I think there's a really essential principle here, which is that your mindset in a relationship is contagious. So if you show up in your relationship, scanning everything your partner's doing, trying to figure out whether things are fair holding a lot of resentment that is contagious, your partner will mirror that back to you with 100% certainty. And that's why the shift to radical generosity and 8080 that I'm talking about, and we're talking about in the book is so powerful, because that's also contagious. Right? So, so really only takes you to make that shift. And so I just wanted to underline that point. And then I love the question about what the sort of two delusions of fairness are are the ways in which, you know, fairness creeps in, and we try to use it and it sort of starts to break down. One of them is just a problem of comparison. So you know, when we're talking about what is or isn't fair, in a relationship, we're often comparing things that are totally incompatible or impossible to compare. So I might be comparing the work I did on finances for 30 minutes against the work my wife did at three in the morning, helping our child that's really difficult to compare and say, like, Well, how do we sort of make those equal, you know, where the time I spent with my kid at the pool, versus the time my wife spent at an important business meeting, you were comparing things that are just in very different domains. And it's, it's almost impossible to make accurate comparisons. So that's one of these traps around fairness. And then the other trap is what I was mentioning earlier, around these cognitive biases, right? So the fact that we're just really bad at assessing what is or isn't fair. So, you know, I talked about availability bias over estimation. It's just this fact that we're really pretty much diluted when it comes to our information and the data we have that we're, we're using to make these comparisons of fairness. And as a result, you know, if we take a step back, it sort of shows that this fight we're having over what is or isn't fair, really doesn't make much sense because it's based on these inaccurate domain comparisons. It's based on really bad data. And it's really taking us away from what we want out of marriage.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, you bring up a really good point in the book, you discuss this concept of mindset of radical generosity as a relates to the 8080 marriage and have the mindset can change everything. For a couple struggling. Yeah. And also, what are the two traps for radical generosity? In other words, you thought about radical generosity. And then there's the two traps of radical generosity. And I love the concept of putting radical and generosity together in a statement. Yeah. And I get what it is. The question is, how do you help people live it?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, exactly. Well, yeah. So if we say that this 50/50 mindset of fairness isn't working, I hope I've persuaded everybody that it's not for all sorts of reasons that we've talked about before, then the question is, okay, well, how can we shift our mindset to make marriage work to get what we really want out of marriage connection, better intimacy, etc.? And we think the answer is to push the goalpost way beyond 50%, to 80%. And the way to describe what that would look like, or how that manifest in a relationship, is radical generosity. I mean, its generosity, because generosity is by definition, doing more than what's fair. But it's also really radical, because in many ways, the cultural center of gravity keeps pulling us back to fairness in marriage keeps running that out automatic soundtrack that you were talking about earlier, Greg, that we just get locked into. And so this idea of radical generosity is the idea that you can push way beyond 50%. You can contribute more than your fair share. And just as I talked about before, that there's a way in which that can become contagious, and it can start to create what we think of as a kind of upward spiral of radical generosity, where I do something radically generous for my wife, Kaley, she's more inclined to do something generous for me, you can see how there's like a feedback loop that starts there. Now, we get

Greg Voisen
Actually, it's it’s a reciprocity, you know, in other words, it's, yeah, you're giving up radical generosity, and generosity. And, and, as you said, you know, to repeat, it's doing more than your fair share, or it is depending on how you want to look at it, it's really a state of consciousness that you have, you have to cultivate that state of consciousness that giving is an important element without anything in return. So it's like, Okay, I'm going to give, but what am I, I'm not expecting anything by what I get. And that does take cultivation by people, because a lot of people have never been brought up that way. They've like,
so it's like, What's in it for me? And I'm like, well, there's there have to be anything in it.

Nate Klemp
Well, and that sort of leads to the two barriers to radical generosity that you were asking about. So one of them is what we call inequity phobia, is basically just a way of saying that. We've been conditioned into these 5050 mindsets. And according to that mindset, acting on the basis of radical generosity is crazy. I mean, it's almost insane. And so there's a way in which we're, we can feel some really intense emotions, some deep unfairness, and really some fear and discomfort when we start to experiment with this mindset of radical generosity. And our advice in the book is a very sort of, like mindfulness-based practice that it's totally okay to feel that discomfort, and you can just be present with it. And that in many ways, change in marriage almost requires that discomfort, we like to say that, like your marriage begins at the edge of your comfort zone, you know, it's moving into that discomfort that that is a sign that you're doing something different. So there's that. And then the other big thing that's a barrier for a lot of people is that a lot of people have a story. And that's actually a legitimate story, that they're the ones doing everything. And they're likely the one who's reading this book. So, so many people will say, well, you know, why should I be radically generous? I'm already doing everything. And I think that's a really important objection. We actually wrote a whole chapter at the end of the book about the reluctant partner

