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What to Do When Your Marriage Is Boring

3 ways to address a stale relationship

There are a lot of dangers that can destroy a marriage, but one we hardly ever hear about is boredom. A boring marriage doesn’t sound nearly as threatening as a couple that fights all the time. No one cites a dull marriage as the reason for divorce, but boredom can be the instigator to any number of marriage crises.

One reason for this is that boredom often prompts us to create drama. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but fighting can feel more intimate than a bland relationship. When marriage is boring, we may camp out on little issues and blow them out of proportion, just to be sure your spouse still has a pulse.

Boredom also makes us susceptible to an affair. If there is no excitement or romance in your life, your heart is easy pickings for someone who pays attention to you. Oh, to feel the thrill of the chase and the excitement of learning all about someone new! Millions of marriages have fallen apart because they didn’t handle a boring season well.

If you want to avoid being a statistic, here are three ways to address boredom in your marriage.

1. Expect It

Have you ever noticed that the vast majority of romantic movies and books are all about the “chase”? They play on the tension of possible lovers who have great obstacles to overcome in order to be together. Once they proclaim their love, the movie or book ends. In fact, if a couple in the story starts out married, they are likely to be apart, with a more suitable partner, by the end. Living together faithfully for 50 years just isn’t that exciting.

Don’t chalk the boredom in your marriage up to your “vanilla” spouse. Boredom is a natural aspect of weathering the many seasons of love. In fact, it’s a test of love and faithfulness that every couple will have to walk through to fulfill their promise of “till death do us part.”

The problem is that you’ve been trained to crave excitement. Something in you believes that “true love” will always feel exhilarating and adventurous. Nothing could be further from the truth. Real love is characterized by patience, longsuffering, and unselfishness. Marriage is a marathon. Some stretches of the journey will be exciting, but others will be a test of your endurance.

2. Remember the Upside of Boredom

Subjects like accounting, engineering, and statistics are boring to many people. Why? Because they are so steady and predictable. No CPA would advertise “creative accounting” or “I’ll make your tax return exciting!” And I really don’t want a plane ride to be thrilling. I prefer to have boring flights that leave and arrive when they say they will without any excitement! There are some things in life that are better boring.

We describe feelings of boredom when something is predictable, consistent, and dependable. If your marriage has reached a stage of boredom, that probably means that many of the issues between you and your spouse have been settled or resolved. You’ve heard your husband tell the same joke a hundred times. You could finish his sentences, and he could finish yours. Remember that you can only feel bored when you feel comfortable and secure. That’s not necessarily a bad thing!

3. Put Effort into Revival

While boredom is a natural part of marriage, you can also work toward making your relationship a bit more exciting. There are seasons of monotony, but there should also be seasons of adventure, awakening love, and rediscovering each other. In fact, part of “feeling” in love requires that you intentionally incorporate some novelty in your marriage. Here is a list of some things Mike and I have done to get out of tedious stretches of marriage:

  • Find a list of questions to ask each other when we go on dates. We can take for granted that we know everything about each other, but questions can help you discover new things to share.
  • Try something new in the bedroom. Take turns planning a new sexual adventure. You may like it or you may not. But just trying something new can awaken romance and fun in your marriage.
  • Tackle a new hobby together. Try something neither of you are good at and learn it together.
  • Find a service project you can do together. Lead a small group at church, teach a child’s Sunday school class, help a struggling friend with housework, or surprise a needy family with an anonymous gift.
  • Go back to where you started. Watch old videos or look through pictures of when you were dating and first married. Talk about the early years of marriage and what you enjoyed in discovering one another.

Author Manly Hall observed, “It is only a step from boredom to disillusionment, which leads naturally to self-pity, which in turn ends in chaos.” Far too many women have allowed their boredom to turn into disillusionment, self-pity, and marital chaos. Resolve today not to be among them!

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Juli Slattery

Juli Slattery is a TCW regular contributor and blogger. A widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional, she co-founded Authentic Intimacy and is the co-author of Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?

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