Guest Author - Lori Phillips
Even the most stable marriages can fall prey to boredom. Here are some reasons why and some solutions for keeping your marriage interesting:
You grow. He doesn’t.
People evolve. Friction results when one spouse changes in ways that are incompatible with the other. One begins to feel that the other is holding her back while the other wonders why she is rocking their comfortable little boat.
A great marriage allows both partners to grow. Life is growth. But while some people stagnate without experiencing new things, others are content to live as they always have lived. Can opposites stay married? With some patience and creativity, yes.
Break out of the box
Sometimes, you need to be the first one to change up your activities before he comes along. I wanted to take dance lessons, my husband swore from the beginning of our marriage that he does not dance. Period. We sat out many a dance at weddings, parties and clubs as I felt sad not to be able to join in the fun. We watched Dancing with the Stars and even he was impressed by Derek Hough’s skills and choreography. I signed up for a dance class and lo and behold, he actually came with me. He said he saw that dancing is like a courtship ritual (we also watch Nature and Discovery Channel!) and it was too steamy and intimate to let me another man hold me like that. When we had to switch partners, I felt decidedly uneasy with not only holding another man's hands, but seeing my husband hold another woman's hands. My territorial instincts kicked in. We hadn't touched another person of the opposite sex like that in over 27 years. And we did not like it!
Think of fun activities you’d like to do and invite him to come along. Don’t nag or bemoan. Just go. And choose one that he might like to do. He probably won’t be into scrapbooking but he might love to rock climb, kayak or hike. Plan a fun daytrip somewhere new to spark a love of discovery.
Grow it alone
Although you might prefer to grow together in life, sometimes it can be unrealistic when your personalities are different. Don’t put that pressure on each other. Let each other grow at his or her own pace. Encourage each other, applaud the successes, share newfound knowledge. You might not always participate in the same growth activities, but you can delight in what each of you has learned and brought back to the marriage. Enrich each other.
Beware where you seek new thrills
Bored wives, like bored husbands, are ripe for another’s picking. It really isn’t fair that you compare a new man to your husband. Your spouse has had to live with you and all of your faults, quirks and annoyances for years. A new man approaches you with freshness because he hasn’t been saddled with the same relationship and marriage responsibilities. He hasn’t had to worry about the bills, the kids or see you at your worst. He hasn’t had to sacrifice his freedom for family priorities. Your husband has and he’s still here.
Remember what you loved about him
All the things you loved about your mate are still there, nestled deep and dormant under the years of husbandly duties. Remind him. Tell him what you loved and still love about him. Not in a wistful, “I wish you were like that again” type of way. Just sincere adoration. It will stir feelings of his youth.
Of all the challenges that test marriage, the boring marriage is the easiest to fix. An old literature teacher used to say, “If you’re bored, you’re boring.” Instead of blaming your spouse for being boring, put the responsibility for adding excitement to the marriage upon yourself. After all, it’s also your marriage—and your life.