We tend to think women leave relationships because the men were awful or unfaithful. But, there is a different reason why women leave good relationships – and it’s kept secret.
“I have been listening to the language of women who have left their marriages or who have committed adultery,” writes Naomi Wolf in Vagina. “A substantial theme that surfaces when women say why they left solid, stable marriages or committed adultery against good, devoted, faithful men, is that they were bored.”
Here’s a summary of Wolf’s interviews with women who left perfectly good relationships. The descriptions vary, but the sentiment is the same: women leave good relationships because the relationship (or the man) is boring.
Why Women Leave Good Relationships
Lack of intellectual connection. Emotional disconnection in a relationship stems from a lack of intellectual connection. If you can’t talk to your partner, you’re not emotionally attached – and you’re not intimately interested in him, either. Here’s what Wolf says about the men who were being left: they were incredibly nice, but they had stopped relating intellectually to the women in their lives from a condition of growth or adventure.
Lack of drama or excitement – feeling taken for granted. “They had stopped bringing seduction and drama into the marital bed,” writes Wolf. “They had stopped seeing the women in their lives as if the women themselves needed excitement and drama within the relationship and were themselves not to be taken for granted.” According to Wolf, women need drama in intimate settings so they can stay interested in their men. Could lack of drama be the secret reason why women leave good relationships?
Feeling of dying inside. Several women talked about cheating on their husbands because they felt as if they would die if they stayed. They were bored by their good, safe, nice, predictable men. They weren’t proud of leaving a good relationship, but they felt that it was about survival. “By becoming so changeless, so predictable, many husbands lock themselves into the staid, less sexy, provider role in women’s psyches, and they abandon the provocateur role – leaving nothing to fire the imagination or the SNS during the times of the months when a woman craves adventure, the ‘dance’, and excitement,” writes Wolf.
Perhaps this is why women are attracted to “bad boys.” Excitement and unpredictability is sexy – and boredom may be the secret reason women leave good relationships. Why is it a “secret”? Perhaps because it’s difficult to admit that boredom was the root cause of a painful divorce, which is hard on the whole family.
What do you think – is boredom a “secret” reason why women leave good relationships? On the flip side, I wonder if the unpredictability of an unhealthy relationship is the reason some women stay in abusive relationships. I have a friend in a very unhealthy marriage, and she shows no sign of leaving him. Maybe she secretly likes the adrenalin rush of staying married to a man who is extremely unpredictable, moody, and edgy? They don’t have children and she has a full-time job. From the outside, it seems like there is no reason for her to stay with him – especially since she regularly talks about how unhealthy their relationship is.
One way to stop boredom from destroying a good relationship is to plan a Surprise Excursion once a week! Last night, my husband and I went out for Mexican food and then I bought a pair of cowboy boots :-)
If you’re bored even though your relationship is good, read 5 Tips for Planning a Surprise Date Night for ideas.