Can This Marriage Be Saved? I’m Bored With My Husband

March 4, 2011 at 11:11 am , by

m_101210966It’s not tough to understand why those early years of marriage – the child-free, travel-ready, never-too-tired-for-sex ones – could be the happiest of all your wedded years. According to new research from Britain’s Understanding Society, older couples are far less content in their unions than younger ones, and young, childless couples are happiest of all. Not really shocking stuff. But what happens when you hit those middle-of-the-road years and find yourself a bit . . . bored? That’s the case for Emily, a 36-year old schoolteacher and mother of two who’s been married to Joe, 40, for 15 years, in this week’s story.

Emily’s turn Her husband is total dullsville. He used to have interests like reading and woodworking and took her on romantic trips on the spur of the moment, but now he’s so focused on running his insurance business and taking care of their house that he does nothing else. She’s not attracted to him anymore, since he’s gained some weight and wears old-man clothes, so they rarely have sex. Her close friend, Deb, is getting a divorce and moving across the country, and Emily’s jealous of her freedom and daydreaming about leaving, too. Joe was her first and only boyfriend and she married him at 21, mostly to escape her overbearing parents that clearly favored her older brother. And she’s bored with work, too: She never wanted to be a teacher but took the job to please her parents. They’ve always been an issue for Joe, who thinks they control his wife. Either way, Emily just can’t find any redeeming qualities in her husband anymore.

Joe’s turn He’s insulted that his wife thinks he’s a bore and angry that his hard work and devotion to his home aren’t enough to keep her happy. He thinks it’s ridiculous that her happiness depends on whether or not he has a hobby, and also says she’s hypocritical because she doesn’t have many interests herself. He feels Emily needs to accept that they’re not single anymore and they have jobs and responsibilities, and wants her to get rid of this divorcee friend who’s clearly a bad influence. He can’t stand her parents and thinks they’re manipulative and mean and he’s lost respect for his wife because she complains about them but won’t do anything about the problem. He’s not mad at her for disliking him, just heartbroken, and he wants to save their marriage if she can change her attitude.

The counselor’s side The root of Emily’s boredom wasn’t Joe; it was her own unhappiness with herself. She was, in classic psych-speak, “projecting.” She fixated on his petty faults to explain her misery. Her parents were narcissists and nothing could please them, so she had to learn to stop trying and start standing up to them when they criticized or bullied her. Emily deeply regretted not following her desired career path, so she went back to school to study library science and became a school librarian, which greatly improved her satisfaction with her life and marriage. Joe had also lost his joy for things he used to love and focused on household chores as a way to avoid his wife, so he started making efforts to get back into his old hobbies, and the couple went out on dates alone. As they grew happier with themselves and closer as a pair, their sex life picked up, too, and they felt like newlyweds again.

Your turn! Do you think your husband is a bit dull? Do you miss activities you used to enjoy? Would you ever leave your marriage out of boredom?

19 Responses to “Can This Marriage Be Saved? I’m Bored With My Husband”

  1. I’ve been struggling with the thought of me unhappy with my life choices or me being unhappy in my marriage. I used to be very ambitious, out going, and enthusiastic. Here lately, my motivation has left, I think it has a lot to do with being bored in my marriage. My husband stays in the house doing nothing. He never wants to do anything with me. He makes me feel very unattractive, but when I go out I receive a lot of attention from other men. I must say it causes me to lust over them or think about prior relationships were I once felt adored. We never have sex unless I initiate it and that caused self esteem issues for me. I’m lost and don’t really know what to do. I usually work a lot, but now I’m on winter break and the reality of an unhappy life is eating me apart.

