There are so many issues that factor into why the divorce rate is so high and I can agree with most of them. We hear about people growing apart, different goals, different expectations, different communication styles, financial problems, changes in personality, and the list is endless. But the one thing I don’t see is something more basic as to be overlooked, and that is boredom.
It takes me two years of seeing the best and the worst of a person’s behavior and reactions to life’s ups and downs before I decide whether I want a personal relationship with someone. I know this is unusual because most people want to feel settled in a relationship as soon as possible. But I want more than that.
I once heard a woman say that after she has been in a relationship for two years, there’s nothing that they don’t know about each other; everything has already been said and there is nothing new to talk about.
At the time, I thought that this is so sad and couldn’t imagine trying out different partners every two years until you found one who had more than two years of conversation in him.
After speaking to a few thousand men and women, and asking them about their conversations with their spouses, I found out that the woman had a point. Most of them told of coming home from work and asking their spouse “How was your day?” Some of them actually listened to the answer and some of them just asked the question without being interested in the answer.
But, after dinner, one of them sat down and watched TV or brought home office work, or sat on the phone talking to friends or business associates and that was the end of any conversation for the rest of the evening.
Many of these couples said they had grown apart or one spouse had grown and his or her spouse had not kept up. They complained about not being able to communicate on an emotional level without fighting.
The more I listened to these complaints over the years, the more I thought of that woman’s words about how after two years, most people have nothing new to talk about. It’s almost as if they had exchanged résumés and now there was nothing new to discuss.
I came to the conclusion that boredom is the cause of most problems in a marriage. If you’re bored, it might be just a hop, skip, and a jump before you have an affair or troll the online dating sites looking for something to spark your interest.
It just always seemed to me that if you have enough interesting things to keep you occupied, most of the problems that exist in marriages wouldn’t exist because there would always be new challenges to sustain your interest. And, furthermore, when you have new challenges, you bring so much more to the table, that you and your spouse grow together rather than growing apart.