In one of my favorite television shows, The Golden Girls, the character Sophia would often begin a story by saying, “Picture this…” so use your imagination here. It’s your dining room table, you and your spouse are having dinner. And it happens. After all these weeks of self-quarantine and social distancing, you realize that you can’t think of anything else to say. It hits you—

I’m Bored with my spouse.

How did this happen to us? We were the fun couple. Conversation was always easy for us. We enjoyed a lot of the same things. How and why did things change for us?

For many couples, the beginning of the relationship is full of fun and excitement. We enjoyed activities full of wonder and adventure. Maybe even up to a few months ago (pre-COVID-19), we were going out and hanging out with friends. Now things have changed. I am chomping at the bit to get out again while my spouse seemingly sits there like a bump on a log. I am asking myself the question, when did my spouse get to be so BORING?   

If you are feeling or have felt this way, here are some things to consider. What is it exactly that is making you bored with your spouse in quarantine?

Your Boredom is YOUR problem.

If you look up the multiple definitions of boredom like I did, here is what you may find. Being bored is “feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity.” Another definition of boredom is “an emotional or psychological state when an individual is left without anything in particular to do or is not interested in their surroundings or feels that a day or period is dull or tedious.”  You will notice (in both definitions) that the onus is on the individual and not anyone else, including your spouse. It may be helpful to seek out ways to engage with your spouse. 

Ask questions like:

  • What do you like best about our relationship?
  • Is there something that you would like to try but have been too afraid?
  • What would be your dream vacation?
  • What are some things that you are most thankful for now?

Things have changed.

For many of us, JUST dealing with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to change our priorities. It’s important to acknowledge that our day-to-day lives are vastly different. We are working from home and concerned about our productivity. If we have children, we are schooling them from home and concerned about our capability. With everything in flux, it is normal to want something—your relationship—to stay the same, but this is an opportunity to grow in new ways.

We are spending TOO much time together.

I know that seems counterintuitive. Pre-COVID-19, we felt like ships passing in the night. Now, if I am honest, I want to get off this boat and into a lifeboat ALONE. Give yourself permission to have some time ALONE (reading, exercising, or even vegging out on Netflix). Find ways to nurture yourself, then you can nurture your relationship.

Boredom is a real thing. However, it is your responsibility (if you choose to embrace it) to find ways to avert boredom, or the words of Barney Fife, “Nip it in the bud.” Look inward and ask, “How am I improving the situation or how am I making it worse?” I contend that boredom is a choice and a mindset. Choose to use your boredom productively.

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

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