Want to strengthen your marriage? Then banish everyday boredom by doing new and interesting things together on a regular basis. Why? Because studies show that dull days that feel like you’re in a rut can kill a marriage faster than fighting.
According to MSNBC, researchers at State University of New York found that bored couples are significantly more likely to get divorced than couples who still find each other entertaining after many years of marriage. The 16-year study also found that shared challenges and exciting diversions are what make relationships simmer long after you say “I do.” In another study at Rutgers University, researchers gave MRIs to couples who were newly in love – as well as those who claimed they were still madly in love after 20 years of marriage. The result? When both types of couples looked at pictures of their spouses, the same parts of the brain lit up, the part linked to feelings of reward, excitement and satisfaction.
So, how can you battle boredom? Marriage counselor Dr. Barbara Bartlik says not to blame it on your partner. Instead, make yourself more exciting and interesting, whether you find a new hobby, take up a sport, or attend classes at the local university. Better yet, try to find something you’re both passionate about that you can share. Dr. Bartlik says that sharing novel and thrilling experiences with your partner creates brain chemistry similar to that “falling-in-love” feeling. Doing something a little scary – like riding a rollercoaster, hang gliding or bungee jumping – will give you a surge of adrenaline that’ll help you bond even more. If you’re not a daredevil, not to worry. Doing anything novel will do. For example, ride bicycles together after dark instead of during the day, stop for dinner someplace you’ve never been, or be completely spontaneous, and jump on a train or a bus without deciding where you’re going to get off.