Contrary to popular belief, women are the ones who get bored in a marriage, not men. This is according to a new study on relational boredom in the journal Personal Relationships. Interestingly enough, the same doesn’t go for non-married dating couples. In those instances, unmarried men are the ones who check out of the relationship first.
One theory is that unmarried women “might experience less boredom because they can more readily extricate themselves from a relationship once boredom sets in,” says Unniversity of Winnipeg psychologist Beverley Fehr. But once you tie the knot, that readily available escape route all but disappears, which I can imagine causes some high levels of stress and anxiety a feeling I’m all too familiar with.
The 88 couples in the study were asked about their relationships, and the answers included almost 70 varying descriptions of boredom. “The relationship feels like a chore” was a popular choice among the descriptions that the married women picked. As if that weren’t bad enough, women also described their relatonships as dull, lacking fun and conversation and being devoid of romance, according to the “Relational Boredom Scale.”
What can you learn from this study? Sorry to break it to you, but the answer isn’t “never get married.” While it may seem like an obvious excuse to cop out of marriage, the truth is that boredom is just one of many possible obstacles couples face in relationships Fehr sites “conflict, betrayal and selfishness” as a few others.
But here’s the thing: for every negative in a relationship, there are a million positive components as well. You just have to decide for yourself if the positives outweigh the negatives, and if your answer is yes, then it’s important to make a very consious effort to work at fixing the negatives… but only if it’s worth it. If it’s not, then you’re probably with the wrong guy.