194 Marital Closeness

Based on research by Tsapelas, Irene, Aron, A., & Orbuch, T. (2009) by Mara Rowcliffe,  BS.

Did you know that simple boredom or a lack of excitement might lead to troubled marriages?

Psychologists examined the role of boredom in predicting relationship quality. Over a time period of 9 years they assessed 123 married couples during their 7th and 16th year of marriage. At both years, the researchers questioned the couples on their level of satisfaction and the closeness in their relationship. They also asked whether “during the past month, how often did [you] feel that [your] marriage was in a rut?”

Results of their study revealed that greater boredom during their 7th year of marriage predicted less satisfaction at year 16. The findings indicate that boredom undermines  feelings of closeness, which in turn undermines relationship satisfaction in the long term. Having close relationships also contributes to our overall health and happiness.

Discover ways to heighten the excitement in your marriage. Doing so will increase feelings of closeness. Find shared activities based on mutual interests, values, and newness that can generate excitement for both partners. Try educational, volunteer, fun or new activities together. Contribute your skills to your community! Enhance your sense of joint life adventure.


Tsapelas, I., Aron, A., & Orbuch, T. (2009). Marital boredom now predicts less satisfaction 9 years later. Psychological Science, 20(5), 543-545.

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