Yes, it can be a real problem to be bored with one’s spouse. It’s a frequently voiced complaint that therapists hear from their clients. Fortunately, this condition can usually be fixed. Unfortunately, the source of the problem is generally in the last place that you want to look at. That would be at yourself. The very things that initially attracted us to our partner can sometimes, later on, be a source of irritation.
The very qualities that were so magnetic at first can become the problem.
For example, those wonderful qualities of predictability, stability, solidity, dependability, or reliability that they bring into our fragmented and tumultuous life, in time can leave us bored and irritated. That which at one point in a relationship feels like security, at another point feels oppressive. Your partner probably hasn’t changed, and neither have you. Those qualities you initially found so attractive are still there; it’s just that they are less evident to you because your focus is on what you find dissatisfying.
There will always be things about your partner that displease you. And if you’re like most people, you have a belief (call it a fantasy) that if you were with someone else rather than them, someone more interesting, exciting, imaginative, passionate, creative, etc., you would be happier. Not necessarily. If you had really wanted more adventure and stimulation in your life rather than the predictability that your partner brings you, you would have set your sights on that kind of a person. You didn’t make a mistake in your choice of a partner. You chose the kind of person that would fulfill certain needs in your life, some conscious, some not so conscious, and no one, except our fantasy lover, can fulfill all of your needs. You have the ability to change the quality of your experience even if he or she never becomes your fantasy partner.
Consider these possibilities as the solution:
Stop focusing on what you don’t like about them.
Start focusing on what it is that you love and appreciate, particularly those qualities that you initially found attractive and those that make your life easier and more comfortable than it would have been without them.
Take responsibility for how we deal with the reality in front of us. If we can’t change a situation, then we are challenged to change the way we think about and respond to it. Sometimes boredom can result from repressed anger and resentment that hasn’t been acknowledged or communicated. When we move from the dis-empowered position of wishing and hoping that the other person would change, and, we can look inside to see if there are some truths that are waiting to be spoken that could bring more vitality into a flat relationship.
Pay attention.Boredom can be a manifestation of not paying sufficiently close attention to something.
Stay current:If we check to see if we might have taken a snapshot of our partner and put in it the photo album years ago, we might find that we are still gazing at the same old page. We have the option of looking through fresher eyes to see if our partner has made any changes and if so to not only acknowledge them to ourselves.
Don’t keep your appreciation to yourself; share it with them. Don’t let a day pass without speaking your gratitude. Don’t be surprised if your words of acknowledgment don’t actually seem to change the way your partner is or at least the way that you see and feel about them. Expressing your gratitude will deepen your experience of appreciation and bring out more of the best of your partner.
Do your own work.People who are bored are often bored with their own lives. Are there unfulfilled dreams that you haven’t made an effort to realize? Are you making excuses for what you don’t have in your life rather than going after it? What actions have you been unwilling to take that could possibly lead to a higher level of excitement or passion in your life? Quit boring yourself with your complaints and get out there and start taking some risks in life. Get clear about the things that you want to do before you die, and start doing them, rather than complaining about your partner or making excuses as to why you can’t do what you really want to do.
It’s just possible that if you do some or all these things your relationship and your life, in general, will become less boring and more exhilarating. It might also become more challenging and stimulating. But who knows? You might get to enjoy living on the edge. And when your partner sees how much fun you’re having, they might decide to come along and join you. You never know.
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