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What To Do When Marriage Is Boring

Bored

If you Google “what to do when marriage is boring”, you’re going to find a whole bunch of websites that suggest some sort of activity to overcome the boredom.  They suggest new experiences, changing routine, rearranging the furniture, or visiting an attraction neither of you has seen before.  The list goes on and on.  

Some of the ideas are creative, others just aren’t realistic (no, we’re probably not going skydiving today), and they all seem very temporary.  They have a lot in common with an addict trying to get their fix; they may relieve the boredom for a bit, but it’ll be back soon enough.

Boredom is a strange, human phenomenon.  It’s strange because two people can have very similar experiences day after day and very different perceptions of boredom.  We usually feel boredom comes “from” things.  We think it comes from a lack of variety or spending too long in a routine.  The reality is that boredom comes from within us; not outside us.

Anyone with pets has seen their animals contentedly go for long stretches of time doing nothing.  They sleep.  They eat.  They look out the window.  They lick themselves.  They play with each other for ten seconds.  Then, they’re worn out and have to sleep again.  Sure, there are times they want to play or be petted, but they don’t come off as “bored”.

Boredom is rooted in a human desire for something more.  When we feel we’ve experienced our current situation and it has nothing new to offer us, the emotional response is what we call boredom.  The first watching of a movie may be exciting.  The fiftieth probably isn’t.  The more used to situations, events, and people we become, the more likely we are to feel they have nothing more to offer us.

Marriage, then, is very vulnerable to boredom.  We commit to having a special relationship with a single, solitary person for the rest of our lives.  That’s a long time.  Eventually, our spouse has heard all our stories from before we met.  Eventually, our quirks and oddities are uncovered, and they stop being cute and novel.  Eventually, you’ve settled into a home together, maybe built a family, established a circle of friends, and developed many routines.  Eventually, many people run out of newness and end up Googling “what to do when marriage is boring”, or worse.  

When was the last time we searched the Internet for “how do I appreciate the stuff I take for granted?” or “how can I feel content instead of complacent?”  Better yet, when’s the last time we asked Jesus these questions in prayer?  When was the last time we considered if we’ve really run out of new things to discover about our spouse, or if we just stopped looking for them?  In short, when was the last time we sincerely reflected on why we feel the way we feel, instead of reflexively trying to make the feeling go away?

The happiest couples find answers to these questions.  Yes, they need to keep their marriage growing, changing, and deepening.  That’s not the same thing as keeping their marriage “spicy” or “exciting”, though.  They don’t need to find a new Netflix series every time they’ve run out of things to talk about!  Happy couples not only look for opportunities to deepen their relationship, but they also look for ways to deepen their appreciation of their relationship.  Gratitude for the person you’ve come to know and comfort being with them are the foundations of contentment.  Contentment is the cure for boredom.

As winter settles in and the pandemic drags on, it’s an ideal time to reflect on what we really want, what will make us happy, and what will make us feel content.  Is it chasing another experience or is it something deeper?  

Maybe that’s something worth discussing with Jesus and with your spouse.

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In our mission statement at CatholicMarriagePrep.com we say: “Agape Catholic Marriage Preparation invites couples to a deeper relationship with each other and with Christ, one couple at a time.  Online, on-demand instruction rooted in Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, combined with personalized mentoring from a trained married couple, builds a foundation for a strong, healthy, Christ-centered marriage between a man and a woman.”  Who does that best serve?   From the very inception of CatholicMarriagePrep.com serving military couples has always been on our hearts, even offering a military discount.

Tara Brooke
28 June 2022

Wow!!!  Yes, that is the correct word to begin this blog post!  I think I am still in shock!  On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus our country just experienced the overturning of an almost 50-year-old law regarding abortion.  Roe vs. Wade was overturned!  

One You May Have Missed

Family Life
Marriage
The other night I was reading this cute book to my daughter before bed called, “I Love You All Year Long.”  It goes through each season of the year, and how the mother loves her child in each season. It’s March here in Colorado, so the idea of swimming and beaches with sandcastles seemed very appealing. Yet, the raking of leaves and hot apple cider on a hayride did not have the same draw. After giving it more thought, I realized that a hayride and hot cider is so exciting and refreshing after a hot summer of drenching in sweat! Currently we are getting a spell of warm weather here and the kids have been playing outside every day, which makes me long for summer. But how exciting was it to get the kids bundled up to go play in the first snow! That’s what I love about the seasons here. They are always changing, which allows us to appreciate the unique opportunities each season presents us with. This is much like the seasons of life that we find ourselves in. Sometimes like spring, they are full of new wonders and are very colorful. But they can also be rainy, keeping us indoors. Sometimes like summer, our lives are very dry, needing constant watering, even though we are busy doing lots of things. In fall, we rake out the dead leaves and really celebrate the changing of seasons. The different colored leaves of autumn are one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! Then come the holidays during the winter, filled with anticipation, parties, and family time. But the days are cold and dark. Every season of life has its ups and downs. Even our spiritual lives reflect these same truths – we have dark nights where we feel far from God, we have spring times of faith when we are filled with hope. Sometimes our prayer is dry and needs lots of water, and other times we rake out the dead of sin and can see the fruit of our efforts. But there is always something we can gain from each season. We need these ups and downs to not take a particular state for granted. If we can recognize these different seasons, we can appreciate what they bring, and look forward to the next change. The only constant, like in the book, is that God loves us in each season of our life. Our goal is to love him back the same in each. At my brother’s wedding several years ago, Fr. Brady opened the Mass with the words, “The only tragedy in life is to not become a Saint.” We will experience tragedy – cancer, death, betrayal, poverty, etc. But redemption and our reward in heaven overcome all of these. On the other hand, missing the opportunity for holiness in each of these trials is the real tragedy, as God offers us grace continuously, no matter the external circumstances. Missing out on an eternity in heaven? That’s the worst. Not feeling like you are a Saint? Neither did many of the saints. A saint is anyone in Heaven, whether the Church has publicly recognized him or her or not.  We are all called to be saints. What do all saints have in common? They never gave up in each season of life. They clung to grace to get back up again when they fell, and they embraced God’s constant love in each of these ups and downs.     

 

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