Can a Boring Marriage Recapture Its Spark?

We tend to joke about how marriage gets boring after a few years. But it’s actually no laughing matter.

Researchers have found that boredom may be even more damaging to a marriage than conflict is. Psychotherapist and a bestselling author Esther Perel even sees a link between boredom and infidelity:

When you pick a partner, you pick a story, and that story becomes the life you live. … And sometimes you realize, after years of living those parts of you, that there are other parts of you that have virtually disappeared. The woman disappeared behind the mother. The man disappeared behind the caregiver. The sensual person disappeared behind the responsible person.

And there is an expression of longing and yearning. Longing for connection, for intensity, for a sense of “aliveness,” which is really the word that many people all over the world would tell me when they are having an affair. They don’t talk about sex and excitement and titillation, actually. … What they say is they feel alive — as in vibrant, vital; as in a reclaiming of something that had gotten lost.

And what is boredom if not the opposite of aliveness?

What Makes You Feel Alive?

If you have kids, I bet you invested in classes, camps or other activities for them this summer — and not just to keep them supervised while you were at work. You wanted them to learn, to try new things, to have experiences that would enrich who they are.

As good parents, we do this for our kids. But we often neglect to do the same thing for ourselves. But, just like your kids, you need to stretch, grow and have new experiences. And your marriage will be better when you do.

So now that the kids are back in school, what’s one thing you can do that makes you feel more alive? This doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Revive your yoga practice. Take an online class. Make a list of things you’ve never done in your town, and start doing them. Reconnect with a friend you love spending time with. Whether you do something as a couple or on your own, you’ll be bring some new energy into your relationship. Over time, that energy multiplies, and boredom vanishes.

Are you looking for more ways to keep the spark in your relationship even after you’ve been married for years? Pick up a copy of my book Strong Women, Strong Love.