Remember the excitement you used to feel about your husband? The anticipation of time together was enough to keep you moving through your day. Not to mention the mental notes you’d make about things to tell him or daydreams about what you’d like to do together after the kids went to bed.
If the spark has gone cold and time with your husband has become about as exciting as watching your plants grow, you’re not alone.
Boredom in a relationship, especially in long-term relationships, is extremely common. But being common doesn’t mean it should be acceptable. Without intervention, boredom can act like termites in the framework of your marriage.
So, what can you do to keep the dust from settling on your marriage?
Mistaking boredom for falling out of love is a common pitfall in long-term relationships. It can happen at any age but is particularly prevalent in couples reaching empty nest age or retirement.
When all the things you’d been focusing on – building your life, kids, work, family schedules – change, it’s like you do a slow head turn and really start looking at your husband. And sadly, sometimes what you see, combined with the drastic change in where your energy is now targeted, isn’t the picture you were expecting.
In an ideal world, you see a guy you want to get to know again. You still find him attractive, and you’re excited about the new adventures to come.
But not everyone’s world is ideal, and many women end up frustrated because,
And it seems like you have nothing to do together anymore. In other words, you’re bored, which can make you wonder if you still love him.
Rest assured, boredom and falling out of love are not the same thing, and what you’re feeling is most likely a lack of excitement and a response to the changing landscape of your life together, not so much an indication that you no longer love him.
Remember, what love looks and feels like has seasons, and if you’ve been married a long time, you’ve weathered several already. This one may feel different, but the strongest likelihood is that it’s a relationship winter that can give way to spring with some focused effort.
Many women who feel bored with their husbands wonder if it’s the classic “It’s not you, it’s me” scenario, or if it really is just him.
In other words, are you bored, or is he boring?
As we age, our interests and priorities change, and it’s possible that you and your husband haven’t grown at the same pace or in the same direction. This divergence doesn’t have to be a bad thing, however. It can actually be a springboard into a new phase (exit relationship winter and enter relationship spring).
So, if your interests and desires have changed but your husband’s haven’t, don’t give up. Instead, try casting this situation as a new “get to know you” opportunity.
To truly overcome boredom in your relationship, you’ll also need to consider the other factors that may have led to this point or may make it difficult to get past it. Changes in your life’s circumstances most likely aren’t whyyou’re bored with your husband. They can be, however, a catalyst for seeing where you’ve become disconnected.
The most common factors that create boredom are:
Over the years, couples often settle into patterns, making life feel predictable and monotonous. This can lead to a sense of boredom, as you may feel like you’re experiencing the same things over and over.
Even if your life as a family was anything but routine, that busyness can lead to routine interactions between partners. Get up, deal with your own schedules, handle household business, have dinner together (maybe), and go to bed. Sound familiar?
As you age, your interests and priorities may change. What was exciting or engaging in your earlier years may not hold the same appeal now. This can lead to a disconnect with your partner if your interests have diverged.
Perhaps you’ve developed a passion for Pilates over time, and he likes Grisham novels. Or he golfs, and you play bridge. These things are great, but if they’re done frequently and to the exclusion of your partner, it can lead to boredom when you’re together.
In a long-term relationship you’ve already explored many aspects of each other, and the wonder and mystery might have faded.
There’s a certain comfort in knowing each other so well, but after washing someone’s underwear for years or watching him trim his nose hair (or silently wishing he would), you might feel like there’s such a thing as being too close.
By far, the most common problem when it comes to relationships is issues related to communication. Communication breakdown can lead to a feeling of boredom because, well, you’re not communicating in a way that keeps interest alive or keeps you involved with each other.
External factors, such as work, retirement, health issues, or family concerns, can strain a relationship, making it challenging to focus on the connection with your partner. This may not be boredom per se, but these things can cause you to neglect the emotional connection you should have with your husband, eventually leading to boredom.
One of the best things about being in your 50s, 60s, 70s, etc., is that you should be more comfortable with yourself than you were in your 20s. Don’t get me wrong, we’d all love to recapture youth’s energy and effortless muscle tone, but who wants to fret and play games in a relationship again?
Thankfully, with age really does come wisdom, in most cases, which means you’re capable of a more confident, direct, and possibly bold approach to busting through the boredom.
The first thing you’ll need to do is get your husband’s buy-in on shaking things up a bit. As they say, it takes two to tango, and you can’t make your relationship with your husband more exciting if he doesn’t know what’s happening. (BTW – learning to tango isn’t a bad idea on its own).
Next, consider the suggestions below for blowing the dust off your relationship.
Work together to create a bucket list and challenge each other to fulfill a certain number of items within a specific timeframe.
Collaborate on personal or shared goals, whether a fitness challenge, a business venture, or a creative project. Achieving goals together can be fun and bring you closer.
Write love letters or postcards to each other and mail them, even if you live in the same house. It adds an element of surprise and nostalgia.
Explore your intimate, adventurous side by engaging in role-playing scenarios. Dress up, take on different personas, and act out fun, romantic or sexy scenarios together.
Staying socially active and maintaining a positive outlook are crucial for mental health. Kill two birds with one stone by doing this together. Plan themed social gatherings where friends dress up. For example, have a retro ’60s night, a dress-like-a-millennial night, or a pajama party.
Surprise your husband with a mystery adventure, like a treasure hunt with clues that lead to romantic surprises or hidden gifts.
Create a luxurious staycation experience at home. Transform your house into a spa retreat, complete with massages, a bubble bath, and pampering. Or agree to stay in your pajamas for a day and binge movies or a series you’ve each wanted to watch.
While sleeping in a sleeping bag may seem silly when there’s a perfectly good mattress inside, it can create some novelty and good conversation opportunities by taking things outdoors. So, set up a tent and have a backyard camping adventure. Enjoy a bonfire, roast marshmallows, and stargaze from the comfort of your own outdoor retreat.
This stimulates your mind and opens up opportunities for travel and cultural exploration. Then, you can leave notes for each other or send texts in that language and challenge each other to translate and respond.
Explore your creative side by taking painting, pottery, or woodworking classes together. Even working on restoring a car or doing something to your home can be a very bonding experience.
This is, of course, health permitting. Perhaps even try something bold like paragliding, rock climbing, or white-water rafting if you’re up to it. It’s an excellent way to conquer fears and strengthen your bond.
If you’re entering a new phase of life together, what better way to kick it off and jump-start your relationship than renewing your vows. Make it a surprise vow renewal ceremony and invite unsuspecting friends or keep it intimate with just the two of you. You might even write new vows and reaffirm your commitment to each other.
Beating relationship boredom in your 60s can be exciting and fun. Especially when you embrace unconventional and surprising approaches to keep the spark alive. The only question should be, where are you going to start?
Are you bored with your husband? Is it him, you, or both of you? Have you done anything to shake things up? Please share your experiences and ideas and join the conversation.
Tags Marriage After 60