  2. Ive been unhappy with myself for some time now. I realize that this comes from within. I also feel that factors in my marriage contribute to bordom, unhappiness etc. Our tenth anniversary is approaching and we were both previously married. I had 4 children and he had two from our other marriages. We added a son and a daughter together. Our son died as an infant. Our daughter is 8 years old. My husband is self empoyed and has many ups and downs in his business. Our income has never been steady and while one month we may take in 25,000 there are months that go by taking 0 in. It’s very hard to live on this budget. I considered my husband a social drinker, I no longer consider him that. He drinks daily and usually begins in the mid-afternoon. Beer and Vodka are his choice of beverage. Having a home based office has allowed him to have his desk right next to a refrigerator. He dives into the computer screen and in fact has three and if you count the browser on his phone then four internet sites open and browsing at one time. He face-time chats and msn chats with multiple people at one given time. If there is a subject that comes up and he begins to ponder it, it’s not long and his internet research becomes obsesive over it. He get’s up early, about 5:30-6 and is out in the office absorbed in the computers typically until 8:00-10:00 each day. He’s started a new hobby, learning to fly an airplane. Spending time away from the “screen” long enough to fly as often as he can at $150.00 and hour with an instructor, hence spending up to $2000.00 a week on flying.
    Any time that is spent with us (his family) he is either trying to talk about flying, airplanes or his business issues and meanwhile he is staring at his smart phone the entire time reading emails tweets, Linked in info or facebook.
    I’m not anywhere near perfect and contribute to this “boring” marriage, at this point I am just trying to survive this lonlienss. Bottom line though is I’m bored, loney, angry, and just plain sick of it. I have been divored and do not want to go there again. I am fed up with my children and myself living in this type of envorinment though.

  3. I have been married for six years and my husband is 13 years younger. At first, everything was wonderful and everyday was a honeymoon. We had great sex and we even held hands to sleep. We went out and had fun, and sometimes it even seemed like there was no age difference at all. But with every years passing, things got worse and worse. Around the house, he frowns all the time and we sit down to eat and not speak a word, but when he’s around his friend, his smile goes from ear to ear and you can’t get him to shut up. I don’t look forward to sex anymore with him…and sometimes I even pretend to be asleep, just so he doesn’t even try. He’s always making stupid choices, that make me angry, cause I know he can be better than that. He drinks and when I tell him to please not to, he lies to my face and says he’s not. he drives while he is drinking and even drinks all day at work. I find myself bored with this man I married 6 yrs ago. I am 43 and I really don’t want to start all over again with someone else….but I also do not want to continue with this stupidness. I feel I am wasting my time with him, and know that if I had a job that I could pay my bills and pay rent with, I would not have continue living like this. I never thought that at 43 I would be so tired of it all. :(

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  10. Let me start by saying I love my husband very much. We have had some rough times the past 2 years since we got married, and there were times I felt like I wanted to quit, but was too lazy to even consider the overwhelming prospect of divorce. I’m glad, because he’s a really great man who just has occasional bad moments.

    Now… I do get really bored with him sometimes. When we’re together it’s great for the most part. We’ve got all the physical stuff to hang on to, and we like doing a lot of the same things- hiking, amusement parks, restaurants, shopping, etc. Well, the truth is we’re apart more than we’re together. We’ve been in a relationship for 3 years. We were together for only a few months before he deployed to Iraq. I had college and work to keep me busy, and we played video games together and talked and really got to know each other during that time. We had just gotten engaged right before he deployed.

    He came back from Iraq and I stayed in my hometown to finish college while he was working at a stateside base. Then about 10 months later I graduated and moved there with him. I gave up any possible career prospects by moving to that area, because jobs were extremely scarce. But I felt like it was worth it. I stayed home all day and didn’t really do much. It was depressing. But I was happy whenever he came home.

    Now he’s away again, this time not a deployment, just an overseas PCS. I got a full time job and I moved back to my hometown to be around friends and family. We’ve found it a bit more difficult to make things work this time. We had a lot of issues the first few months but things are stable now and we don’t fight anymore.

    The problem is that I’m more of an intellectual who likes to have deep, meaningful, involved conversations about things. He isn’t. I ask him “What kinds of foods do you like?” He says “Yes.” (meaning everything.) I try to talk to him about other random topics I’m interested in- real estate, health, nutrition, our future, jobs, his career, things like that. He never has much to say. The vast majority of his responses are “ok” and “cool”. It’s gotten to the point where I just try not to talk to him about stuff because I don’t want to be that person that just blabs on about stuff when he’s not interested.

    I can’t seem to find any common interests for us anymore. Since our relationship is pretty much dependent on talking now, that’s really important to me. He doesn’t have a wide breadth of interests, and the fact that I went to college and he didn’t kind of contributes to that. (Not that I look down on him, he’s extremely intelligent about a select few things that I have absolutely no skill with. He can fix just about anything.)

    I wish I could find some ways to find common interests. I ask him about stuff and I usually get an “I dunno”. I want to feel like we did when we were first getting to know each other.

