Bored with your marriage or relationship?
Do you find your partner, wife or husband 'boring'?
Are you bored or is your partner bored in your relationship? Or is your partner or spouse boring? Do you think you’re both stuck in a rut – in a dull and monotonous marriage or long-term relationship?
Maybe it’s time to inject some energy into your relationship or marriage, before you give up hope.
I'm going to help you with that with this article. My aim is first of all to change your perspective on the problem. And secondly, I'll give you some ideas to help you change the dynamics in your relationship to something that's a little more alive.
First of all - a wake-up call!
It’s very likely that you’re making three assumptions:
- that you really know your partner.
- that this is 'it' - the two of you are together for life, unless you leave.
- that in a good relationship your partner 'should' be able to provide for all your needs.
Am I right?
If so, it’s time to challenge these assumptions. Each and every experience changes you and your partner. You’re both constantly…
- updating your existing knowledge,
- forgetting things changing your mind,
- learning something new,
- connecting and disconnecting with a whole range of people,
- and much, much more.
Your partner will have changed in ways you’re not aware of (and vice versa). They may have developed specific parts of their character in order to fit into this relationship.
It’s now up to you to discover how they’ve changed since you’ve known them.
Also, there’s no guarantee that your partner, at this very moment, isn’t thinking about another man or woman. Or perhaps they’re contemplating what it would be like to break up your relationship. That they would just like to pack their bag and leave - tomorrow, whilst you’re away. That they aren’t fantasising about you being somehow different. That they aren’t fantasising about someone else when you’re making love (if that part of your relationship hasn’t gone down the pan already!). Or even that they’ll still be on this earth this time tomorrow.
What would any of that mean to you?
Could you honestly say that you’ve invested the same care in your partner and relationship as you bestow on your children, your car, your work, your friends, your hobbies/interests etc?
Consider how you are with your best friend or mates at work. Which parts of you do they see that you no longer share with your partner? And why is that so?
If you’re having trouble working this all out, I highly recommend you get some counselling.
To prevent yourself getting stuck in the same pattern again, even in a new relationship!
Is it normal to feel bored in a relationship?
You’re probably aware that it’s fairly normal for that all-absorbing flush of excitement in the early stages of a relationship to wear off somewhat. It may last from a few months to a couple of years. Romantic love, though, can and does last in some relationships. But, it does take work!
And, even when the initial excitement has worn off, there are still plenty of opportunities to pepper your life together with new excitements that keep the magic alive.
To bring back that sparkle, the two best things you can do are: treat your partner like your best friend AND engage in some completely new activities.
Changing your perspective
Here are three questions for you to consider:
- Are you absolutely sure that you’re bored with your relationship or marriage, or your partner - or could it be that you're bored with life? If so, addressing you general sense of boredom is likely to have a positive impact on your relationship too.
- If you know it’s your relationship that's the problem, is it possible that one aspect of your life (e.g., work or an affair) is so fast-paced and exciting that your marriage or relationship feels boring in comparison? In which case, will the excitement of that other aspect of your life wear off too? And it is blinding you to all the stuff that's good about your relationship, even if it's not the 'exciting' stuff anymore?
- Could you possibly reframe ‘routine’ into a ‘sense of security’?
This reframe changes the meaning of the supposed boredom and monotony into a deeper attachment, i.e. the next stage in your relationship. This is the stage whereby you have an opportunity to nurture a warm sense of lasting, comfortable and contented togetherness.
You can see perhaps how I'm focusing mainly on you and not your partner. Chances are that you hold the key to a much better relationship.
How to change your expectations, perspective and the dynamics of your relationship
First of all, it's really important that you feel happy in yourself. Know that your partner simply cannot fulfil all of your needs.
These days, we often ask too much of our partner and thereby set ourselves up for a sense of failure. Perhaps you too were hoping your partner would be:
- your best friend, your confidante,
- the person who creates excitement in your life - and ideally in the bedroom too,
- the one who loves, soothes and cares for you...
- ...and who will also love and care for your children,
- AND provide you with a sense of security, be your rock and MAKE you happy (see also: How to make your partner love you again).
No wonder you or your partner ends up feeling rejected, hurt and plain angry so much of the time.
While it's reasonable to hope for any or all of the above, it's really important to be realistic in your expectations. You're unlikely to find someone who excels at every single thing in the list above. Maybe your partner's brilliant at being a best friend, but not so good at creating a sense of security. Maybe they're super caring, loving and romantic, but not very spontaneous so they rarely initiate new (exciting) things. Perhaps they're not great with money, but they rock your world in the bedroom.
Do you see where I'm going?
If you expect too much, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. No-one is perfect, and it's unlikely (though not impossible!) that you'll find someone who ticks every single box in the list of your version of an ideal partner.
So, could it be that your sense of boredom is more a sense of disillusionment? If you focus on your partner's good qualities, can you see why you fell for them in the first place? And are you prepared to accept that you'll have to compromise on your expectations - in the same way that they'll have to compromise too?
If you look at things from a different angle, you might find that feeling of boredom isn't so all-consuming after all...
Simply doing these five things will help you change your perspective and the dynamics in your relationship.
With regards to dealing with personal issues, I highly recommend connecting with an online counsellor. He or she can be there for you a the touch of a button. To discover how that works, see my page: Online relationship advice.
If you really don't like the idea of therapy, then I suggest self-hypnosis as an aid to resolving some issues and making some lasting changes. You can learn more about it in my article Hypnosis FAQ and Downloads.
