Close relationships are central to health and happiness. Most research has focused on eliminating problems such as conflict and tension, issues that counselors are likely to encounter. However, some cross-sectional surveys of the general public suggest that another problem faced in long-term marriages may be simple boredom, the lack of excitement; laboratory and shortterm field experiments suggest a causal effect of reducing boredom (by shared participation in exciting activities) on relationship quality (e.g., Aron et al., 2000). The experimental and other research (e.g., Graham, 2008) demonstrating this effect is based on the self-expansion model (Aron & Aron, 1986), which indicates that the excitement often experienced during relationship formation arises from rapid development of closeness, the rate of which inevitably declines over time. However, if partners experience excitement from other sources (such as novel and challenging activities) in a shared context, this shared experience can reignite relationship passion by associating the excitement with the relationship.
Source: “Marital Boredom Now Predicts Less Satisfaction 9 Years Later” from Psychological Science, Vol. 20, #5
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