Is your partner still the same man you married? Does he have the same pep in his step and sense of idealism that you fell for back when he was buying you drinks and begging for a second date? Perhaps he's a bit wearier, a bit weightier or even a bit weathered from the financial storm that has threatened to take the fun and spontaneity out of marriage.
Don't let life's downers drag you down. Moreover, don't allow your hectic schedules and harried lifestyles make you so preoccupied you forget to have a little fun. When couples get complacent in their marriage, problems could be brewing on the horizon.
MSNBC recently explored the idea of how boredom affects divorce and while the idea that ennui can lead to splitsville is scary, the solution is surprisingly easy. "Shared challenges and exciting diversions are what make relationships hot long after the wedding gown has been packed up and stored away" the article states. "Boredom and a dull, daily routine, can kill a marriage, squashing intimacy and romance."
Dr. Barbara Bartlik, an assistant professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center tells her patients "Make yourself more exciting instead of blaming your partner. Better yet, see if you can’t find something that you’re both passionate about that you can share."
Shared passions sound easy enough, right. And if you're about to say, "But we don't have the money to tour Europe on horseback right now," remember that little things, like reading a book together or enjoying a bottle of wine, can be just as passionate as extravagant vacations or expensive entertainment.
Here are 5 simple hobbies that can help couples reconnect and prevent a relationship from getting dull.
1. Take up the two-step. Dancing is a great way for couples to connect. If you and your spouse are fresh off the Dancing With the Stars thrill ride that was this past season, why not take a cue from Ty Murray and get to grooving. If you're not down with organized dance lessons, you can rent a DVD and let the experts into your living room. Once you're comfortable with a little cha cha, splurge on a skimpy outfit and see what sequins do for your sex life.
2. Dust a romance novel off the shelf. For $14.99 you and your partner can get your hands on something totally trashy. Romance novels may not do much for your literary IQ but if you dim the lights and reinact the scene where Fabio put his hands under the milkmaid's petticoat, I'm sure you'll get a few laughs while you're making your way to the bedroom. Reading together is a great way to reconnect with your spouse so if romance novels aren't your cup of tea, explore other topics like Shakespearean plays or science fiction.