Is Your Marriage in a Rut?

Many people are concerned about avoiding the biggest causes of divorce. They understand the major risks of affairs, addictive drugs, or keeping financial secrets from their spouse. Have you ever wondered how many marriages were doomed by boredom? It’s a sneaky marriage killer.

The weariness of the world creeps slowly but surely into our relationships. Remember your newlywed days, when the stress of the world would melt away when you arrived home and entered your mate’s embrace? As long as you were with him or her, ennui didn’t exist. You wanted to know what was on her mind, or what trip he wanted to take next year.

But jobs, children, cooking dinner, mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, shoveling the snow and checking your email somehow took over your life. I know they often do mine.

To help you “Get Your Marriage Out of a Rut,” are some great tips from Sheri & Bob Stritof on About.com. They compare marriage to driving on the freeway; it’s easy to get bogged down in the traffic and rush of everyday living. At some point, you’re so bogged down, you consider whether another relationship will give you the spark you need. (You’ll just end up in the same place.) Instead, realize that you are responsible for allowing your relationship to be in a rut, and you can change it.

Their seven tips for reconnecting:

  1. A weekend away with no kids, TV, Internet, chores or work. What would you do, you ask? “Talk about good memories, of future dreams, of current concerns and fears.”
  2. A weekly date. I agree this can be difficult for those of us with small children, but can you take a walk around the yard or have a cup of coffee on the porch together while the kids play or after they are in bed? You need this time.
  3. Find a peaceful room, uncluttered and inviting, where you can relax together. The Stritoffs suggest you work on one together if you don’t have one now. I like this suggestion; I love hanging out with my husband in our uncluttered sunroom, which has no electricity (thus no TV, radio, or computer).
  4. Write a letter when you need to discuss sensitive issues. Consider reading it in a day or two before giving it to your spouse. I’ve definitely used this one, but I’m a writer. It works to keep tempers down and get your points across clearly.
  5. Make plans for your future. Set some goals.
  6. Spend a positive ten minutes together daily—walking, watching the sunset, reminiscing, hugging, etc.
  7. Do something new each day, even eating a new food. Then you’ll have something new to share with your spouse.

What ideas do you have for staying out of that rut? Read more details in “Get Your  Marriage Out of a Rut.”

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