The top four reasons existing marriages most commonly end are:
1)poor communication 2) Financial issues 3) Parenting conflicts 4) Boredom.
The links to the first three are below. For “Boredom”, please read on:
This is the fourth part of a four-part series addressing these common marital issues. Part One addressed communication, Part Two dealt with financial stresses, and Part Three covered parenting
conflicts. The last issue that commonly jeopardizes marriages is boredom.
The opposite of boredom is excitement. Boredom makes you feel tired and excitement ignites the neurons in your brain making you feel alive and exhilarated. Marriages usually progress in phases. The first few years are usually heightened by excitement, good and frequent communication,
and good and frequent sex. As life becomes more complicated, with careers and children, married
life can be dominated by routines, lack of adventure opportunity, and fatigue. That is when boredom
sets in. Boredom is further fostered by the natural inclination of most people to keep things the same. Keeping things the same creates a great deal of comfort and a feeling of security. When patients enter my office they almost always sit in the same chair every session despite the fact that there are 5 chairs available. When you were in college chances are you always sat in the same seat
for each class, as you did the first day of class. The need for “same” is another culprit creating boredom in your life. Of course, there is a place for routine in your life, but when it is excessive, your life becomes boring. That is when you start longing for or fantasizing about things that would excite you. Tolstoy said, “Boredom is the desire for desires.” But, if you keep wishing that your life and marriage were different and don’t do anything about it, you will end up either unhappy, resentful, angry, or all three. Even worse, you will feel tired. Boredom puts the brain asleep.As we all know, marriage is always a work in progress and if it’s boring,
then you and your partner are sleeping through life. If you started watching a movie on TV and it was terribly boring, most likely you would either fall asleep or turn it off and watch something more interesting or entertaining. So why don’t you do something to stop feeling bored in your marriage? Unlike the movie analogy, I don’t suggest you “turn off” your marriage. You can’t change the movie to make it more exciting but you can spice up your marriage. Here are some suggestions:
• First, recognize the fact that your relationship is boring and discuss it, accepting mutual responsibility, with your partner so that you are both on board. Being on board is the first step in not being bored.
• Devise a plan that will change routines to mix it up a bit. For example, a date night during the week
every so often. Or, instead of watching TV in the evening, play a game. Find opportunities to do fun, different, and exciting things. Be adventurous.
• Plan vacations, weekends, or just one overnight without the kids.
• Try out a new activity that you both can do together such as golf, tennis lessons, walking, exercise class, ballroom dancing, or anything.
- Drop your inhibitions (this is your all accepting partner) and think of ways to shake up your sex life. If you can predict your partner’s next move, your sex life is probably too routine.• Challenge your comfort zone so you can step outside of it. You might find activities or interests that really excite you as a couple. If you try something and don’t like it, at least you won’t be bored.
Dr. Michael Osit is a Licensed Psychologist practicing in Warren, and author of The Train Keeps Leaving Without Me: A Practical Guide to Freedom, Self-Fulfillment, and Happiness (09/16) and Generation Text: Raising Well Adjusted Kids In An Age Of Instant Everything (07/08).