There's No Good Reason for Feeling 'Meh' in Marriage

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boredom in marriageYou know those curmudgeony guys who have been married for years, who like to joke around about not needing their wives or being better off without their wives or envying the bachelor life? They think they're sooo funny. They're the kinds of guys who will say something like, "You have two choices -- be married and bored or single and lonely."

Agh. Now, I know that being 27 and unmarried -- albeit in a long-term relationship for 4.5 years -- may render me a bit naïve, but I strongly believe that you do not have to choose between these two dreary fates. And to think that that's all there is is nothing but a pessimistic, crotchety perspective. 

Yes, being with the same person for years has the tendency to get humdrum no matter how much you love each other. Even if you're blissfully happy, boredom can creep in when you're least expecting it. 

In fact, a new study even found that 65 percent of marriages end in divorce because couples found married life "mediocre." It's like a whole generation of "semi-happy" spouses said "I do," and then without much ado, decided that being Mr. & Mrs. just felt ... meh.

And I get it, but at the same time, it feels like we're all being a little lazy, no? Or we have the attention spans of fleas? I mean ... what did these semi-happy couples think marriage was going to be? A trip to the amusement park 24/7/365? It's not. I know our Boomer parents screwed up, so they're kind of useless as role models, but did we learn nothing from our grandparents' generation? Marriage is not easy. It's hard work, it's good some days and great others and crappy at times, and it's certainly not a constant adrenaline rush. In fact, that adrenaline rush wears off pretty quickly.

But so what? You're bored? Okay -- fix it! That's what commitment is about. Making it work -- as a team. Setting up and putting off those fireworks again and again. Because they're not going to do it themselves like they did in the beginning, but that's okay, because you have someone to love and who loves you back, who you can trust, come home to, have children with, share memories and milestones with. If having a lifetime of love and partnership constitutes boredom, fine, but when you're with the right person, I would think you'd find same old-same old to be pretty amazing.

It seems to me those wife-loathing Al Bundys of the world are actually more content acting miserable about marriage. Otherwise, I think they'd make their own happiness and decide whether or not to be bored in long-term love.

What's your take -- do people have control over boredom in marriage or is it inevitable?


Image via Rolands Lakis/Flickr

love, marriage, commitment

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cdeck... cdecker83

"But so what? You're bored? Fine -- fix it! That's what commitment is about. Making it work -- as a team. Setting up and putting off those fireworks again and again. Because they're not going to do it themselves like they did in the beginning, but that's okay, because you have someone to love and who loves you back, who can trust, come home to, have children with, share memories and milestones with."


I agree with this completely.  Marriage is not a fairy tale, it's work.  But so is everything else in life that is worth doing.  People give up too easily I think.

Becky Berkley Dublin

Yeah but it's not that simple. It's not like it got meh over night and they woke up and said "Forget this. I'm bored. Bye!" Surely, attempts are frequently made to spark things up. But if you've grown apart and the attemps aren't fixing it, divorce could be the best option to make everyone happy. It's not so black and white.

lovin... loving_my_hero

I have to agree. There's no good excuse for just giving up. I get that extreme situations do happen, but for the most part people are just lazy and searching for instant gratification.

Wheep... Wheepingchree

It's not as easy as saying people are just lazy and want instant gratification - isn't that what our world has become? From instant downloads and instant conversations with people that live on the other side of the planet to instant shopping. It's what's become of our society. And yes, our boomer parents DID screw up! You tell me how easy it is to understand something as big as marriage when you didn't grow up around it. As for our grandparents generation, all I've learned is that their marriage was filled with grandpa getting his instant gratification, while grandma did her wifely/motherly duties, just because it was what was expected of her. So why can't that change? I've been with my husband for 5 yeara, married for 1 & we've been on hiatus for bit over 6 months, seeing other people. Why? Because after living together for all of our relationship, having a child, and having less than zero time to focus on us, we've lost the spark. It's too many factors to lay it out just that people are lazy and have no committment values. I liked this article, I don't think my generations marriage/relationship values are discussed enough.

Beths... Bethsunshine

There is NO excuse for boredom in marriage!! You have to WORK at keeping the spark alive! Set aside time to be alone. The kids won't self-destruct if you leave them with a sitter for a little while. I've been married for 15 1/2 years and we have a date night at least once a month, sometimes more if we can swing it. We went away to a jacuzzi cabin for the weekend for our 15th anniversary, and my kids were saying they were jealous that we were going someplace with a jacuzzi, and we told them " Be glad that Mommy and Daddy love each other enough to spend time together and celebrate our anniversary."  My husband works rotating shifts,and up until about a month ago, was literally working 7 days a week and we still found time to be together. If your relationship is a true priority, you WILL find ways to keep the spark alive.

Rumsita Rumsita

While I agree that some people give up too easily, I also agree that it is not so black & white.  Sometimes only one spouse is willing to put forth effort to make it work.  If only one person is willing to do the work, it is no longer a partnership.  The one willing to put forth effort cannot pick up the spouse's slack by doubling their efforts.  It simply doesn't work that way.


I know I have a long way to go - DH and I have been married for over 3 years, together for nearly 7, but I feel I learned a lot about what not to do in marriage from my parents.  They divorced, but to me it is obvious that they were never very compatible anyway.  For them, divorce did make both happier.  I see my DH and I as much more compatible than my parents ever were, but I know that we need to make our relationship a priority in order for things to keep working out.

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