Ideas for creating some excitement
When you've got your expectations in check, you can start to make some little changes here and there to address anything you want to improve in your relationship. Do you want to have more fun together? Have more to talk about? Look forward to spending time together like you used to?
Here are some ideas to help you get started with changing your routine...
Do something completely out of the ordinary together
Life can become ever so serious and predictable when you have bills to pay and a job to do. You may have little control over that. However, you can change your routine completely in other ways.
For example: if you both like the cinema, go to a theatre performance instead. If you like going to gigs, go to an opera. If you like watching movies at home, go for a six-mile hike. Instead of going to a football match, go to a tennis match. If you like clubbing, how about ballroom dancing for a complete change?
Dr Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist, who has researched for match.com why and whom we love. She’s discovered in her research that doing novel activities stimulates the dopamine circuit in the brain – this is the circuit of romantic love*. So go for it!
Just think of the anticipation, and the stories you can share after the event. I’m sure you get my drift!
Wake up, get off the couch and break the monotony
Plan ahead or go last minute
Whatever you do, it has to be new to create that bonding effect! Get away for a few days and do something completely out of the ordinary for you. You can go cheap by going camping or hiring a bicycle. Or you can go luxurious, even if only for one night. In fact: make plans as well as provision for the spontaneous.
Finding it difficult to decide? Brainstorm in advance one evening and make a list of things you might like to do given the opportunity. Be sure to include both your wishes. When you go along with something your partner wants to do, it’s your investment in the relationship.
Are you investing in your own interests?
You could of course be doing too much of that already - in which case, hop to the next heading. But if not ... it’s unrealistic to expect your partner to meet all your needs. You each need time for your own personal development - your own interests, hobbies and friends - as well as sharing leisure time.
There should be no need to feel threatened by your partner's outside interests if you spend enough time together and all is well between the two of you. At the end of the day you have something to talk about if each one of you cares enough to show an interest in each other.
Put a big cross in your diary
A relationship is like a plant - if you don’t feed and water it, it’s going to die!
If you’re both very busy - perhaps with work, your own interests (though see previous point) and/or with the children - make space in your diary for just the two of you. Put a very deliberate cross in your diary for, at the very least, one evening a fortnight, where you plan nothing at all but to be together.
Do something you wouldn’t normally do! To keep the relationship alive and healthy, it’s really helpful if every now and then you do something completely out of the ordinary.
Remember the music you listened to when you met?
Find those old tracks and have them as background music to a romantic evening.
Read those old letters or emails you sent to each other (if you had any at all and have kept them!)
Get the photos out from your early days.
Wear the aftershave/perfume you wore when you first met - your brain will do the rest!
Constantly rehearsing what you dislike about your partner?
No wonder you're bored! You are routinely making yourself (and him or her) more miserable. So now's the time to save your relationship.
Not sure your relationship can last? Have you been questioning your relationship compatibility lately? Then my Relationship Compatibility Test will help you to figure out the state of play.
Did you get together with your partner in the hope that he or she would make your life exciting? Only you can make your life worthwhile. Unless you take personal responsibility, you may find yourself bored in the next relationship too…
Swap regular sleep-overs for the children with friends
And when the children are away for the night, dress up, or undress ;-), in different rooms for starters.
Take turns in organising a surprise outing for just the two of you (see above).
Alternatively, cook a three-course meal for your partner (or buy ready-made stuff and pretend!), when he or she least expects it.
Spice up your sex-life; read books from Nicole Daedom, Kidder Kaper, Tommy Leanard and Tammy Nelson. Or find some exciting films!
Watch the video below for more encouragement:
Picnic in the middle of the night and watch the stars
Or picnic at five in the morning, watch the sun come up and listen to the birds' morning chorus. Picnic in the pouring rain or in a raging storm.
Change things in the bedroom
A bedroom is for sleeping (and enjoying your sexual relationship of course) - so take the television out of that room.
Make love, just be tender, listen to music or a spoken book together. Swap sides - sleep on the other side of the bed every now and then. Change the room around. Change creates difference, which can help to keep boredom at bay.
Go to bed together for a change. I know one of you may be a night owl, but hey ... this is a chance to invest in the relationship ...
Go on a last minute holiday
Boredom leads to stress! What about being really spontaneous? Put yourself out there: give your partner's boss a call and arrange for your partner to have time off.
Sort the children, the cat, the dog and the plants and arrange a complete surprise.
Be sure that your partner is up for those kinds of tricks though - you wouldn’t want to cause a medical emergency! ;-)
Write down any ideas you can think of to change your regular pattern, however silly it might initially seem. Sift later and plan for the best.
Do this regularly so you always have options whenever you need them the most.
Oh... and do make each other feel special with a card or a gift every now and then!
I've also developed a free worksheet to help you figure out what else you can do to improve your relationship or marriage...
If you've been feeling bored in your relationship, I hope the ideas above have given you a renewed sense of energy and purpose. Routine by nature can be dull and boring - but breaking up the monotony is very much within your power!
You don't have to go skydiving or swimming with sharks every day - just implementing little changes regularly will be enough to breathe new life into your relationship. And, of course, you can add your own ideas to the list above as you go along.
Remember: realistic expectations combined with a little care, attention and effort will go a very long way to creating a fulfilling partnership. So, what will you do today to let the fresh air back in to your lives?
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*Fisher, H. Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love. Holt Paperbacks; Reprint edition December 9, 2004.
Images courtesy of: SElephant