Can Boredom End A Marriage?

A friend pointed us to an article by Heidi Stevens of the Chicago Tribune headlined “Till Tedium Do Us Part”.  Here are some short quotes from the article.

Up to 60 percent of divorces in the United States, in fact, stem from “low-conflict” marriages, Haag writes in her book, citing a study by marriage researcher Paul Amato. Marriages that aren’t marred by abuse, addiction, repeated infidelity or other “high-conflict” issues, in other words, actually account for the majority of divorces.

 There’s rarely a singular tipping point,…

More often it’s a slow erosion toward cohabitating strangerdom.

Basically, we stop paying attention to each other.

“The ambient noise of life takes over,” Hallowell says. “There’s no big conflict; couples have just lost touch with each other, lost the fun, lost the moments of sustained attention because we live surrounded by this buzz.”

“It’s very fixable,” says Hallowell. “We just need to re-create some boundaries by reserving some time for each other and not giving in to the seduction and distraction of modern life.”

That may mean turning down worthwhile opportunities.

“We’re victims of our own enthusiasm,” he says. “Turn down the committee you’d love to serve on. Turn down the team you’d love to coach. Turn down the good things — great things — that are not time-wasters at all, but when you have too many of them, they choke out the intimacy.”

Read the complete article here.

We often see the effects of the busy-ness of couples’ lives.  They work long hours, have to drop the kids at school and pick them up.  It’s a hassle even to cook a meal.  The kids need help with their homework.  On weekends there is cleaning and grocery shopping to get done and kids’ activities to attend.  Many couples have a parenting style that doesn’t allow for any time away from the children – no babysitters, sometimes not even grandparents.  All of these things make it very difficult to find time to be together to focus on each other.  We recommend that every couple take some time on a regular basis to be together in an environment without children, jobs and the distractions of phones, media  or sports to just be together and have time to be present to each other.  We recommend a quiet dinner for two, an overnight at home or in a hotel without the kids or a parish enrichment program that will give some input on how to be better together.

Do you see elements of your life that keep you from having fun together, being playful and enjoying some of the things that brought you together and caused you to want to be married?

Tell us what you think.  Leave a comment.


About Rita & Bob Boeke

Rita Boeke has experience teaching scripture and with her husband Bob has experience in enriching marriages through workshops and retreats. They post a weekly blog at and co-authored Forever and a Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage that Lasts a Lifetime.
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