No, it doesn't flatten you like a divorce or a death in the family. But boredom with family life is an insidious problem--and ignoring it can have unpleasant consequences.
"In terms of the happiness and pleasure of the family, and good will in the family, (boredom) really can create havoc," says Milton Schwebel, professor emeritus of psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Typically, family members begin to avoid one another, following pursuits that put even more distance between them. Alienated people often create "family defense mechanisms--people love each other, they want to be together, but are having trouble when they're together. They get angry, irritable and they find a way of being apart," Schwebel says. For example, a parent might become overly involved in work or fitness.
"The other bad consequence is that kids become irritable and fight, and then the parents get involved and the parents get irritable, and they start fighting," he says.