Have you heard stories about the seven-year itch? More and more people are talking about it, and they believe that relationships have an expiration date. But what exactly is this itch? Is it something real, or is it made up? If it is real, is there a way to fix it? Here, we will explain everything you need to know about this phenomenon.
What Is the Seven-Year Itch?
The seven-year itch is a theory that marriage or a long relationship will get stale after a while. More precisely, after seven years. People claim that the couple will experience turbulence after a while and that it may be a deal-breaker. That is why you see so many couples and marriages fail after this time period — at least, that’s what many believe.
According to people supporting the idea of the seven-year itch, this time is crucial due to the fact that it will allow a couple to define their relationship. After it, they will either stay together or grow apart. It seems that this period is a breaking point where a couple will either stay together or realize that their relationship is not working as well as they have hoped.
Some also believe that unsatisfied people often feel unfulfilled for quite a while, but it takes them some time to realize it. After that, they are ready to move on and continue their lives separately.
Is There Some Truth to It?
It would be great if there was a point in time we could use to determine whether the relationship is working or not. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. There are no magical numbers or years that need to pass for you to discover the truth. In reality, each of us is different, and people need different amounts of time to figure out what they desire or if their relationship is something they enjoy.
That being said, there are still some elements of the theory that are rather interesting. For example, the average time people stay married before getting a divorce is eight years. This number seems surprisingly close to our seven-year rule. One might say that people take an extra year just to be sure if there is a chance to save the marriage.
Similar things can apply to relationships as well, at least serious ones. But these days, relationships tend to be a lot shorter than seven years — they last between two and nine months on average.
Finally, newlywed couples are known to experience a relationship high, and things tend to get a bit slower after a while. However, no one can predict how a relationship will unfold.
Knowing How to Spot the Signs of the Seven-Year Itch
Knowing if your long-term relationship funk is something that will pass can be an important thing. Assuming you care about your partner, you don’t want it all to end. So how exactly can you notice the signs of the seven-year itch? Whether this rule is real or not, after several years of marriage, there might be some problems. So these hints might help you spot a potential disaster and address it before it’s too late.
The most common “symptoms” are irritability, boredom, resentment, and general dissatisfaction. You might notice that your partner’s habits are starting to get more and more on your nerves even though they have had them since the beginning. Of course, they might be irritated by your habits as well. The typical signs are eye-rolling, losing patience, or different tone.
One of the most important aspects of every relationship is communication. Talk to your partner about everything. If something bothers you, tell them before it becomes unbearable.
If you ignore something you don’t like, the feeling won’t disappear. It will grow until your relationship is ruined. The worst thing is it might be something easily fixable. Your partner might not be aware that they are doing something wrong or that it bothers you. However, if you talk to them, they can stop doing it, and you will avoid so many problems.
As for boredom, there are many ways to keep yourselves entertained. Whether we’re talking about sexual experiments or vacations, you can try out so many different things. There is a reason why you keep hearing about people trying to spice up their sex lives.
Improve Your Relationship
Relationships require two people (at least), and both of you need to work on it. Marriage doesn’t end all your problems. It doesn’t mean that you’ve won the prize, and there are no more reasons to care. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Fixing your marriage is something that many couples try to do. But it is so much better to avoid having to fix it at all. To do that, you should work on your marriage every single day.
Spending time with your significant other should be pleasurable, and you should find ways to enjoy each other. As we have already mentioned, the first step to a healthy relationship is communication. Talk to your partner. Tell them what you like and dislike, ask them how they spent their day, let them tell you if there is anything new going on in their life, and so on. You can also have a dedicated day every month for your date. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that you should stop dating and finding ways to win each other.
Show your affection and express your appreciation. Couples tend to get used to each other and forget to appreciate small acts of kindness. But paying attention to such small things can significantly improve what you have.
How Counseling Helps
If you find yourself fearing for your future as a couple, there are still some things you can do. You might have realized too late that what you have is precious, and you are scared that your partner won’t understand it.
You can always seek professional help. There are so many counselors with years of expertise in helping couples. They saw it all, and they can help. There is no reason for you to think that seeking help will make you weak. Admitting that you made a mistake and trying to fix it proves otherwise. You are willing to fight for your marriage, and that’s what counts.