033: Mindfulness in Marriage

Podcast Guest: Jacob Hess

033: Mindfulness in Marriage

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In this Episode

Today’s conversation is one you don’t want to miss! Listen in to the Stronger Marriage Connection as Dave and Liz sit down with Dr. Jacob Hess, a master of mindfulness, to
discuss the realities of love and romance & what is hijacking relationships today.

0:00 – Introduction: Who is Dr. Jacob Hess?
2:36 – What is hijacking relationships & causing couples to drift apart?
4:52 – The narratives of romance - how things are “supposed” to be
6:56 – What is the reality of romance?
9:30 – People look to their romantic partner to somehow meet all of their needs
11:26 – Allow your relationships to be human and allow your partner to be a human being
14:27 – See your partner as they are, rather than how they’re supposed to be
16:46 – The relationship hijack of self-absorption
18:46 – Whole soul romance: when someone loves your mind & heart, not just how they feel around you
20:46 – Micro moments of love
22:31 – Small things over time create a new kind of momentum for the relationship to grow
24:25 – Honing the ability to show love generally, but especially to our partner
26:56 – Infatuation & fireworks draw people together, committed & enduring love keeps them together
29:31 – The difference between loving a person and loving a particular idea about love
31:07 – Follow the peace, not the passion
33:17 – Every marriage has waves, learn to surf them instead of fight them
34:25 – Jacob’s takeaway of the day: Instead of constantly forcing a story on everybody around, let each moment with somebody be new. Let people breathe.
35:16 – Liz’s takeaway: Tranquil affection - loving with great warmth & affection
35:50 – Dave’s takeaway: Take something ordinary in your relationship and make it extra ordinary

About Jacob Hess

Jacob Hess is the author of 14 peer-reviewed studies on competing narratives of difficult health and social issues, as well as a book on what’s hijacking romance, “Once Upon a Time...He Wasn’t Feeling It Anymore, and two others: “The Power of Stillness: Mindful Living for Latter-Day Saints” with Carrie Skarda, Kyle Anderson and Ty Mansfield. And with his
Marxist-Atheist friend Phil Neisser, Dean of the State University of New York, “You’re Not as Crazy as I Thought, But You’re Still Wrong.” Jacob is a former board member of the National Coalition of Dialogue & Deliberation, and writes for Deseret News and Public Square Magazine about making space for thoughtful, good-hearted people to find understanding (and affection) while exploring together the deepest of disagreements. Jacob has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and helped create online mindfulness-based recovery programs for depression/anxiety (Lift) and sexual compulsivity (Fortify) that have reached 200K in 155 countries. He is currently working with Impact Suite on a mental health fitbit and with The Council for Sustainable Healing on ways to encourage families to build a healing sanctuary at home to counteract depression and anxiety. Jacob is a happy father of five, partner of one amazing gal – and mediocre goatherd.

Jacob Hess Links:

Insights and Invites


Jacob: There's something about being in the presence of someone who you feel, not only their full attention, but you feel held in their affection too.
Dave: There are little micro moments in life and in our marriages that we can't let pass by.
Liz: We have to understand love. We must know what love is in order to receive it and give it.


  • How you greet your spouse matters. Make your partner feel special by conveying your excitement at seeing them when they come home after a long day at work or after being apart for a few days. This will surprise your partner and make them feel loved.
  • Examine what narratives of romance you consciously or unconsciously expect from your relationship. Try asking yourself some of these hard questions and answer honestly. What do you really want to love? Has this story of romance seduced you so far that you're willing to toss this person aside as some barrier on your pathway to your grand fulfillment? Or could it be that the very person in front of you, this human being that has their own challenges, could be the pathway to deeper love?
  • Take the ordinary things in your relationships and make them extraordinary. Do this by giving your partner an impromptu five second hug or leaving them a note saying how much you appreciate them. Even the mundane parts of life can be turned into moments of connection.

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