Boredom Can Kill a Marriage

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.

4 responses to “Boredom Can Kill a Marriage

  1. 23 Years seems to have the same results. It is when the children are moving out and mom and dad start questioning why they are together. My spouse and I was bored with our marriage, one of us made a poor decision that my cost us our marriage. One of us tried to found out the problem and correct it. Never take your marriage and your life for granted.

    • Bob, your experience is common, but it’s not too late to revive a marriage with such history and build something better than before. I have interviewed so many couples who did just that. I hope you find the commitment and resources to work through the issues that caused the poor decision, as well as the pain it has caused you both. Try for counseling services. I wish you both the very best.

  2. Pingback: Are you bored in bed? | Project Happily Ever After

  3. Pingback: The Most Sexually Satisfied City in the U.S. | Marriage Gems

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