Avoiding the Slide to a Boring Marriage

Today we join, Marriage Monday, where we are exploring the many ways we keep our marriages fresh, never frozen.
My husband Gary and I know that if we let it, our marriage can get a bit dry and boring. I think of it as a garden. You have to constantly tend to a garden—watering it, feeding it, and stomping out any thing that threatens your beautiful plants in order to keep them thriving and blooming. Gary and I have tended to our relationship in a similar way by …
1.  Making Time for Each Other 
Some of the ways we do this include:
  • Touching base and praying daily
  • Having a weekly uninterrupted “Talk Time” (for about an hour)
  • Spending a day off each week together trying to include at least one or two fun date type activities in that day
  • Go on an annual marriage retreat that, thankfully, our church hosts each February. (In fact, it’s this coming weekend!)
  • Take an annual weekend or longer trip together (without the kids) to a fun or romantic destination
2.  Do “Different” Activities
There’s research to back this up that says, when we do something new it creates new pathways in our brains, helping us to banish boredom and invite exhilaration into our relationship and lives. 
Some of the different things we’ve done over the years are:

Take a trolley bus tour of our very interesting nearby city, St. Louis, Missouri. We were told so much history and trivia, as well as, pointing out other exciting tourist destinations on the ride. This is especially astonishing since I’m a native of St. Louis. Check with your local city for something similar.

The view atop “Art Hill”, a stop on our trolley tour in St. Louis, Missouri

Go for a ride along a picturesque highway. We have one nearby that the locals call the Alton “Great River Road” that runs alongside the Mississippi River. The bluffs that crash down into the edge of the river make for a breath-taking landscape especially in the fall and spring.

Gary between Obama and Jesus! Lol!

Visit a local wax or other type of museum. We visited a St. Louis wax museum and were left less than impressed. But it still made for a hilarious time of making fun of the terrible displays! (BTW, the picture captures two of the museum’s more impressive figures! No political statement intended!)

Go cemetery hunting. I know this one sounds weird, perhaps because it is! As I’ve confessed before, I’m a genealogy geek and love to hunt down my ancestor’s graves, but sometimes it’s just interesting to read the headstones of unknown others who’ve gone before us.

3.  Encourage Conversation
Who said conversation is easy? They never lived in my male dominated household! I think it’s very easy to become so familiar with each other that you don’t have anything new to talk about. So a while back, we bought a book, The Complete Book of Questions that we keep handy at our dinner table and often grab when we are headed out for a date. This book helps not only us to find out new things about each other, but gets our teen sons into the conversation act at dinner time when they might have previously sat like bumps on a log. Since all the questions are numbered from 1 to 1001, our sons have become used to the question, “What number do you want tonight?”
These are just a few of the ways my husband and I fight the drift toward boredom. 

Please join in the conversation and tell me what you and your spouse do to inject some excitement and freshness into your marriage.

Today’s Post is Linked to – No Ordinary Blog Hop and

  • Connie Hopkins

    Beth you and I are SO much alike it’s scary! St Louis is home for me and when I saw Art Hill I let out a little sigh. I have a ton of memories of going sledding there as a kid! Dave and I have decided to do something new to us as well. In the city we live in (Denton, TX) we have an old Courthouse and square in the downtown area. We are going to start doing the lawn concerts and listening to some of our local bands, free entertainment. As a society, we don’t think twice about working harder at our jobs and the most crucial and important relationships in our lives tend to take the back burner! Thanks for sharing today!
    Connie

  • messymarriage

    Wow, Connie! You’re originally from St. Louis? Small world. I’m so glad I’ve finally met my long lost twin in the blogging world! haha!

    Seriously, though, I’m so glad that you’re making your marriage a priority and continue to work at it and “play with it” so that it never grows dull. You’re an inspiration! *Hugs*

  • Kim Hall

    What great ideas to keep your relationship fresh. We can forget to tend to our marriages-like a garden as you so delightfully wrote-as our days fill with responsibilities, children, jobs, mortgages and all the other details of living our lives.
    My husband recently accepted a promotion and he has had to move close to 2 hours away for the next several months. We have already discovered how much we took each other for granted. We now look forward to scheduled date nights when I go to visit him and enjoy learning about and getting around in his new temporary home town.

  • messymarriage

    Thanks so much for your encouragement, Kim! I’ll keep you and your hubs in prayer over these next hard months. I’m glad you’re making the effort to stay connected though when you can. It makes all the difference. 🙂

  • Lisa Maria

    I love the analogy of the garden here Beth. It does take constant work doesn’t it? Well, having let our marriage slide for about 19 years, we’re working hard now to keep things fresh. Thanks for sharing

  • messymarriage

    I may not be the greatest gardener in the world, but I do know that it lines up perfectly with marriage! haha! I’m so glad to hear that you reignited your marriage–that’s a HUGE accomplishment! And thanks so much for stopping by my place! 🙂

  • Denise Oldham

    Such a great post.

  • alfecia

    Great post! It took a long time for me to realize the importance of taking a weekend trip without our son. I wanted to make as many memories as possible as a family. But once we did it, I was hooked. It’s so nice to only be a wife for a little while and not a wife & mom. Being a mom is a wonderful thing, but sometimes we need to remember that we as a couple came first. Thanks for all the ideas! I’ll have to see what I can do for a date day soon 😉 Blessings to you!

  • I really like your idea of having a question book handy. Smart thinking, Mom!

  • e-Mom

    Marvellous! Applauding. No evidence of boredom here!

    YOu know, we’ve never actually been on a marriage retreat together. Good idea–and have fun on yours this weekend. Love your travel date ideas. When we’re tired of exploring AZ, maybe we’ll come out your way. We’ve used similar conversation starter books and also the UnGame. Fun!

  • Lovely blog u have <3