6 Ways To Revive A Marriage That Feels Like It's "Stuck"


When it comes to dealing with married couples, something that I get asked a lot is, "So, what's the main reason why people come to see you?" While I do get my fair share of affairs, sexual dissatisfaction, and communication issues, something that is becoming more and more of a constant is boredom. Yep, boredom.

If you're thinking that is a pretty shallow reason to be irritated with—if not straight-up sick of—your spouse, think back to the last time you were bored. Bored at work. Bored at home. Bored anywhere. Didn't it feel like its own version of Chinese water torture?


And here's the thing. A lot of people forget that one definition of boredom is "tedious repetition". When you're caught up in the routine of doing the same things over and over again, that can lead to a pattern that becomes dull and lifeless. If nothing is done to change that, the next level (down) is stagnation. When something (or someone) is stagnant, that means there is a "lack of development, advancement, or progressive movement".

Shoot, even stagnant water stinks after a while. That's because things are designed to progress. When that doesn't happen in a marriage, it's very easy to feel stuck—and then resentful because of it.

If you're married, you've been trying to figure out why you're currently unhappy in your relationship and all of this resonates, here are a few things that may help to get you and/or yours out of the current rut that you're in.

6 Ways To Revive A Marriage

1. Take Some Personality Tests

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I'm single, in my 40s, and still learning new things about myself all of the time. With growth comes change. When we stop doing both, we die (or are basically "dead person walking"). So, what makes us think that just because we share a house and a bed with someone that we know EVERYTHING there is to know about them and/or that they are not constantly changing just like we are?

When it comes to relationships, one of my favorite quotes is, "People change and forget to tell each other." If you and/or your partner is feeling stuck, it can never hurt to take some online personality tests (if you're a bible follower, a spiritual gifts test too). You might be surprised what some of them reveal about what makes both of you tick and/or how time has changed some of who you are over the years.

For instance, if you discover that your spouse has become more of an introvert, that might explain why they don't want to go out as much as they used to. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go out at all; they'd probably just prefer crowd-less one-on-one ideas like glamping, cooking together, or going on a road trip.

2. Create an Electronic Vision Board for Your Relationship

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Vision boards are pretty common to most of us. But if you're married, do you and your beloved have a vision board specifically designed for your relationship? I'm asking because healthy married couples are the closest of friends and the best of lovers. You know what else they are? Purpose partners. They are teammates who help each other to achieve goals that they have both separately and apart. They are also mutually supportive when it comes to cultivating a full and fun union.

If you're reading this and you're like, "My man is absolutely not gonna sit on the floor and cut out pictures for a magazine", I hear you. Guess what—there are electronic vision boards that you can download so that you can exchange ideas back and forth via your smartphones.

That trip to Cape Town? Put it on your vision board. That house you want to buy in three years? Put it on your vision board. That company y'all used to dream about back when you were dating? Put it on your vision board. It's kind of hard to feel stuck when you're constantly making plans to move forward.

3. Read the Book ‘The Four Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage’

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Back in the day, I used to watch Beverly Hills, 90210 (the original one). I remember in one episode, Donna was talking to the guy who played Khadijah's (from Living Single) love interest, Scooter. Anyway, as he was trying to cheer Donna up, he said, "My mama used to say that if you're up all of the time, you must be on something." Agreed.

Nothing is great, cheery and awesome all of the time. It's unrealistic to expect it to be; marriage is no exception. But for those who are adrenaline junkies or who think that if they are not feeling like they are walking on cloud nine all of the time that something is wrong, they could mistake a season in their marriage for being an actual problem.

That's why I recommend the book The Four Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage. Dr. Gary Chapman (the man who came up with the concept of the five love languages). The gist is just like there are four seasons when it comes to the weather, marriage goes through four seasons (over and over again) too—hopeful (spring), satisfied (summer), unsettled (fall) and distant (winter). And, just like seasons, we find ways to adjust until the next season comes along (Ecclesiastes 3).

(It really does have some really great stuff in it.)

4. Plan Surprise Date Nights

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According to an article that was featured on The Knot, a married couple who goes out once a month increases their chances of having a successful marriage. But if all you and yours ever do is go out to the same restaurant or binge-watching Netflix or Hulu, yes, that is going to get really old, really quick.

One way to remedy that is to plan surprise dates. I know that sounds contradictory but what I mean by that is you plan a date that your hubby would like that he knows nothing about until he arrives and ask him to do the same for you. That's (at least) six dates that you will come off as complete surprises to each of you. It's also a simple way to bring a bit of spontaneity back into your relationship.

5. Do Sex Differently


The wonderful thing about married sex is you're giving yourself to someone who promised to love you for the rest of your life. The challenge with married sex is if you're not intentional about keeping thing spicy, you can start to get super lazy with each other.

When's the last time you tried a new sexual position (although technically, there are only six, there are over 200 that are a variation of them)? When's the last time you had sex outside of your bedroom or even outside of your house? When's the last time the two of you went shopping for nothing but items that will spice up your sex life? Do you sext? Do you have middle-of-the-day sex? How many fantasies have you made a reality in the past six months?

If there's one thing all of the couples that I work with have in common, it's the fact that when something is wrong outside of the bedroom, it directly reflects that is happening (or isn't happening) inside of it too.

Sex is too amazing to put it in the category of being dull, mundane, and uninteresting. If that's where you're currently at, the good news is you and yours hold the keys to totally changing that—tonight, if you really want to.

6. Don’t Freak Out


You know who wants to be hyper-stimulated all of the time? Kids. If they are not constantly being entertained, they think there is a problem. It is a sign of maturity to know that life (including intimacy) is not about constantly feeling a certain type of way or always needing something to be going on.

If it's only been a few weeks of things not being as "lively" as they usually are, try not to make that be a problem; it might just be a temporary situation. There's not one couple who's made it past a decade who won't tell you that they haven't been right where you are before, more than once. The good news is they survived it.

Featured image by Getty Images.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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