Inside His Head: Wife is “bored” with her husband

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Dear Inside His Head husbands,

I know this is a problem, so I really want some help. I feel “bored” in my marriage and even when I try to do something new or suggest a trip (for example), I still can’t seem to enjoy my husband the way I did when we first got married. I knew the relationship would change over time, but I didn’t think it would be like this. I really want to make my marriage better, but I’m just not happy with the way things are right now. What could I do to turn things around?

greg1.thumbnailGRAY: There’s an expression you may have heard: The honeymoon’s over.

I dare say nearly everyone goes through a period where all the anticipation of things to come has turned into not anticipating anything to come.

If yours is a fairly new marriage (fewer than 5 years), your present life may lack the excitement of chasing each other, including all the time with friends and the anticipation of the marriage and honeymoon.

You may feel like a kid who’s looked forward to Summer Vacation all school year, but then only sits around bored in their room all day whining about how there’s nothing to do.

The reality is that you can’t enjoy your husband the same way you used to because both of you have grown and changed. What you need to find is how to keep the love growing as well. Everyone knows how thrilling puppy love can be, but you’re heart’s not going to go pitter pat forever. Some people confuse that change as no longer loving their spouse, but it is not.

Keep your relationship as real and important as you think it ought to be. Are your nights becoming sweat pant and TV events? Do you give each other tired-from-work glances? Do you spend more time complaining about what’s wrong instead of what’s right? Your life becomes what you let it become. If you’re not comfortable with it then you need to make things more intimate or more about each other instead of all that other stuff that doesn’t really matter much.

It may help to think of it as you might a job.

If you don’t have goals to achieve, projects to create, and, most importantly, finding joy along the way then anyone can get bored with showing up to the daily grind. Improve each other, challenge yourselves and celebrate the victories and your complacency with each other will surely diminish.

MICHAEL: I don’t think this is an uncommon problem. We each change over time. Some of us more than the others.

We can both get into patterns of behavior that make us unattractive to each other. I think the key here is to be honest with your husband about your feelings. He needs to know there is a problem so that you can address it as the couple you are and not just you as an individual.

If there are particular things in the relationship that are causing you to feel the way you are, call them out specifically without making it a personal attack on your husband. You can’t make it a gripe list. Make sure that you can provide an alternative behavior that you’d like to see from him.

If there’s conflict during this activity or you can’t reconcile the issues and get to a common resolution, please see a marriage counselor. Boredom can usually be worked through if the both parties can get the focus back on the appropriate things in the relationship.

If you really don’t know why you are feeling the way you are, then please go to a counselor to talk through your issues. The underlying problem might not be your husband at all.

MAVERICK: It sounds like you’re more unhappy with yourself than with your husband.

Expectations are dangerous things. They rarely work out like we expect and the end result is often irrational feelings of disappointment. You don’t say what those expectations are or imply that your husband knows them and has chosen not to work toward them.

Instead what you seem to be describing is feelings of pretty broad and vague unease.

It may depression. I’d consider talking to your doctor. Depression is not to be fooled with. Seek help. If you’re positive depression is not the issue, I’d say you need to do some soul searching and focus on yourself, not your husband. He’s not responsible for your happiness.

Our spouses exist to support us and help us to be our best, to be happy and fulfilled but they’re not responsible for that. We are responsible for our own well-being. So, decide what makes you happy and pursue it.

Go back to school, write a book, get back in shape, try stand-up comedy, talk long walks, read more, try out for a play. Do something.

Begin your life as a married woman as a woman who is responsible for her own mental well being. Start the journey. Build a wonderful life. Let your husband help. Just don’t expect him to do all the heavy lifting.

♥ If you’d like to send a question to our panel of anonymous husbands, email us at mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com. We’ll pass it along to the guys.