I wish I could tell you that the vast majority of correspondence that I get are from people who are perfectly happy with their marriage and are incredibly content with their spouse. This isn't the case, though. Most of the time, I hear from people who feel as if their marriage, or their feelings for their spouse, are falling apart. And, I hear from people on both sides of the equation. Sometimes, I hear from the spouse who is unhappy. And other times, I hear from the spouse who is trying to change things so that their unhappy spouse doesn't leave or file for divorce.

One common concern is when someone has grown "bored" or "tired" of their spouse but hesitates to mention it or to take any actions for a couple of reasons. First, the person who feels dissatisfied might intuitively know that they are acting unfairly or asking for too much. They will often tell you that their spouse is a good person. And they feel guilty for the way that they feel. Also, they don't want to hurt their spouse's feelings by bringing this up.

I might hear from a wife who says: "this is going to sound awful and I feel terrible to even say this. But I'm tired of my husband. He hasn't done anything horrible to me or anything like that. But everything that he does just annoys me. I can't stand the way that he seems clueless about little things like he is just inattentive to the world in general. Even the way that he chews his food gets to me. I know that this is petty and I am not proud of feeling this way. But so many of my younger coworkers are so deeply in love with their new husbands. But, I don't feel that way about mine. I just don't. If I'm being honest, I am just tired of the same old thing with him. At the same time, I feel like it might be a stupid decision to leave him for something as petty as this. We have been married for a long time and we have a family. I have put a lot of work and time into this marriage. But what can you do when there is no doubt that you are tired of your spouse and you feel awful about it?"

Before I try to answer, I want to tell you that what you are feeling is very common. You are not alone in the way that you feel and you are not awful for feeling it. I believe that it does make sense to try some things before you take the very drastic measure of leaving a marriage that has been so important to you and has made up so much of your life. I'll offer some of these suggestions below.

Ask Yourself If You Are Projecting Your Dissatisfaction With Your Life Onto Your Spouse: Please don't take this the wrong way. But it is so extremely common for dissatisfaction about your spouse to not really be about your spouse at all. And this is especially true if you are still able to concede that your spouse is still a very good person whom you still admire and feel affection for.

I wasn't sure of this person's age. But since she described her marriage as long-lasting, it made sense to suspect that she was approaching middle age. This is a very common time in people's lives where they start to feel bored and dissatisfied. And this satisfaction isn't always directly related to their spouse - although they might suspect that this is the case.

I think that it makes sense to just take an honest look at your life and ask yourself if it's remotely possible that you're restless with your life in general and projecting these disappointments onto your spouse. I bring this up because it's relatively easy to add excitement to your life, to your career, and to your thought process. And when these things are so easily fixed, then it makes sense to attempt to do so rather than to throw away a perfectly good, loyal, and loving spouse.

Try To Involve Your Spouse In The Process Of Shaking Things Up: People sometimes ask me if they should tell their spouse that they are tired of or bored with them. Honestly, this rarely turns out well. Most often, people get incredibly hurt feelings and they feel defensive and rejected. It's better to just begin making changes to shake up your life. Even better if you can involve your spouse. Take up a hobby that you've been dying to try but have always found excuses to put off. Take some time away from stressors and focus more on what makes you happy and what makes you feel very alive.

Step away from playing it safe and start playing it in a way that makes you thrilled to be alive. To be honest, this process can be enhanced if you bring your spouse along for the ride. And it can bring you closer, also.

I don't mean to insinuate that you shouldn't take this seriously. You should. But time and time again, I have seen people turn this situation around by changing things that aren't always directly related to their spouse at all. (I was able to turn my marriage around even with a separation. That story is here.) And it would be a real shame to jeopardize such a long and important relationship when this is easily fixed.

My situation is proof that a little directed attention and effort can completely transform your marriage.  I truly believe that if you are both good people who have only gotten into a rut, then nothing is impossible.  Had I realized this myself, it might have saved me a lot of wasted time and pain.  I separated because I did not understand this. This cost me a lot of time and turmoil.  I'd highly recommend avoiding my mistakes.   If it helps, you can read more of my story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com

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