Tag Archives: boredom

10 Ways to Get More Adventure in Your Marriage

I asked Matthew from Adventure-Some.com to provide this guest post, because I know that boredom weakens relationships, while adding excitement is shown in research to strenghten bonds. So, here is the advice of an adventurer:

You don’t have to be married for long before you and your spouse settle into a routine. While this can be comforting and easy to do, it can also mean that the excitement from your dating days quickly begins to wane. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get more adventure into your marriage. Here are 10 simple things that you can try.

1.  Go exploring.
A common part of that routine is settling into using the same routes every time you go somewhere. Have you ever wondered where that road on the left goes? Why not find out? Get in the car and explore the areas you don’t always visit. (If the weather’s nice you could explore on foot and become better acquainted with a smaller area.)

2.       Try a new restaurant.
My wife and I love going out to eat. While we love visiting our favorite restaurants, it can be easy for us to just go to the same ones over and over. One thing that has helped us is to keep a pad of paper in the car and every time we find a restaurant we’ve never been to, it gets added to the list. Then the next time we don’t know where to go eat we can pull the list out and have some ready suggestions.

3.         Try a new food.
Maybe you’ve tried all of the restaurants in your area. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean have exhausted all your options! Go to a favorite restaurant and try something new. Maybe they have a seasonal menu, or you just happen to always order one of two things. One suggestion that I’ve found to work out well for me: try the weirdest-sounding thing on the menu, it’s probably what the chef has put the most work into creating.

4.         Turn off the TV.
Do you find yourself lamenting the lack of time that you have to spend time together? Shut off the TV and solve that problem. Instead of getting sucked into watching someone else have an adventure, get out and have your own! (Maybe it’s not the TV for you, but the computer, or your cell phone. Whatever the gadget, don’t forget to spend time unplugged!)

5.         Do a common activity in a new place.
Hopefully you and your spouse already have an activity that you do together. Even fun things can become routine, however. Switch it up by trying a new location. You can read, chat, or even play a game together in a lot of different places. Check out a park, coffee shop, book store, or any where else that might work for you.

6.         Do something together that you normally do apart.
Help each other do something that you normally do on your own. Perhaps one of you normally does all of the cooking. Tonight the other one could assist (maybe just by keeping the cook company).

7.         Do something apart that you normally do together.
Don’t forget to do the opposite sometimes, too. If you always do something together, it can be a nice change of pace to have that time to yourself. Maybe you always get ready together; take turns, and enjoy the extra space in the bathroom this once. Or take the time to slowly make and enjoy your coffee or tea, just the way you like it.

8.         Get out of the house.
If you’re quietly going stir-crazy, then it’s time to get out, together. Go for a walk in the park (or in the mall if it’s not your favorite weather.) This is the perfect time to become a tourist in your own town. Stop by the local visitor’s center and see what kind of attractions you over look just because you live in the area.

9.         Stay in the house.
Perhaps your problem is just the opposite, you’re never home! Cancel some appointments (I promise they can live without you at least this once) and stay home together. Dust off those board games or pull out the deck of cards and start family game night! If you need new games, then a trip to the toy section is in order (don’t be ashamed to visit the toy store, you can be kids too.) What kind of a prize is the winner going to receive?

10.     Plan a grand adventure.
Want a bigger adventure in your life? Sit down together and plan out your next one! Brainstorm ideas, choose which one to do first, figure out a time frame, and start making it happen. After all, dreams are best when they’re shared, and they’re easiest when you’re working on them together.

 Which of these are you going to try today?

 Matthew is a minimalist who creates, rides motorcycles, and loves his wife. Find more ways to add adventure to your life at Adventure-Some.com.

Photo by graur razvan ionut courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

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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.”

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.