“Listen, is boredom a criteria for divorce?” joked a friend of mine recently. We had a good laugh over it but I couldn’t help but ruminate over it later.
The more I thought about it I realised that it might seem innocuous but boredom is one of the most common and the most threatening issues that couples face. It is like a silent worm that eats into marriage if the couples are not careful. Experts say boredom is one of the reasons that often creates distance, coldness and even leads to infidelity sometimes.
Marriage counsellors say it is important for couples to change their routine and bring something new in their relationship every now and then so that the relationship does not get stuck in monotonous rut.
I also realised that in a relationship, there was a strong link between taking each other for granted and being “bored”.
How, you may well ask, and my answer would be that boredom starts creeping into the relationship the moment we start taking the other for granted. While at one level it’s a good thing to take your partner for granted since it implies that you two are now well settled in, that there’s a sense of ease and security in the relationship, it also encompasses a danger of ceasing to be “aware” of the other – so as to acknowledge his/her presence and importance in our lives. The minute we stop being “aware” we stop working on the relationship.
One thing that always struck me was that when we are in courtship period, we put in so much in our relationship – we make plans to meet up at different places, try out different things, gift our partners something or the other every now and then and even dress up well. But when we are some years into our married life, we stop bothering. We stop caring about our partners, about all the little things we enjoyed doing together and all that gave the time spent together that spark and that sparkle of romance.
But with marriage, we drop all that like a hot potato and move on with the business of daily lives – without sparing a thought about the quality of time we spend with our partners. And that’s what leads to boredom in married lives.
To put it in a very cliched phrase – “When we are constantly putting something into the relationship it’s in a flow like a river; but the moment we stop that, the relationship becomes still, like a lake – thus leading to “boredom”.
The way I see it, in order to keep boredom at bay, keep experimenting, initiating, adding life to it and let the other person know that he/she still matters. Or very soon, everything in the relationship will cease to matter anymore.
Amrita Sharma is author of the book “What Did I Ever See in Him” published by Penguin.