35:00
problem, as we call it. But basically that, you know, the short answer there is that, yes, you might be doing more. But chances are, you're not doing it from this place of radical generosity, you're likely doing it for fairness, that's creating resentment. And it's likely creating a dynamic where your partner actually wants to do less. That was certainly the case for me and Kaylee, I was kind of the reluctant under contributing partner. And the more resentful she felt, the less I wanted to do, the less equal things became.

Greg Voisen
So it made the division even greater and greater.

Nate Klemp
Exactly, even though you think you're trying to create equality, the more you get into that game of fairness, the more inequality sort of falls out of the system,

Greg Voisen
It's like taking two magnets with the same polarity and try and push them together.

Nate Klemp
So exactly. Getting exactly the result you don't want

Greg Voisen
They’re never going to go together. But if you turn one this way, and put out positive and negative, it's going to come together, right. You know, in the chapter on contribution, what you do you tell the story about Rob Israel, the co-founder of doc popcorn, which is the world's largest franchise, popcorn retailer. Yeah. I, I wanted you to tell the story. So what it was Rob's challenge and speak about this story in the context of what you do? And then how you do it.

Nate Klemp
Yeah. Yeah, I thought this was just a fantastic story. So Rob, was one of the people we interviewed for the book. And, you know, when I told him about what we were doing, he was like, oh, wow, I had this moment, where I just totally saw what you're talking about the power of radical generosity. And the moment was, he was, I think, in his late 20s, he was living in New York City. He was about three years into a relationship with his girlfriend. And he came home one night, and he had expected her to be there. And he had expected dinner to be on the table and her to be excited to see him. And he walked into his apartment. And nobody was there. She hadn't even come home yet. And, like all of us, Rob's mind started to generate all these stories about what was going on, right in the story was, she doesn't do enough, she should be here more, she should care about me more, she should be more excited to see me all these things, right. And then a certain point, he describes it as this kind of voice of God moment, where his mind just popped this radical question, which was, well, what have you done for her? And he wasn't really clear, like he didn't really have a good answer to that question. So then he decided, oh, wait a minute, I'm going to just completely flip the script here. So he went to this Korean deli, and he bought all of her favorite foods for dinner. And he was going to plan this kind of magical evening, and she walked into this Korean deli, saw what he was up to. And it just completely changed the course of their relationship. And what he told me after the fact is, he learned in that moment, that if you want your partner to be more loving, more intimate, more compassionate, a better listener, it starts with you doing that for your partner. Right, so he got everything he wanted from his partner by giving it to her first. And I think really, that's the essence of what we're talking about here with radical generosity. And in terms of the, the how, and the what you were describing, you know, part of the key to radical generosity is not just doing something kind. But it's how are you doing it? What is your mindset as you are doing it? So if Rob had done that, with the mindset of fairness, you know, gone to that store and said, well, I'm going to do this really nice thing for her and then she owes me she better do it for me tomorrow night, it would have meant nothing. Right. Right. So that, that how is almost as important as what, when it comes to radical generosity.

Greg Voisen
You know, it was it was portrayed on, and I'm sure it's true, but it was just recently on LinkedIn. And I read this story about Keanu Reeves, you know, and he travels frequently on buses back of buses. And he's extremely generous. I mean, give just gave $5 million, simply. So he showed up 20 minutes late, but it is his

