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Beating Betrothed Boredom

September 10, 2013

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Marriage has a tendency to systemize our lives. It makes it easy to fall into a pattern and causes our lives to become a dull routine. As a couple spends their lives together the things that were new and exciting in the beginning, after a significant amount of time become ordinary. His sweet habit of bringing you a flower every week becomes expected and loses its thoughtfulness. When she started folding and putting the laundry away for you, it touched your heart. Now you only notice when the laundry’s not done or doesn’t make it into the dresser.

Psychologists attribute this to hedonic adaptation. It is the theory that when something changes in our life we quickly get used to it and expect it, creating a new normal. This explains why, not long after winning the lottery, most people are no happier than before they won. It also explains how couples who get trapped in a routine can end up divorcing because of boredom.

As life happens, it is crucial that we learn new ways to reconnect with each other. Having a routine isn’t bad, for example, it is highly recommended that couples regularly schedule date nights and time to talk. The trouble comes when there is monotony during those scheduled times together. If you are taking regular date nights, make sure you aren’t doing the same thing every time. If you enjoy watching movies together, try watching them in different ways: at home, in the theater, at a drive-in, with friends, or at a public screening in the park. If enjoying a dinner out on the town is more your style, try making a list of local restaurants both of you have never eaten at before and then start checking off the list.

Another way to keep hedonic adaptation from negatively affecting your marriage is to simply be appreciative. If you really enjoy receiving that flower every week, make sure you continue to show your appreciation for it. That way it remains something special rather than becoming ordinary.

How do you stay out of the relationship rut?

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