The Joy of the Boring Marriage

Let’s look at a very controversial topic, which can have a lot of different meanings, depending on the way you define the word “boring.” The most common definition of boring is “a dullness, tedious repetition, or unwelcome attention.”

Studies show that biologically, as a relationship blossoms over time, the butterflies in our stomach head south, the injections of oxytocin subside, and the romance and immense sexual attraction becomes challenged by sleep or even a mediocre piece of chocolate. Yes indeed, if you were to rely on the science of attraction, it would appear that humans were designed for brief sexual interludes, only to move onto the next new and exciting relationship once the fires started to smolder.

But certainly, there has to be some kind of advantage to the familiarity of a partner. There are many articles on the Internet about this subject, and a good portion of them use the word “boring” to describe a relationship that has lost its spark and excitement and which is in trouble. I think a more appropriate word to describe a “good” boring marriage might be “comfortable.” Is there much difference between boredom and comfort? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with your state of mind.

Comfort vs. Boredom

Boredom can come from going to bed at the same time every night; it can be the same kiss when you leave for work and the same hug when you return. It can be saying “goodnight” or “I love you” for the umpteenth time. On the other hand, those who value the safety and security of knowing where each day will begin and end consider the above description a rather comfortable one, and a good comfortable one at that.

Let’s look at it another way. Boredom is also predictability. You know when your partner is lying, you know when they aren’t listening, and you know when they’re about to put those old cheap moves on you because it’s that same time of the week. However, hidden within these actions is also the predictability of stability, support and fidelity. It’s kind of like the difference between a bank and a risky stock investment.

Banking is one of the longest-lived business models in history, functioning off the fundamental rules of predictability. Keeping our money in a bank is a fairly uneventful activity; however, at the end of ten years, you know you can pretty much count on it still being there, and even better, there might be a little extra. Stocks are much more exciting to dabble in, but the more risk and excitement involved, the more likely your money will be long gone before that 10 years are up.

The Drive for Excitement

There are those who claim that they must have risk and excitement to be happy. The status quo is never good enough for them. They are always looking for drama in the form of petty fights or sex outside the relationship. What these people fail to realize is that by breaking the fundamental “boring” rules of marriage, they are risking the safety and security of what makes a mature relationship truly spectacular.

True excitement in a boring relationship comes from the adventures you embark upon beyond the everyday kisses and Saturday night usuals. Such adventures might include owning a pet, raising a family, going on a cruise, skydiving, learning the Argentine tango, or starting your own business together. These are the types of excitement in life that work while still maintaining the fundamental rules and expectations of marriage: honesty, security, and trust.

Comfort, and yes, even boredom, should be what we strive for in a mature relationship, because with the right mindset, you can use this level of stability to take your spiritual and emotional connection to higher levels. It is true that breaking the rules is exciting, but the anxiety and loneliness that often comes after are rarely worth the payoff.

They say slow and steady wins the race, and if you take the time to look around at what you might be calling boring, suddenly those annoying, everyday occurrences might seem like blessings. “Exciting” marriages are passionate, anxious, obsessive, sexual and jealous. “Boring” marriages are honest, secure, stable, communicative and romantic. At the end of the day, which side of the spectrum would you rather be on?

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2 thoughts on “The Joy of the Boring Marriage

  1. jessica

    Eric, this a great article. It’s so painful to watch the effects of our culture on people, in terms of what excitement means. The internet, as fabulous a tool as it is, makes it almost a compulsion for some people, to go elsewhere, beyond their “committed” relationship, for excitement.

    In reality, one’s partner would probably be found to be very exciting by someone else! Realizing that, a person could step back and look at their partner as a package, only partially unwrapped, as indeed they must be! If a person is thinking it would be more exciting to be with someone new, then chances are, they haven’t taken the time to explore their partner lately, and their partner probably doesn’t feel as though revealing their as yet untapped facets, would go over very well.

    I read somewhere, that treating your partner, everyday, as though you’re trying to win them for the first time, can keep a marriage fresh. It really is a matter of perspective, as you suggest, Eric, and having a perspective of one’s partner as someone to win anew, will very likely reveal the delightfulness in both partners!


  2. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    This article has much merit…….

    I’ve seen way too many people exit a marriage because they were ” bored “, ( more women than men actually) , even though they admitted their spouse really did love them……for the excitement and passion of new horizons…..only to regret it a few years later.

    …… To those of you who are feeling bored with your marriage , please think before you leap, it’s much easier to spice up a ” boring ” marriage, than to legally exit and try to make a comeback and rebuild the trust later on .

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500


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