demeanor. It is who he is, the way he was brought up about this huge generosity, about the fact that he travels in public transportation, which he doesn't have big lemons, taking them around. They said he was standing out in the rain for 15 minutes when he was knocking on the door, right to get into this event that he was supposed to go to. And I thought it just speaks very highly Just some people's level of generosity, you know $5 million to this thing and be there and show up and not just the money, but to actually show up and be part of it. I think it's so great to see that kind of philanthropy, that kind of person and what he's doing. Now you speak about john Gottman, the world's leading researcher on science of marriage. And what you learn about Gottman love lab? And how can this help empower the appreciation in a marriage?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, well, I mean, in some ways, this really connects to what we've been talking about this difference between what you're doing and how you're doing it, you know, what's the underlying motivation? Or mindset? What's the how look like. And I think garmins work more than anything shows that how we're interacting with our spouse, whether it's positive or negative, really makes all the difference. And so, you know, I think he's done a lot of really interesting research come up with a lot of interesting discoveries. But probably the most important one for our purposes, is that when he looked at the difference between so called masters and disasters of marriage, couples, who are just crushing it, who love each other, they're connected, and the couples who are living in chronic and happiness, what he found is that the primary variable that differentiates those two is the ratio of positive to negative interactions. So he shorthands, this is the five to one ratio, basically, what he finds is that if the ratio in your marriage of positive to negative interactions is five to one, you know, you have five positive interactions where you appreciate each other, or you give each other a hug, for one, you know, nagging comment or sort of sarcastic remark. That's a sign you're doing really well. And you're probably going to make it as a couple. As that ratio goes down, though. And if it inverts, then you're in trouble, right? Like, if most of what you say to each other is negative, and defensive, and, you know, sort of blaming, then, you know, chances are, you're not going to make it and, and it sounds so obvious, but Gavin was the first person to really see that. And I think the big idea there, that that we sort of latch on to in the book is around like, Okay, well then if you want to shift your mindset in marriage, one of the most powerful things you can do is simply appreciate your spouse, simply add more to the positive side of that ratio. And it's just noticing what they're doing, thanking them for it, noticing how they're contributing, giving them a quick thank you, Kaylee. And I have actually turned this into a habit. Because we know that, you know, the default structure of our brains often won't do us, do it for us. So at the end of every day, when we're lying-in bed, we just do one appreciation takes 30 seconds, and it just completely changes the energy of the day.

Greg Voisen
Very good one, that's a great piece of sound advice at the end of the day to actually take something and say something to the person and listen intently for what an appreciation would be during the day, whether doesn't matter how, what it is just as long as it's something. And if everybody did that every night before they went to bed, that would probably be a good, a good way to injure your day. Now, you've talked about this reluctant person, you said it was you. And I'm sure that many of my listeners have experienced The Reluctant partner in the relationship, whether it's male or female, either side, how do you deal with this resistance and reluctant partner, if you're in a relationship, or one person has little or no give? Meaning, you know, they're just like, forget it. This, this is who I am. Take me for what you are now I'm not going to change.

Nate Klemp
Well, this is like a really common pattern where you have often an over contributor and an under contributor. And statistically speaking, the over contributors are the women in heterosexual relationships, and the under contributors are men. And, you know, one thing that was really interesting when we were interviewing couples that were experiencing this dynamic is that it's actually really painful for both partners. You might think, like the under contributor has this great setup where their partner does everything. Isn't that amazing? But it's super painful. Because you know, the story in that relationship is whatever Nate doesn't do as much meat is just a free rider, whatever it is, that's actually really painful. So when you're in that kind of a situation, you know, we talk about it a lot in that chapter.
Have some practices I would, there are a few things you can do. So one is as crazy as it sounds, shifting to these 8080 mindsets of radical generosity is a big deal. Because, as I said before your mindset is contagious, and most over contributors are doing what they do from a mindset of generosity. So making that shift where you just keep doing whatever it is that you're doing, but you shift your mindset around it, that can be huge. And even if your partner doesn't sort of catch on, you're at least ameliorating some of your own suffering, you know, the stress response you have, as you're doing the dishes, you're at least shifting that. But then the other thing that's super powerful, is to start to look at are there ways in which I the over contributing partner, am participating in this dynamic? Generally, the answer is yes. So just to use the case of me and Kaylee, I was the under contributor, she was the over contributor. If she was here, what she would tell you is that there were ways where she was holding this pattern in place, because she didn't want to let go of control. So she was the one doing our finances, she complained about the fact that I never did our finances. But for about 10 years in our marriage, she was unwilling to let go of that control. Right. And so for her to start to unwind this pattern, she had to let go of some of that control. And that was really the way in which for us, we started to unwind this, this pattern is that, you know, both of us started to see how are we participating in this?

Greg Voisen
Well, you take things on in life that you think you're better at. and frequently, you've never given the other person an opportunity to experience it. And it's primarily as a result of fear, because you've been doing it yourself. So Kaylee had this thing that she did herself? Yeah, as you're called the finances, it could be anything that taking care of the kids, the dishes, the whatever. Because the issue is, you know, Nate won't do it. Right. Yeah, right. And it's also power. So there's a power in having those exact things as well, because it gives you some power. And only way to really diffuse that power, is to let go like she did. Now you're probably doing the finances, or

Nate Klemp
I am, I do all the finances now.

