We spend an inordinate amount of time watching videos online. Why do you think “Netflix and Chill” even became a couple thing? Usually, we watch mindlessly, looking to be entertained. Here, we’ve curated a list of excellent TED talks to be learned, to help your marriage, to make worthwhile use of your time and bandwidth. Watch these by yourself then share them with your spouse. Better yet, watch them together.
1. “So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide. Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise.” Relationship therapist Esther Perel talks about sustaining desire amidst our conflicting needs.
2. “If you have everything you need at home, then there is no need to go looking elsewhere, assuming that there is such a thing as a perfect marriage that will inoculate us against wanderlust. But what if passion has a finite shelf life? What if there are things that even a good relationship can never provide? If even happy people cheat, what is it about?” This is definitely a touchy subject for anyone who’s ever cheated or been cheated on but watch till the end and keep an open mind.
3. “You know what? You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” Brené Brown studies human connection–our ability to empathize, belong, and love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
4. “‘Love didn’t happen to us. We’re in love because we each made the choice to be.’” And I cringe a little when I read that now, not because it isn’t true, but because at the time, I really hadn’t considered everything that was contained in that choice. I didn’t consider how many times we would each have to make that choice, and how many times I will continue to have to make that choice without knowing whether or not he will always choose me.” Mandy Len Catron, author of the viral 36 questions to falling in love shares her thoughts on staying in love.
5. “So in a modern society, we know that prevention is better than cure. We vaccinate against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles. We have awareness campaigns for melanoma, stroke, diabetes–all important campaigns. But none of those conditions come close to affecting 45% of us. 45%–that’s our current divorce rate. Why no prevention campaign for divorce?” Psychiatrist George Blair-West shares three keys to preventing divorce, and spotting potential problems while you’re still dating.
6. “The miracle of your mind isn’t that you can see the world as it is. It’s that you can see the world as it isn’t. We can remember the past, and we can think about the future, and we can imagine what it’s like to be some other person in some other place. And we all do this a little differently, which is why we can all look up at the same night sky and see this and also this and also this.” ‘Wrongologist’ Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.
7. “Research also suggests that the happiest couples are the ones that focus on the positives. For example: the happy wife. Instead of pointing out her husband’s growing gut or suggesting he go for a run, she might say, ‘Wow, honey, thank you for going out of your way to make me relatively thinner.’” Jenna McCarthy shares surprising research on how marriages (especially happy marriages) really work.
8. “The fact is that most of the biggest catastrophes that we’ve witnessed rarely come from information that is secret or hidden. It comes from information that is freely available and out there, but that we are willfully blind to, because we can’t handle, don’t want to handle, the conflict that it provokes. But when we dare to break that silence, or when we dare to see, and we create conflict, we enable ourselves and the people around us to do our very best thinking.” Margaret Heffernan shows us that good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers, and how great research teams, relationships, and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.