What Is The Seven Year Itch And How Do I Deal With It?
The Seven Year Itch is a movie starring the iconic Marilyn Monroe but we’re not here to talk about that today. We are here to talk about the one that pertains to actual real-life relationships.
That is the supposed “itch” that people perceive to happen at around the seven-year mark of a romantic relationship. The idea is that at around year seven the happiness in a marriage or relationship starts to rapidly decline. What a wonderfully optimistic thought.
Many people believe that the first seven years of a relationship or marriage is the “honeymoon” stage. They believe that at the seven-year mark a lot of hidden baggage and emotions come to the surface and cause conflict and unhappiness within the relationship.
There have been many celebrity couples that happened to divorce after 7-8 years of marriage but many psychologists will say that the seven-year itch, in terms of research and scientific proof, is not actually a real thing. There is no need to fear this very specific moment in time for your relationship.
There is no need to hire a private detective to hunt for signs of infidelity or dishonesty in the relationship at this stage. In fact, simply fearing “the seven-year itch” could cause a whole host of relationship issues all by itself.
If we were to park the idea of seven years being the definitive check-point for issues in your relationship and instead talk about relationships in general, it might be more helpful. It is not unusual to feel somewhat disillusioned in your relationship after several years.
Circumstances can lead to bumped heads, wanting different things and the feeling of drifting a little from each other. When crisis strikes and it feels as though your relationship has hit a stumbling block it is important to take stock and be as honest and proactive as possible.
So instead of the seven-year itch, let’s talk about the more commonly referred to “honeymoon period” and what happens if and when it feels like that has come to an end in your relationship. Before we go any further, this is not necessarily a “thing”.
It just happens to be something that people will regularly joke about and ask you very directly at the very first mention of your relationship having a difficult moment. “Has the honeymoon period come to an end?” may be asked if you mention that your other half has done something really tiny to annoy you for example.
So let’s just say you are personally feeling as though your relationship could do with a little injection of passion. A bit of magic dust to get things shining again. Think of it as a little relationship service ahead of the next relationship NCT. Oh, let’s just call it “things to look after in your relationship so that your relationship looks after you”, or something.
Let’s call a spade a spade here, when you are no longer having fun together everyday life can feel a little bleak. Watch funny shows together, send ALL the GIFs and don’t be afraid to just be silly with each other as often as possible. There is enough in life to be serious about – fun is so important and it’s where it all began for you two.
A lot of people will say that the status of your sex life is a pretty good indicator of how things are going for the relationship in general. Those people obviously have sleeping children. But it is true in many ways. It is unrealistic to think that intimacy will not change over the years but it is an important aspect of a romantic relationship. Don’t compare yourself to other people but keep the stream of communication open so that you can both ensure that you are happy with the intimacy in your relationship. When kids come along it can be a rarity, but get the creative hat on and remember that this stuff is sacred and just for you guys, so enjoy it!
Sometimes it is very easy to forget that we are not mind-readers. We can live with someone and actually have no idea about how their day went or what is going through their mind. Take some time every single day to talk without phones or screens. Modern day life has stripped us of so much face-to-face contact that we often forget how to talk. Speak up, listen and remember that while you won’t always agree honesty is the best policy.
Has life become a prescribed routine where Mammy and Daddy have replaced you and I? Carve out some time for date nights so that you can enjoy each other exactly as you are. Remember that before anything else it was just you two.
Do Not Panic
It is normal to go through phases where your favourite person is your least favourite person. Don’t act on knee-jerk reactions and very sudden urges to do something extreme. Hormones, life stress and boredom can often be the starting point for these feelings. Communication will help in most cases.
And remember that at any point in any relationship things can stagnate. Unfortunately, relationships don’t just look after themselves. They require the same level of care and attention that you give to the other facets of your life. You’ve got this!
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.