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Boring Marriage

Why I'm Thrilled to Be in a Boring Marriage

One busy night after the kids had gone to bed, I settled into my well-worn spot on the sofa for some mind-numbing television.

"Can you believe this guy?" I asked my husband, seated in his favorite recliner beside me. When no answer was forthcoming, I glanced over to witness an all-too-familiar scene: Deeply embedded in the recliner's cushions lay my husband of 19 years, sound asleep.

Normally, I would giggle, turn the lights out around him and go to bed — a sort of revenge for being "abandoned" for the umpteenth time. He'd eventually wake up alone in the dark and trudge upstairs to find me tee-heeing under the covers of our bed.

But on this particular night, I gawked at my dreaming husband as if I was seeing this for the first time. Is this the man I married?

Panic gripped my soul as I realized: We've changed. We're tired, boring, predictable. We're doomed. 

Keep reading

In the Beginning

One evening in 1992, my husband-to-be and I were at an Italian café in Pittsburgh, sipping wine and falling in love. 

"I really want to travel," I said. "Me too," he said. "I want to live near the ocean," he said. "Me too," I said. "I don't care about money, I just want happiness," he said. "Me too!" I said. It was a match made in heaven and our future was destined to be perfect. 

But maybe if we'd understood the reality of marriage our conversation would have been different: "I might have a lot of stretch marks," I should've said. "That's OK, we'll just dim the lights," he might've said. "I'm going to go bald, but ironically, hair will sprout out of my ears and nose," he should've said. "I'm good with tweezers," I might've said. "I have no mechanical ability whatsoever, and will feel no embarrassment if my wife handles all the home repairs," he should've said. "I won't have a problem with that for the first ten years or so, but then I'll get really fed up," I really wish I'd said.

But back then, we weren't thinking about annoying habits, taxes, and clogged drains. We were too busy planning our perfect life to be bothered with reality. 

Our unrealistic expectations persisted after we were engaged. "Oh pardon me!" my fiancé yelped after accidentally belching. Although he insisted he would never expel any kind of gas in front of me, it didn't take long to erode his steely resolve. Today, expelling gas is almost commonplace and happens as soon as the urge beckons. Mid-sentence, under the covers, in the recliner. "Why do you have to burp while I am talking to you?" I've said. "I didn't burp," he's said, sincerely oblivious.

Before marriage, I preened and pampered my fiancé like a primate, manicuring nails and plucking stray hairs to maintain his ruggedly handsome good looks. I thought this giddy nurturing stage would last forever; I had no idea that those stray hairs would later multiply so profusely that our grooming sessions now take place in the garage and involve the leaf blower. The pedicures have become completely intolerable because my husband's left piggy toe now resembles a tiny hoof. One of the kids recently asked him if it was made out of wood. I had to draw the line somewhere. 

Are We Doomed?

So what am I saying? Are we doomed because we haven't met our premarital expectations?

That night as I watched my husband dozing, I realized something very important: We did not meet our original expectations, we've exceeded them. Back when we were dreaming of a life of romance uninhibited by responsibility, stress, and aging, we couldn't fully comprehend the complexity and depth of the marital relationship. 

What we didn't understand then is that romance is more than candlelight dinners and adventurous travel. The foundation of long-term romance is really commitment, companionship, and comfort.

Realizing this, my initial repulsion at the sight of my sleeping husband turned to adoration. And as I turned the lights out and sneaked upstairs to wait for him to wake up alone in the dark, I felt happy that our marriage is on an unexpected course to paradise.

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LoriAlverson LoriAlverson 3 years
Maybe PREDICTABLE should have been in the title instead
chhaviPorwal chhaviPorwal 3 years
very nicely expressed :)
Trent14429931 Trent14429931 3 years
Decent article, but "boring" is not the word I would have used in the title. Surly your marriage isn't boring. You make some good points on maintaining your relationship, but you don't survive a 19+ year relationship through feelings of boredom. My opinion keep your relationship fresh. It is the little things that matter to keep that spark alive. It takes two to tango, but one to initiate. If your in love, you will feed off of each other...hopefully literally ::wink::wink::.
CoMMember13631147047468 CoMMember13631147047468 3 years
omg! i could read your post's all day
CoMMember13615286159198 CoMMember13615286159198 3 years
I loved this, what a beautiful post. I related to so much, and my husband and I have also been married for 19 years. The best thing is that after more than twenty years and four kids, we constantly gross our kids out with our PDA's!
ElainaFriisHansen ElainaFriisHansen 3 years
I have been married 28 1/2 years to my best friend. Marriage is what u make of it.. One persons borning is anothers life adventure. We had the child they said we could never have 20 years into our marriage. I could not even begain to think of a day with out him. You learn to pick your battles and what is not worth your time..I love being married to the best man ever.
TracieHopson TracieHopson 3 years
Nice! Thanks for enlightenment.
TerritaTucker TerritaTucker 3 years
I've only been married 5yrs and my husband treats everyday the same birthdays holidays etc no excitment. I love that I don't have to worry were my husband is at night but hmmmmm I do think that just letting the marriage go to the waist side is a bite much.... So sooon in cleveland
StaceyUtter StaceyUtter 3 years
I so agree! The problem with society today is that they live with the delusion that true love is a feeling. Love is not a feeling, it's a choice. I may not "like" my husband every minute of everyday, but I choose to love him. Love is a choice not a feeling :)
DrBarbaraBeckerHolstein DrBarbaraBeckerHolstein 3 years
Great article. Lots of women though can't move past the boring stage into the depth of feeling and thought that you have achieved. What were some of the steps that helped you to get there? I teach couples how to move past mind reading and to be clearer about their needs, wants, feelings, likes, etc. Did you utilize clarity of sharing as you grew into your marriage?
NoelaniMitchell NoelaniMitchell 3 years
This IS the marriage that I have & dreamed of...too many women live in that dream world & when they realize that their dream marriage has become the normal , "boring marriage" they get pissed off & end up making their husbands pay for it by making their husband's lives a living hell...then separation & divorce happens...women have become selfish. Instead if being content with what their lives have become & accepting it, they give up & make demands that can't be met because now her husband no longer knows the person he married & gives up too...I totally relate to this story & I can become the women I just described but when I really look at my exhausted, sleeping husband I feel proud to have such a strong, dependable, lazy, sometimes forgetful, smart, and all of the husband adjetives. I love him & can't wait to to be old with him.
toni75555 toni75555 3 years
been with my defacto for 10 years now and def not bored. We did all our travel etc early on and relish the "boring" stage of raisng toddlers. I think part of the secret is just letting each other be who they really are and loving them for it. Creeping shoulder hair and all
RachelleGuzman RachelleGuzman 3 years
Lol! Lucky for you, I can't stand the sight of my husband awake or asleep. I didn't hit the jackpot on this one. He actually came with luggage and a burden I actually have to take responsibility for because he's lacking all skills, knowledge, and resources of being a man. I would love to start over, set me back to 25 years old, please!!
CoMMember13630936589686 CoMMember13630936589686 3 years
That is my life!!! And I too love it and him
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