Reader Bored writes,
In your article "Couples You Meet in Counseling #4: The Wife Who Wants More and Her Annoyingly Satisfied Husband" the couple sounds a lot like me and my boyfriend. In relationships with the more adventurous and fun types I have felt insecure and anxious but never bored! My current boyfriend is less exciting, but makes me feel safe, secure, and I know he loves me. My fear is that if I stay with him I will turn into the wife you described -- "even if she left, she isn't sure what she would be leaving for. She worries that maybe the problem is her, and she just can never be happy. After all, her husband is a good guy." So I'm wondering if you think there's a better match for this type of woman, or if this type of guy is a great match and she just needs to work on herself.
I commend you for thinking about your relationship from the perspective of someone who doesn't think the problem is necessarily their partner. As a general rule, people who tend to be dissatisfied are dissatisfied with anyone and anything, and people who tend to be happy are happy with anyone and anything. Of course, this is within certain limits. Sure, some things, events, or mates make you happy, but even when people who win the lottery, they aren't always happier.
I think that generally, women who tend towards "wanting more" pair up with guys who are laid back precisely because these women can be anxious and negative. The partners they choose are more relaxed and positive, and they balance each other out. But then, as I discuss in the article you mentioned, the women can end up feeling alone in their quest for never-ending self-development and introspection. (A lot of these women are also Highly Sensitive People paired with guys who aren't, like this couple.)
As you mention, when you dated more exciting guys, you ended up feeling insecure and anxious, and with stable guys, you're bored, so I think it would be useful to explore your own attachment issues, which would mean sitting down with a therapist and discussing your upbringing and the subconscious expectations that you bring to relationships. I would not be surprised if you were raised in a household where one parent felt disappointed in the other, and/or felt resentful or stifled by the other. I am assuming you're in your mid 20s or so, so you have loads of time to work on yourself before deciding who to marry, although I know it doesn't feel that way, because I too was young once, Grasshopper.
Good luck, and keep me posted. Till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, Some Old People Still Think I'm Young, By The Way.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.