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Simplify Marriage: Relationship Expert Eli Finkel Says Love Is No Longer Sufficient

Enter the new year with fresh perspectives on marriage, love, and personal fulfillment, courtesy of social psychologist, Eli Finkel.
by Natallia Darozhkina | Dec 28 2017

In this bonus episode of Simplify, Caitlin interviews Eli Finkel, author of recent bestseller, The All-or-Nothing Marriage. Finkel contends that, throughout history, the main purpose of marriage has changed. We’ve gone from utilitarian arrangements, to partnerships that we expect to fulfil our every need.

In this episode, he and Caitlin dive into what makes a great long-term partnership, what destiny’s got to do with being unhappy, and shares a couple of “love hacks” that can get you and your partner back on track.

“Until we’ve thought seriously about what we’re going to ask of this particular relationship, we’re going to find ourselves disappointed about the fact that this relationship isn’t meeting every need that I’m bringing to it.”

– Eli Finkel

Love, safety, status, economic stability, personal fulfillment — what do we really look for in a marriage these days? While it varies person to person, our expectations of married life can be a tall order. We expect our partners to excel at a variety of roles: parent, friend, lover, business partner, etc. We also want marriages that help us to become our ideal selves.

This interview tackles how we can deal with these grand ideals, reframe our expectations, and work on strengthening our relationships in realistic, optimistic ways.

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Who’s Eli Finkel?

Eli Finkel

Eli Finkel, bestselling author of The All-Or-Nothing Marriage, is a professor at Northwestern University, where he has appointments in the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management and holds the Martin J. and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Professorship. In his role as director of Northwestern’s Relationships and Motivation Lab (RAMLAB), he has published 130+ scientific papers and is a regular contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. The Economist has identified him as “one of the leading lights in the realm of relationship psychology.”

What’s Simplify?

Simplify is a podcast for anybody who’s taken a close look at their habits, their happiness, their relationships, or their health and thought “There’s got to be a better way to do this.” We talk to bestselling writers, productivity wizards, sex geniuses, and happiness experts to find it for you.

Simplify is made with love by Blinkist. Click here to try Blinkist free for 14 days with the voucher code: marriage

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Talk to us!

For the last time this season, we are collecting your voices.

Specifically, we’d love to hear how you would answer one of the questions we always ask our guests: “What have you discovered was much easier than you initially thought it was?”

You can just record your answer with a voice memo app of your choice and then email it to us at [email protected]. We are looking forward to listening to your responses, and stay tuned—you just might hear yourself on a future episode of Simplify!

If you want to say hi to Ben and Caitlin in the meantime, you can find them on Twitter: @bsto and @CaitlinSchiller.

Who made this?

Your hosts are Caitlin Schiller, Ben Schuman-Stoler with special guest, Emily Phillips.

Stellar research and production assistance by the outstanding Natallia Darozhkina.

Thanks to Nico Guiang for our awesome intro and outro music. Listen more on Soundcloud or check him out on Facebook.

Sound and editing by Ody Constantinou, whose Dogue de Bordeaux (also known as a French Mastiff) won third place at Crufts in 2010.

Got links?

Eli Finkel’s Website
Eli Finkel’s Twitter Account

Extra credit reading

If you enjoyed this episode and would like to go deeper into the topic of marriage and the relationship between married couples, check out this book list.

Read the transcript here!

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