How to Dig Out of a Marital Rut
A client recently asked me for some marriage rut-busting tips. What should you do to get your marriage out of a rut or mundane routine?
First know that a marital rut is sometimes a good sign. It means your marriage is stable.
But stability and boredom don’t have to go hand in hand.
A rut—by definition—is a monotonous routine. Your marriage can get caught up in a rut when you go about day to day life as business as usual—having the exact same routine each and every day, being too predictable, saying the same things, asking the same questions, making the same assumptions, eating at the same restaurants, going to bed at the exact same time, and even sleeping on the same side of the bed. We fall into these routines because they are easy. When things are going well in a marriage, we tend to focus our energy elsewhere—on work, on our kids, hobbies, fitness, on friends and so forth.
When your marriage gets in a marital rut:
Reinvest in your relationship. Devote some energy every day into shaking things up. Ask questions you’ve never asked before. Suggest unusual dates, sexcapades, and social excursions. Turn your evening routine upside down. If you usually watch television, for instance, play truth or dare – or have a picnic right in your bedroom – think outside of the box to change your marital rut into an exciting marriage where you can’t wait to see each other.
Reveal more. Tell stories from your past that your spouse still doesn’t know. Throughout your day, mentally jot down “Must tell my spouse” moments. As they come up, text your spouse, “Can’t wait to tell you something later” to add an element of suspense. It takes a lifetime to know everything about your spouse and sometimes even your conversations can become too predictable. Think of something new to tell each other – something funnythat happened that day or a moment from long ago. Change your stories.
Rediscover your spouse. Many of us think we know all there is to know about the person who sleeps next to us at night. We don’t. Just as most of an iceberg is hidden from view, so is much of your spouse. Your spouse is still a mystery, and mysteries are exciting. Try to discover one new quality about your spouse every day. What are their hopes and dreams – what do they want to learn – where do they want to travel – who would they like to meet – Remember to also let them know what you appreciate most about them or what they shared throughout the week in a text, conversations, emails, etc – this will strengthen your connection and definitely help when your marriage gets in a marital rut.
Remember your exciting times. When things go stale and you get in a marital rut, amnesia sets in and we tend to forget that our relationship was ever exciting in the first place. We trick ourselves into thinking that it has always been boring, but that’s probably not true. Once a week, plan an exciting date. Do something you have never done. try new experiences together like a cooking class, do something together outdoors – even a walk can change things when your marriage gets in a marital rut. Be adventurous together. See what you can come up with.
In case it’s helpful, here are some rut-busting articles I found around the web:
5 rut-busting tips from a Cognitive Therapist
8 Rut Busters from The Nest
30 Days Back to Love from Good housekeeping