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Bored with Your Husband? How to Keep Dust from Settling on Your Marriage

By Kurt Smith November 06, 2023 Family

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. 

Now? Meh. 

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? 

Does Being Bored with My Husband Mean I Don’t Love Him?

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,

  • He doesn’t want to do anything “fun.”
  • He doesn’t like talking. 
  • He’s content watching TV, surfing the internet, or putzing around the garage, workshop, garden, etc.

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. 

Is It Him or Me? Why You’re Bored with Your Husband

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:

Routine and Predictability

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?

Changes in Interests

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.

Lack of Novelty

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. 

Communication Breakdown

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 Stressors

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. 

12 Boredom Busters That You’re Old Enough to Try

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.

Create a Bucket List Challenge

Work together to create a bucket list and challenge each other to fulfill a certain number of items within a specific timeframe.

Set New Goals Together

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

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.

Host Themed Social Gatherings

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.

Create a Mystery Adventure

Surprise your husband with a mystery adventure, like a treasure hunt with clues that lead to romantic surprises or hidden gifts.

Do a Monthly Staycation Retreat

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. 

Camp in Your Backyard

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.

Learn a New Language Together

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. 

Consider Artistic Endeavors

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.

Engaging in Sports

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.

Renew Your Vows

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?

Let’s Have a Conversation:

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.

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Holly Ann Thyagarajan

Yes I’ve been bored awhile . Married 35+ years , i’m 57 and hubby is 63 … with two adult children. Was reassuring to read about the difference between boredom and falling out of love. So far , its definitely the former , and i shall try to be more kind and understanding …. not everyone is bubbling with energy and a desire to dance all night ! Things change , people change , we change … a big tick to the peacefulness of home that i have always enjoyed with this man.

Dr. Kurt Smith

Hi Holly, Boredom can turn into not feeling in love if we don’t do something about it. So, I’m glad to see you’ve chosen something to work on improving. You’re right about change, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s over or can’t work. Consistent effort is the key. Thanks for commenting. -Dr. Kurt


We were planning a vow renewal but I ended up stopping it as the tensions of planning it led me to realize that I was actually very unhappy with the lack of attention to our marriage by my husband for the past few years.

Our approach to all the emotional upheaval was to take time away from one another for a month, which lowered the emotional temperature. When we got back together and tallness about things he was ready to explore counseling, which I had already started.

What does this have to do with boredom? Basically it gave him the kick in the butt he needed to get out of his rut and jumpstart our relationship again. For men and women who are retired and lack purpose and vision, it can lead to a ‘desultoriness’ that saps one’s vitality. This has a huge impact on a relationship.

The source of boredom can be deeper than just being too comfortable in your ruts, though for many that’s all it is. It takes energy to get out of it either way.

Dr. Kurt Smith

Hi Ava, Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to hear separating for a month had such a positive effect. Many people are too scared to try it, but I believe we need to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the “kick in the butt” needed to bring about change. -Dr. Kurt

The Author

Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director at Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching and works with men and the women who love them. He is an expert in understanding the unique relationship challenges facing couples today. Check out his weekly tips on Facebook or Twitter.

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