We are an ADHD society. Admit it! Don’t be scared! Put the Red Bull down. Throw out your “5 Hour Energy Drink.” Go easy on the B supplements and give your back an ole fashion stretch. Let out the anger, the frustration, the exhaustion. That’s right…you are a married person.
You have put up with the ebb and flow of life and your partner’s wishes. You have learned to love or tolerate activities your other half adores, and you are still coming up empty. You proudly display your addiction to coffee and thanks to the commercialization of it you actually look pretty trendy with your latte in-hand. Problem…it isn’t working. No amount of caffeine can resuscitate you back to the old you…the version of YOU you never wanted to leave behind.
You love your partner and wouldn’t want anyone else. You might even love your job, your kids behavior, and the way your spouse communicates their admiration for you…but there is still something missing. That special ingredient that came abundantly to the both of you during the courting stage and is now only represented by late-night cable specials and People Magazine. Where is the excitement? Where is the commitment to never being like your parents? Where is the commitment to try and do different activities with your partner…not even caring about the actual activity, but spending time with your loved one. The answer can be a bit mystical just like the origins of love…often snatching you when you least expect it…Exhilarating during courtship—Painful during the day-to-day routines of relationships.
And…unbeknownst to you…your life has gone the way of a chain gang on I-75 (Please insert your favorite boring stretch of local highway). Your life went, without your knowledge, to the hardware store…purchased various sized shovels and proceeded to did a trench a mile long and a 1/2 mile wide!
How could your life go and do something like that? It is almost as if you are living your own personal “Shawshank Redemption“ only this time Andy’s behind-the-poster dig-out wasn’t for your freedom. It was more like someone declawed you and you are stuck pining for the tree tops. You want out of this rut NOW!
For some of you…boredom may gently take your hand and steer it in another’s direction. For others you will go into a slow and painstakingly long coma. You won’t veer off course to see if other pastures offer renewed excitement…no no…you are in it for the long haul.
You are committed to understanding yourself, your partner and the path laid before you and your marriage. You remain curious to life’s idiosyncrasies and actually don’t consider your marriage to ever be in a rut…rather in a different and evolved space.
Either way, individuals and couples will find themselves having to evaluate, place judgment, and make plans accordingly. In a perfect world that is. You see…so many of us are terrified of conflict, of hurting others, and of placing ourselves in the throes of abandonment. So what we do is repress. We repress our feelings, our thoughts, our concerns, and wishes. We go into protective mode and actually find a degree of comfort in our personal bunker or behind our personal electric fence. We really don’t want to bring up our dissatisfaction with the marriage for fear that we will not be able to hold up our end of the New Deal.
And…what if, after you try to put a bit of spunk into your marriage you actually find no real bump in your marital stock? What if your bailout plan struggles to show anything more than inflated credit card statements from dinners and movies neither one of you enjoyed? The short answer is…you will never know unless you try. You will never know why it is that your marriage has put up shop in the village of Boredom U.S.A. and you will never know or understand your role in its current state.
In fact, the only real method of understanding whether or not you are experiencing full fledged boredom is to honestly and accurately evaluate what YOU are contributing…both to the good and the bad.
Are you in the middle of a mid-life crisis? Are you feeling regret for career missteps? Have you put the time and effort in to better understand your spouse? Can you honestly say that you communicate your wants and needs to your partner? Can you honestly say that you are proud of your commitment to your spouse? Have you given as much thought and attention to your marriage as you have of your career?
If you can honestly say that you have given the effort, communicated your wants and needs…and those of your spouses, spent the time participating in their activities and you still feel a sense of boredom…well then you need to put on the detective hat for yourself and maybe even seek out professionals who can help guide you along the path of self-reflection.
Life is not easy and to expect that marriage will save the day is foolish. Yes, the beginning can be magical and guess what…so too can the middle and the end. The problem most people have is that they focus on their partner of yesterday, set up expectations and patterns, and then expect them to never change. We all change our likes and dislikes. Our energy levels wane throughout the years as our mind and body meet up with ole Father Time…but that doesn’t have to mean our marriages have to wither up and die. We can find out new and exciting things about our partners and even more importantly…ourselves!
What it truly says, for those of you still looking for a mate, is that you want to find someone that celebrates your imagination, your creativity in all of its forms of expression…because days will come when what you loved or were stimulated by suddenly change for another hobby, job, or hair style and you want someone that roots you on along the way.
If you can do that you will feel closer to your partner, younger than ever, and vibrant for all of the wonderful adventures ahead. Spirited love doesn’t have to mean rock climbing or co-ed volleyball or even displays of affection that channel champagne and jazz music from yesteryear. Love that is spirited can be as simple as a crossword puzzle, coffee and CBS Sunday Morning on in the background. It can be walks in the park, holding hands in the mall or even silence as you each read your favorite book. Sharing your life with someone is just that…sharing. The ups and downs, the exciting, the scary, the unknowing, and the quiet of life.
Branch out, reach out, and ask out your spouse. Remind them of the person you were, are, and want to be. Share your fears, your enthusiasm, and ultimately your passion for watching both of you grow. If that is boring then I don’t know what fun is!
All the Best!