There could be a lot of reasons for unhappiness and dissatisfaction in long-term intimate relationships–but from our research, here’s something that might surprise you…
One of the biggest is boredom.
When one or both people in the relationship feel bored with each other over a long period of time, it’s very easy to get blindsided and the relationship to blow up in a very painful way.Of course, every couple can go through periods of being bored with each other, but it’s when boredom is the over-riding feeling that one or both people have that it’s a huge problem.
Boredom can not only lead to a physical or emotional affair with someone else but also to immersion in work, a hobby or a cause that completely shuts their partner out.In other words, if you’re bored, you can start leading separate lives and not even be aware it’s happening until it’s too late.
If you can see boredom creeping into your relationship, it’s time to take some action and don’t allow it to corrode your relationship from the inside out.
The two of us decided early on in our relationship that since we both had experienced chronic boredom that turned into huge problems in our past long-term relationships …
We would learn how to cut boredom off at the pass, before it even started in our relationship.
We knew that even though we felt like we were “soul-mates,” we had to actively do some things to keep that feeling alive and not put our relationship on auto-pilot.
How have we kept our marriage alive, growing, vibrant over the years?
Here are some ways we’ve kept boredom from ruining our relationship and we invite you to try a few of them out…
1. Plan different activities together
A friend of ours and her husband of 35 years decided to have a “stay-cation” where they took several days off from work, stayed home but planned different activities to share.
One of those was roller-blading together on a local bike path–something they hadn’t done for years.
The two of us plan concerts to attend, workshops to go to,take in a movie once a month or so, or just take a bike ride together.
That point is that we PLAN for those times together and we suggest you do also.
2. Find role models for keeping passion and intimacy alive and be willing to go beyond your comfort level
We visit book stores and look through the intimacy and love-making sections for books that look interesting.
We go to workshops that help us to break out of our routines and try some new ways of being with each other.
We make it a practice to push the boundaries of where we are comfortable, while we still create a safe space to be together.
You may not be the “workshop” type or like to cruise the love-making section at Borders but you can try some of our suggestions to increase passion and intimacy and see what happens in your relationship.
And you can be willing to move out of your level of comfort, even just a little, to add a little more spice to your relationship.
3. Continue to learn how to open to each other by talking and listening, even when it’s difficult.
Learning how to communicate from the heart with each other is one of the best boredom killers we know.
When you listen with curiosity to discover new things about your beloved, as well as reach down inside yourself and share who you really are, there’s no chance that boredom will set in.
What we’ve learned about talking and listening to each other, we put into two of our best communication courses–“Stop Talking on Eggshells” and “Magic Relationship Words.”
4. Think in terms of possibility and ask different kinds of questions.
When the two of us really thought about it, what’s different in this relationship from our previous ones is that we are looking forward and what’s possible in the future rather that getting stuck in what happened in the past or what didn’t work.
Part of this comes from asking a question like this…
–“How can I be even a better lover (communicator, partner)?”
And listen closely to the answer that comes up inside you.
Even if there’s resistance, pay attention to that too.
5. Create new routines to break out of your old ones that are no longer serving you.
One of our “routines” is what we call our morning connecting time–one hour each morning after we wake up where we spend connecting, appreciating and loving each other.
Even though we spend that time every morning we are together, we vary what we do during that time so boredom doesn’t set in.
We suggest you create a routine where you appreciate each other with words and/or physical attention and see what that does to your relationship.
Don’t let boredom kill your relationship when it doesn’t have to.
Take some active steps today to stop boredom in its track so that your relationship keeps growing.
Ask yourself, what could you allow yourself to get excited about that you’ve been wanting to do with your partner or do more of with them?
… and then invite them to do it with you.
You can also find your desire again by asking yourself, “What did I (or we) use to do that I miss?”
In essence, what we’re suggesting here is that you become a better asker of questions that can get you thinking about new possibilities for your relationship or marriage.
Remember, there’s NO boredom when you have the feeling of infinite possibilities.