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Relationships: Got the seven year itch?


“When my husband and I were married seven years, we would always hear, ‘Uh oh, the seven year itch!’ or ‘Do you have the itch yet?’. My question is, what is the seven year itch and is it real?”

The seven year itch is actually a real phenomenon which occurs in many couples, although not always at seven years. One interesting fact to note is that the average median marital age of divorced couples is 7.2 years, which is where they came up with that number.

Why seven years? The seven year period is coincidental. Usually by the time you get to seven years, you are ready to start having children. The strain of a new child and increased responsibility is sometimes enough to get you itching. The faults that you could ignore in your partner before you had your baby seem to now scream at you as loud as your baby’s cries. Although many marriages will never experience the seven year itch, many others do.

By the time you have your child, you probably have a lot of practice with communication skills. You’ll need them! The single most common reason that marriages break up is lack of communication.

How do you prevent or overcome the seven year itch?

  • Talk to your partner without distraction, even if it’s just 20 minutes a day.
  • Keep romance alive. Go out on dates, just the two of you. Your children will thank you for it later.
  • If you are feeling any negative thoughts toward your partner or toward the marriage, talk about them before they fester. The best way to do this without making your spouse defensive is by saying, “This makes me feel like …..”. He can’t argue with your feelings.
  • Accept and embrace change. Many couples have trouble adjusting to the change in lifestyle that a new child brings. Embrace the change, and remember that although your life has changed, it is for the better.
  • Do your homework. Check out some choices for Marriage & Relationship Self Help Books.

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