“My life is a mess. Fours years ago I married my partner. I’m in love with him but lately I’ve become frustrated, bored and don’t have much interest in anything. Everyone else around me is happy and I’m not.” Belinda 32
Relationships require the willingness of two people to be committed to loving, learning, and challenging each other. I’ve read numerous articles on abusive relationships, but little of the less sinister, and that being the disappointment of being in a thrill-less union.
Most of us have, at some point, found ourselves trapped in a relationship rut. It’s frustrating, depressing and drains our spirit. Feeling like you’re stuck in a relationship is no laughing matter.
Through my work with clients who are caught in ruts –particularly career or relationship ruts – I’ve found that often, the relationship isn’t the actual problem; the problems are the mental blocks that prevent us from being innovative and welcoming new ideas into our relationship and lives.
A question I like to ask clients is, “Are you tired of each other or are you tired of the life you’ve both created together?” Because if you feel the day to day workings of your relationship are as predictable as the sun will rise in the morning, then chances are you’re stuck in a boredom rut.
What’s a boredom rut?
A boredom rut is a sign that you’ve moved from the “honeymoon phase” and into a more “comfortable phase” of the relationship. Not surprisingly, guilt and boredom are the two biggest killers of a seemingly perfect union.
Why am I stuck in a boredom rut?
As human beings, we tend to fall into predicable patterns of thinking, being and relating. We follow the same routines and create the same situations over and over again. It’s to make life easy, but it can keep us comfortably trapped.
If you are bored in the relationship, then the first question to ask yourself is: why am I really bored? What are the reasons behind why I get bored with my partner? And most importantly what do I want to do about it?
The reason I mention this is that most lovers ignore the signs, go into denial or look for love elsewhere. Reason being they don’t want to upset their partner, feel humiliated or rejected, or start an argument. So rather than taking a risk, they lack the motivation and enthusiasm to reconnect with their partner.
If you are finding your relationship uninteresting, you should address your feelings of shame and guilt first. Seek to understand why, and be open to new ideas, risk-taking or trying something different.
Here’s 3 ways to get out of your boredom rut:
- It’s time to listen. - In the early phase of your relationship, I imagine you both listened intently to one another. You were probably not even aware that you were both hanging on to each and every word. You’d never tie of hearing each other’s voice because you were both so invested in the desire to understand one another.
Now, conversations take too long, are about trivial things, and you’re not interested in the other’s opinion. It’s easy to find talking boring, but it’s the little things that count. Creating time for listening can involve making your partner aware of the best times to talk, and making yourself free of distractions. It shows your partner how much you love, respect and value them.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. – Ellen Parr
- Be aware of how your past impacts the present. – Our unfinished business or unresolved childhood hurts can be at the root of boredom. We each carry these unresolved feelings of rage, abandonment, anxiety, grief, and hatred from past experiences that have not been fully expressed and experienced. We can harbour feelings of neglect from our parents, which forms the basis for beliefs of how a relationship “should” be, and must be fulfilled by your partner.
As an adult, you are completely unaware of these feelings, which give rise to present day self-sabotaging behaviours, negative mindsets and compulsions that are carried into the relationship. Therefore, boredom can be used to distance yourself from full awareness of any unpleasant feelings like anger, disappointment or hurt, and to fully express them to your beloved, which leads to repressed emotions that, over time, manifest into physical illness.
Boredom is the fear of self. – Marie Josephine de Suin
- Let’s talk about sex baby – There’s a saying, A Hard Man is Good to Find. If you are more interested in keeping warm than warming your partner, then you could be stuck in a love making rut. Getting the passion back starts with an agreement to make a few changes around your lifestyle in order to increase physical intimacy or to simply move it higher on the priority list. Spice things up by breaking any routines and rules to create a new sexual adventure. For example, you could both share your sexual fantasies or make special time together by leaving work early, and making time in the evening.
Why not look back on your most intimate moments with your partner, such as those early days of courtship? Reviewing your first videos together or looking back through old photos could give you some clues as to what you first enjoyed about each other.
The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits. – Albert Camus, The Plague
Many relationships fizzle not because of what is said, but because of what is not said. There is no need to continue to sit in silence with feelings of anger, resentment and self pity.
Make it your mission to address the boredom in your relationship, to reawaken the curiosity, adventure, and love you once had for each other.
How do you make time to communicate with your partner? Tell us in the comments!