There aren’t too many things better than a peaceful sleep, right? You’re comfortable, you’re safe, you’re getting important needs met. But what happens when you’re sleeping so soundly that you inadvertently crush an arm for a while? The crimp in your circulation jolts you into wakefulness with the sensation of thousands of tiny needles. You’ve hit an overnight rut. Before you can enjoy slumber again, you have to massage life into the limb that was stifled by smothering stillness.
There’s not much better than a happy relationship, right? You feel comfortable and safe with each other, you’re getting important needs met. You have relied-upon routines that give structure and personality to the life you’ve created together. But what happens when, over time and initially without you even noticing it, some of your dual routines feel lifeless and still? What if they start to cut off the circulation to the rest of your relationship? What if, like that errant limb, part of your relationship has fallen asleep? You’ve hit a relationship rut. Getting over it might take a little more ingenuity and focus than rubbing a tingly arm or shaking pins and needles out of a leg, but it’s well worth it for the longevity of your union.
Undoubtedly, sleep is a good thing for your body. Even when you crush a limb because you’re in such a deep sleep, it’s still a good thing and you don’t decide to swear off sleep because that might happen again.
Likewise, relationship routines are good things. And rituals, as one facet of relationships, create a rhythm and predictability that allow for a sense of security. You don’t abandon rituals and resign yourself to an ever-shifting landscape of chaos because you found yourself in a rut.
We all fall into relationship ruts. This doesn’t indicate anything about your relationship other than it is normal. It’s how you handle the ruts that might be a predictor of your relationship future. Do you shrug them off and accept boredom as the status quo? Or do you decide to bring back that mutual vitality you once thrived on?
A relationship rut occurs because one of your relationship routines is starting to squeeze the life-blood out of your marriage or relationship. It may be that a particular routine only affects a small portion of your relationship. But, like that newly numb arm, it may be all you notice for a while. You need to wake up that part of your relationship that has grown lifeless. If ignored for too long, the boredom and numbness is likely to spread to other parts of your relationship.
Is it really a rut?
The first step in shaking life back into your relationship is to locate ruts in your relationship. Just as feeling sad once in a while doesn’t mean you suffer from depression, being bored with your partner or with the things you do with your partner doesn’t mean you’re stuck in a rut with him/her. Boredom is something …