Greg Voisen
There you go. And you do a perfectly good job of it, and you took something off for play. So that's it. That's a really big win for you guys that would go in the wind box check. Yeah, there. Now you cover a lot in this book, The 8080 marriage. And I think by this point, the listeners get it. It's a matter of changing their mindset. It's a matter of using radical generosity to get to that 8080 mark. And I'd want you to give three takeaways that you can leave our listeners with that can help them relieve tension in the marriage. And, and how to improve the love compassion and understanding.

As the Dalai Lama would say, you know, all we really need is love and compassion. So the question then would be, if that's the space you're coming from, you probably wouldn't have these problems. Yeah, that's where you stayed. If you stayed in that essence, it you know, you'd be like Him and you'd be laughing all the time.

Nate Klemp
Exactly. Yeah. Well, I and I love the question, because it's really great to have a few actionable things you can do is I like the one you gave us at night. Do the judgment, right? Yeah. So I would say like she didn't. In the book, we talked about mindset. We also talked about structure, which we haven't talked too much about here. So I'll give you two mindset tips and one structural tip. So in terms of mindset, small micro acts of contribution, you can do one such act a day. This isn't anything big. This is giving your partner a huge hug. This is making them coffee in the morning. This is writing I love you on a sticky note and putting them on their mock and putting it on their monitor. One of those things a day, that can be huge. That starts that upward spiral of radical generosity. appreciation would be my number two, we talked about it earlier, establishing a regular habit of appreciation. Maybe it's a dinner, there's an appreciation check in we do that in my family sometimes everybody offers an appreciation for the others at the table.

Greg Voisen
What about your epic date?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, the day night thing super important, especially now where it's very difficult to find time together.

Greg Voisen
What if that then even just going out and ordering the food and having
Uber bring it or something? Yeah, the reality is a lot of people now they you know, they're not going out there know exactly what it's like, but date night is when I actually did it and had it brought in. So you guys can have a dinner together?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, exactly. Well, and then the last one is more from the structural side of the book. So, in the book, we have a bunch of practices around things like priorities and boundaries and roles, power and sex. And the one I would just say is, is crucial, or at least it was crucial for us and many of the couples we interviewed, is getting clear on roles. As I said, Before, we live in this condition of kind of role confusion. Many couples have employed what I call the wingman approach, where they say like, Hey, we're just going to let historical accident and random gender norms from the 1950s determine who does what. And it usually doesn't work out that well. So just sitting down together and thinking through, okay, what are we currently doing both of us, right? Are those things lined up with what we like to do our strengths, things like that. And then coming up with a more intentional structure. It takes like 10 minutes, but it can be a complete game changer.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think your example that Kaylee was doing the finances, and then you took it over is a roll. It is a roll nation ship. Absolutely. That was a game changer. It was like she was pissed off because she was doing it all the time. And you weren't, I'm just putting words in your mouth. But usually, that's what happens. People get to a point where they're like, Oh, my God, every year, I have to do the taxes. Every year, I'm meeting with the accountant every year, I'm doing things. And I don't, you know, I don't want to do that anymore. He want to do kind of thing. And that requires some flexibility too. Because I think over time things change. So that to me would be well, let's revisit this every year. Let's look at these roles on a yearly basis, or every six months or whatever. Yeah, so you've given our listeners a ton of food for thought. And I'm going to tell them go to the ADHD marriage website. And there you can download as well. The information I just said, which was about the epic date. And I think called the epic date night, it's a free guide that they offer. You also can watch a video of the two of them introducing the book, which I think is quite good. plus an interview that was done on Good Morning America as well. That gives you some idea about that. Nate, it was a pleasure having you on insight, personal growth, speaking with my listeners about how to improve relationships, and I want to state this to so many people. What supplying here. If you're not married, and you're listening to this show, or you're not in a relationship, think about how you could apply that in the relationships at work. Yeah, cuz the reality is much of what, you know, Nate's talking about here, though radical generosity, the fairness thing, these same problems occur in a work environment.

I just I just want to say that because I think there's got to be some people out there that are single that are going, this doesn't relate to me. But you know, there are ways to apply this no matter what it's universal principles, to be honest with you. It's what it is. So, thanks, Nate.

Nate Klemp
thank you so much for having me on, Greg. I appreciate it.

Greg Voisen
I appreciate having you on and I appreciate the wisdom that you've imparted on here. And that and the fact that you and Kaylee got to this 80/80 marriage and actually generated a book and inform people about how it can improve a relationship. So thanks so much.

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