It’s easy to talk about being generous in your relationship – but how do you actually put it into practice – especially when things feel unfair or out of balance? If you’re stuck in fighting for fairness in your relationship, it’s time to learn a new way of being together where shared success becomes the rule – not the exception. Today we’re talking with Kaley and Nate Klemp, authors of “The 80/80 Marriage – A New Model for a Healthier, Stronger Relationship.” You’ll get practical steps to foster radical generosity in your relationship.
As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it! Also, see below for links to our other episodes with Stan Tatkin.
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Take a quiz, get more information about Nate and Kaley Klemp and their book, the 80/80 Marriage – by clicking here.
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Visit http://www.neilsattin.com/8080 to download the transcript to this episode with Nate and Kaley Klemp.
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Transcript of this episode:
Neil Sattin: Let’s just start maybe with you’re revealing a little bit of your personal journey, if you don’t mind, getting a little vulnerable with, how did 8080 come to be for the two of you?
Nate Klemp: Yeah, well, I guess it starts in high school actually, so Kaley and I grew up in the same town, and we met our senior year of high school, we were in chemistry class together, and we actually dated a little bit in high school, and then we both went to the same college, but broke up pragmatically and got back together seven years later, and it was almost like a fairy tale, Instagram-worthy story where we got back together in our early 20s, we got married, and we went into marriage thinking that the momentum of that perfect story, that fairy tale was just going to effortlessly continue and it didn’t… Not at all. In fact, a couple of years in the marriage, I had a serious bike accident, which left me in a position of both having very little energy to work and complete Life’s tasks, but also in a pretty serious depression, experiencing a lot of anxiety, and all of a sudden we were thrust into this conversation really more of a conflict over What is or isn’t fair, and we started to see that for us and for most couples, we saw eventually that the fundamental thing we were grappling with is how can we be equals and in love, and that seemed to be a totally vexing question that we just could not answer in our marriage. So we really spent the then 15 years, we’ve been married for almost 16 years now, trying to answer that question, both for ourselves and then with this book for other couples.
Neil Sattin: Yeah, and when you talk about how to be equals and be in love, that makes me think of what you mentioned in the initial part of your book where you talk about moving from what you call the 80/20 model of relationship into 50/50 relating, and then of course. You’re making a case for the 80/80 model of relating. So yeah, can you describe what we’re talking about, just kind of in simple terms, what’s a 80/20 relationship… What’s a 50/50 relationship? And where are we headed with 80/80?
Kaley Klemp: 80/20 is looking back at sometimes our parents, sometimes our grandparents, where one person’s “job” is to take care of the relationship and the other person gets to kind of coast, and in 80/20, based on gender norms at the time, typically it’s the woman who’s responsible for making sure that we’re close and that we have date night, and that we have friends, and really, it’s her job to make sure that the relationship is working at all, and as easy as it is to look at that with condemnation or disdain, there was an advantage at that point in time, which was, they were at least on the same team, pointed in the same direction, because they were really, really interdependent.
Kaley Klemp: What happened though is as the ’60s and ’70s occur and women were given a lot more opportunity to work outside the home and pursue their own interests, there started to be a big shift where each person could look at 80/20 and say, “Gosh, that seems wildly unfair.” And it was… And so they said, “You know what, we can do better. Let’s make things even between us, let’s make things equal, and the clunky technology was, Let’s make things fair.” And so that’s where 50/50 came from, this idea that if we each do perfectly equal amounts of things, then somehow we’ll end up in marital bliss, unfortunately, and we can talk about all the reasons why. 50/50 ended up being a recipe for even more fighting and even more conflict because finding that perfect midpoint where it was exactly fair seemed completely elusive. And so what we’re striving for and arguing for is this notion of 80/80, where rather than keeping score and keeping track like you do in 50/50, instead you intentionally strive to overshoot the mean to do more than your “fair share” from this mindset of generosity. And with that new mindset, with this intentionality around how can I show up with generosity with my partner, what are the structures that support it, how can we take that mindset and make it really practical so that in real life, we can actually live it…
Interested in reading the transcript for the rest of this episode with Nate and Kaley Klemp?