You 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