by Anna Papa
Every relationship goes through periods of stagnation. The problem starts when partners ignore or prolong these periods of boredom and do nothing to prevent them …
Is this what married life has to offer?
It was a Saturday afternoon eight years ago…
I was sitting on the couch staring at the TV while my husband was in the other room taking a nap. It wasn’t the first time that I asked myself, “Is this what married life has to offer”? We used to have so much fun together exploring new places, dancing and learning about each other. A few years later our life revolved around a quite boring routine and periods of stagnation. I accepted it at first but after a while I knew I needed to change something in our relationship before it started feeling stale and lifeless.
If you are reading this article, you have more than likely already had this unpleasant revelation about your partnership. Do you wonder: “Is this what my life is supposed to look like?” “Did I marry the right person?” Before you make a decision to accept the boredom or to have an affair, be aware of this fact: Every relationship goes through periods of stagnation. It becomes a problem when the partners ignore or prolong these periods of boredom and do nothing to prevent them.
To find a solution to your boredom you need to understand why you feel this way about your marriage. The main reasons for monotony in relationships are:
1. Lack of excitement
When the element of surprise and novelty is gone, you start feeling bored with your partnership. Daily routines make every day look the same. You wish for more spontaneity and excitement.
2. Loss of interest in your partner
You feel like you know everything about your partner: his/her likes/dislikes, values, opinions and his/her quirky behaviors. Nothing is new and surprising anymore. You start to wonder if there is someone more interesting out there who could make you happier.
3. Unrealistic expectations
You don’t feel butterflies for your partner anymore and take it as a sign of loss of love and desire. You also know a ‘perfect couple’ who travels the world, and because your relationship is different you believe it’s not good enough.
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Once you understand the reasons, try these simple tricks to bring your marriage back on track:
1. Change the routine
Of course you still have responsibilities and schedules you need to follow but make some room for occasional changes, especially in your love life. Make the time spent with your partner exciting again. Go for a date or take a long-weekend vacation together. Try new things as a couple.
You can also bring the enthusiasm back by participating in the activities you enjoyed in the past but suddenly or gradually stopped doing. It is also beneficial to have a life outside your marriage. Meeting up with your friends or investing time in a personal hobby will give you both more opportunities for interesting conversations.
2. Discover your partner again
When was the last time that you REALLY listened to your partner? We often believe that people don’t change but trust me, the person you met a few years ago is not the same person today. Every life experience, every new friend, and time elapsing will change our perceptions and teach us new lessons.
Don’t stop listening to your partner. Make an effort to discover new things about him/her. Ask about his/her opinion on certain topics, his/her favorite color or activity. It may surprise you how much you don’t know about your spouse, or how he or she has changed.
3. Get rid of unrealistic expectations
The butterflies are gone and there is a good reason for it. If you sustained such strong feelings throughout your whole marriage you would have difficulty accomplishing any daily tasks. Think how distracted you would be! It doesn’t mean though that you can’t occasionally get them back. A romantic dinner, a sunset walk, an evening out dancing, or a little getaway are just some of the things you can do to feel that mutual desire again.
Also, don’t believe that sitting at home and simply enjoying your partner has to be boring. If you feel content, don’t let your friends or the media convince you otherwise.
Eight years ago I made a decision not to wait for a different circumstance or for my husband to bring a change to our marriage. Eight years ago I realized that my marriage does not need to be boring and that we have the tools to make it more exciting and fresh. Do I still spend time watching TV by myself on Saturday afternoons? Sometimes. But now it’s my choice and I don’t find it boring anymore.