Reviving a Boring Marriage
Sometimes, the only thing wrong with a near-dead, boring marriage is whatever's wrong with your life. And divorce can't fix that.
Marriages need novelty: new things to talk about, new things to do together, new reasons to savor the best moments of our past together.
Overwork, depression, an empty nest, or a new baby can all put us into lockstep mode. So much focus is required just to get through the work. Our old rituals and traditions that got us out of the house and doing things get pushed aside. Our lives, though full, get pretty boring.
And so we have nothing new to bring to our relationship. And we mistakenly believe it will be okay if we bring nothing when we feel we have nothing to bring.
As things grind to a halt, we start to believe our spouses would reject anything we might suggest, because now we're both bored with our lives and the relationship.
But all it takes is a bit of new. New together is nice, but even new on your own can start things rolling again. Find a Meetup on meetup.com. Put the names of three restaurants you've never been to (or three lakes or three museums or three nightclubs) into a hat, then pull one out and go.
Visit an indie bookstore and ask a clerk to help you find a book the two of you would both find interesting. Then buy two copies, so you can read it together, even for just a few minutes a day. Or go to a games store and get a new board game for two. Play it this weekend.
Or sign up for an adult education class. Maybe learn a language together. Or learn to play the ukulele. Anything that gives the two of you something new to talk about or laugh about or a new reason to celebrate some progress.
Think there's no time for anything new? Then get creative. Use paper plates for a week. Seven nights of cleaning dishes is a lot of new free time.
Or send your laundry out this week instead of doing it yourself.
Tell the folks at work you can't work late, because you have a medical appointment: there's no better medicine than time spent getting yourself and your marriage out of rut.
It's an act of love to find something new to add to your relationship, especially when you're depressed or overwhelmed or lost at sea. But it's actually a pretty easy one, probably a lot easier than handling your resentment if you wait for your spouse to make the first move. Just do it!