When is the last time you did something fun, new and exciting with your spouse? If you can’t remember, then a new study should get your attention, which says it’s not just conflict that separates couples; boredom can doom the marriage just as well.
Researchers from Stony Brook University and University of Michigan interviewed 123 couples in their first marriage when they were seven years into their marriage and again at 16 years of marriage.
At seven years of marriage, couples were asked how often they felt bored or in a rut. Their levels of satisfaction were also evaluated. Researchers found the couples who expressed more boredom at year 7 had significantly reduced satisfaction levels at year 16. Being bored reduces closeness, and over time that will reduce marriage satisfaction, they found.
“If partners experience excitement from other sources (such as new, challenging activities) in a shared context, this shared experience can reignite relationship passion by associating the excitement with the relationship,” the researchers wrote.
Couples I have interviewed with very happy marriages frequently have shared activities they enjoy. One couple recently told me they like to take bicycle rides and explore new areas together, or go on weekend adventures together.
What are some things you have always wanted to try? Brainstorm with your partner some fun, new things you would like to explore together.