  11. Unfortunately you are complaining about things you should have known about him before you married. It is hard to change him if he is no the intellectual kind. Maybe you could goad him a little and talk about how you like to stimulate your mind and hear what he has to say. If he cannot change then you are stuck with him or you can join some book clubs or other professional organizations.

  12. Am bored to death with my wife. She is not able to communicate at the deeper level. How can I get her to communicate at a deeper, emotional level. Surely after six years of marriage a couple can not only talk about the weather and traffic.

  13. i’ve never seen a website with such worthless advice….

  14. I have been with my husband ( not really married) and tells me that one day..just not now… for 9 years and I am about ready to throw in the towel…we have had ups and downs but feel that no matter what its always my fault even though it was not. I have always relied on him for everything and now it turn out he says I should do something for myself..In case something happens to him…we do have 3 children all under 6…he has been physical before and i have forgiven him but now its more emotional..I just feel that I hate him at time…is that normal or is it time to walk away…He is a great dad and provider but with me things have totally changed…I dont want to be talked down to anymore and now that I am speaking out things have gotten worse…the worse thing is I cant talk to anyone…I always have to pretend that things are o.k in fount of people.and I hate that too. I feel I love him for what he has given me but I am not inlove like I once was..I am starting to hate him…im trying to make things work but I feel no matter what I try things are not going to change…plz give best advise!!!

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  16. my husband never show me love of attractions,rather when i go out other men compliment my God given beauty.He does not share his feelings with me.he keep secrets and silent at home.only when he want to have sex with me that he come closer to me.after sex he does not value me at.i regretted marrying him .i may likely dump him in future .

  17. my husband never show me love of attractions,rather when i go out other men compliment my God given beauty.He does not share his feelings with me.he keep secrets and silent at home.only when he want to have sex with me that he come closer to me.after sex he does not value me at.i regretted marrying him .i may likely dump him in future .he does not want to know when am sad.

  18. I am in total agreement with the man on here that writes about his wife not being able to communicate on a deeper level. My husband stares at the television all the time and is the worst communicator I know. He yells whenever, I want to sit and talk with him. He says he is stressed and his job is stressing him out. That is all I get he goes no further and this has gone on for many years. I want to discuss my dreams, goals and our life together,etc..etc.. He never wants to talk just turns on a t.v. and stares at it. It’s getting very old watching he stare at the t.v. and eat & drink. I always walk away and go read or do something else alone. This isn’t what I expected from marriage and he has been told this in a nice way but nothing ever changes. Thinking of leaving him have been saving like crazy and working on my goals,etc.. He doesn’t know this but I don’t know how much more of this marriage I can handle. Seriously, if someone doesn’t want to put any work in when you have asked for years it’s time to make a choice I feel and leave. He never cares how I feel either just stares at me. Never asking how I am doing or caring unless I am sick with the flu and he finds me in bed. Which is every 6 years I don’t get sick much.

  19. What does it mean when your wife says she’s depressed and not happy with her life. I asked my wife and she justs tells me she doesn’t really know. I was just feeling that our marriage was getting back on track and then she throws me another curve ball. My wife and I have been married for 21 years. I love her with all of my heart. We have to kids daughter is 20 and son is 15. I thought that when she started working again that she would be find herself and enjoy life again. Then we had a falling out over her internet crush. I tried to make her jealous and it made it worst. We seem to have finally put that behind us but then back in Feb of this year she told me she was depressed. I asked her why and she said that she just wasn’t happy anymore. I said you seem happy with your friends when you go out with them. Maybe we need to go out and spend more time together. That’s when she finally just came out and said that she couldn’t go out with me as the same level as with her girl friends. That really hurt. I got the message that she was basicly not madly in love with me anymore. I asked her if she wanted to try counseling and she said that I was the one insecure and therfore I was the only one who needed counseling. So, I got upset and left her alone for a few days figuring she was just saying a lot of things out of anger. After a while we were talking again. I could tell she still wasnt happy. I just tried to give here space and hope that she would eventually come around. Fastforward about a month and it seemed like things were getting better. She was going out with her friends and I was spending more time hanging out with my friends. Then the other day she says she depressed again and not sure about our relationship. Once again she won’t go into detail. At this point I just asked her since she doesn’t want to talk about it or feel like I am trying to fix her situation. I told her its only human to at least try and understand what is making her depressed. I can see something is eating at her but I can’t get her to talk about it so I am stuck wandering if its me… her job… money.. or family? Its eatin at me and I don’t know what to do about. What does a loving husband do?