Is Boredom Reason Enough to Get a Divorce?
- Is marital boredom normal?
- How boredom affects marriage
- Tips for dealing with boredom in marriage
- When it’s time to call it quits
So your marriage is ho-hum. There is no more sense of adventure. No more passion. No over-the-top happy moments. Life just thrums along from day to day, and you’re just … bored.
Is yours a broken relationship? Or is this what everyone goes through?
Is boredom in marriage normal?
When a relationship is new, everything feels exciting. Love is intoxicating. You can’t think of anyone or anything else. Being “in love” almost feels like an addiction.
There’s a reason for that.
Biochemically, being “in love” means that your body has been flooded with the hormones dopamine and norepinephrine, which cause all sorts of euphoric responses. It’s the same type of response people get when gambling or shoe shopping or doing any other activity a person might get hooked on.
After a while, though, the hormones settle down, and love settles into something less “euphoric” and more humdrum. So in the chemical sense, yes, boredom can be part of a healthy relationship.
How does boredom affect marriage?
Let’s say you’ve ridden the high hormone waves, gotten married, and are still together. Perhaps by now you’ve had kids and purchased a home. You’re moving along, paying bills, stocking up at the grocery store, and doing all the other things that go hand-in-hand with normal and mature life. But you’re starting to feel bored. You wonder, “Is this a healthy marriage?”
While good marriages might seem “boring” from time to time, your boredom could signal other issues as well. Are your expectations of marriage reasonable? Did you marry someone with very different needs than yours? Are there new stressors in your life? Are you no longer communicating? What looks like boredom could simply be masking other issues below the surface that impact your marital satisfaction: poor communication, a lack of intimacy, stress.
For whatever reason, when one or both spouses are bored in a marriage, new problems may evolve. You might begin to lose your connection. You might lose sight of your mutual goals. You might see other couples together and feel like your relationship is subpar. It could even crack open the possibility of infidelity, one of the biggest causes of divorce.
So, how does boredom affect a marriage? The answer to that question is as unique as every couple’s story. While your boredom may be normal, it could potentially expose some weaknesses in the relationship.
And yet, there may be hope. With enough understanding, time, and effort, your boredom-related issues may be addressed and fixed.
Tips for dealing with boredom in a marriage
Explore why you feel bored
Why are you bored in the first place? Are you and your spouse dealing with new things that have temporarily hijacked your focus? Take time to talk about this, and find ways to reestablish your connection as you go through this trying time. Keep promises to each other that you will do X, Y, and Z when it’s over, and throw yourself into planning that together.
Walk down memory lane
What did you do together when life felt more exciting? Maybe you can’t exactly reenact those things now due to life constraints, but you can mine some reasonable facsimiles to stir up the fun and anticipation of doing something new.
Do you sit in front of the television every night after dinner? Force yourself to get out of the house. Maybe find a little cafe where you can sit and talk. Keep a list of places and activities within driving distance that you could do at a moment’s notice.
Go on dates
Have a designated date night, and do something different every week. Have kids? Line up a weekly babysitter, and keep a list of alternates as standbys.
Plan a rendezvous at a local hotel
There's nothing like some old-fashioned seduction to revive your interest in each other.
Learn something new together
Take a class. Try out a new hobby together. If it’s a bust, you can have a good laugh about it.
Consider couples therapy
Sometimes, you’re just stuck. Getting the input of an unbiased third party can help you recognize how valuable your relationship is and offer you exercises to help reinvigorate it. Look for a marriage counselor with whom you both feel comfortable, and spend a little time with them. They just might have some great insights and tools to help you turn your ho-hum marriage into a strong relationship.
If you look at a lot of social media, you might start to feel like everyone but you and your spouse are having a ton of fun. There’s even a term for this: FOMO (fear of missing out). Reality check: People only post the best on social media. Don’t let these photos of trips to Cancun fool you.
When is it time to call it quits?
But what happens if you’re the only one willing to put any effort into your marriage?
Marriage takes two, and you can’t carry it on your own. If you’ve made suggestions and thrown everything you have into making things better – but you’re still in a holding pattern – it might just be time to call it quits.
This is not a decision to make lightly. First, ask yourself the hard questions. Is it bad enough that you just can’t live this way anymore? Are you willing to spend the rest of your life like this?
Are you sure there’s nothing else you could try to revive the marriage – another form of couples counseling, or another therapist?
Don’t forget the possibility of a trial separation. Time apart can be a valuable tool in helping the two of you decide whether you’re both committed to saving the relationship.
While a marriage shouldn’t be thrown away frivolously, it also shouldn’t destroy your mental health or sap you of well-deserved happiness.
When marriages end, it’s sad. But an ending is also an opportunity for a new beginning. Every one of us deserves happiness. At Hello Divorce, we offer simplified online divorce plans for those who are sure about their decision. But we also offer professional divorce coaching services that can help couples work through these big decisions.
Let us help. Schedule a free 15-minute call to understand your options.