When we hear someone's marriage is ending we wonder what happened. Was it due to money? An affair? Too much yelling and fighting and not getting along? This are the standard reasons, right?
Well, yes and no. Money is often touted as the number one reason for divorce, along with sex issues (no sex, sex outside of marriage, different sexual appetites) and these are legitimate factors, of course.
But boredom is also very high on the list. The spark is gone, the excitement of being newlyweds is over. You look at the same face day in and day out and you don't become angry or sad; you become...bored.
A study done by the State University of New York at Stony Brook studied more than a hundred Michigan couples (all on their first marriages) and saw that their feelings towards their partners at around 7 years of marriage, tend to steer the course for their futures together. Specifically, feelings of boredom saw a much higher divorce than feelings of excitement and newness.
Another researcher did brain scans on people who had just fallen in love and those who had been married two decades and said they were still as much in love. The area of the brain that shows reward and pleasure (the ventral tegmental area) was markedly similar in both groups.
Marriage therapists recommend not getting too comfortable with your mate. Do things that you normally don't do - take up an exciting hobby together, have sex is different places, take a few days off to go somewhere neither have been to and make an effort to always introduce new things into your life with your partner. It needs to be done throughout the marriage, in order to keep sparks alive and both parties mutually interested. When we say we're bored to death, we don't really mean it but it appears that boredom can definitely see the demise of many a marriage.
If you have been in a relationship of many years, have you found boredom to be more of a problem than fighting or various arguments? How do you keep your relationship exciting after so many years?
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