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A struggling marriage may be one of life’s greatest stressors and sources of pain.
What if a simple framework for spending more time together could potentially improve your relationship with your spouse or significant other?
Enter the 2-2-2 rule: Try and swing a date night every two weeks, a weekend away every two months and a week away every two years.
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The rule has its origins on a Reddit thread from 2015 and has in recent weeks reappeared on social media as a form of relationship advice.
“I think it’s excellent,” psychoanalyst and marriage counselor Kimberly Hershenson told Fox News Digital. In addition to respect, she said, “in order to have a really great marriage you have to spend time together.”
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Former NFL athlete and international speaker Anthony Trucks and his wife Christina say they practice the 2-2-2 rule, but didn’t even know they were doing it until hearing about the method.
The high school sweethearts married, divorced and remarried.
Anthony Trucks said prioritizing spending time together has been crucial to what is now a very happy, healthy relationship.
“It was back in 2016 I came across data that showed spending time with another person makes you psychologically closer,” Trucks told Fox News Digital. “If something is a priority to you, you have to dedicate time to it.”
The Trucks make frequent date nights a top priority and travel together frequently. Having the opportunity to spend time together allows the couple to address issues in real-time.
“We’re not waiting for the whole thing to burn down,” Trucks said, referring to the couple’s earlier divorce. “If we didn’t deliberately allocate time to each other we could get lost in the schedules and work and kids’ sports.”
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Hershenson said she’s had clients on the brink of divorce come to a much better place by using the 2-2-2 rule.
“It gives couples the time to communicate and find out what’s going on in each other’s lives,” she said.
When couples know the stresses they may be experiencing, she said, it leads to a deeper understanding.
She added that it’s equally important, however, to not spend your time alone with your spouse talking about your troubles. “It’s just as important to have fun and relax, enjoying a nice meal or a movie.”
Trucks said that when he and Christina divorced, he had hoped to one day have the kind of marriage others looked to as one to aspire to.
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Now he says he does – with the very same woman who he found himself grown apart and divorced from.
“It’s a great marriage,” he said, “but it’s not perfect. We make it a priority to invest time in each other. I always say she’s the puzzle I chose to solve. Puzzles are fun, sometimes they’re frustrating. But you keep working at it till all the pieces fit.”