The 7-Year Relationship Itch: Fact Or Fallacy?
The seven-year itch is commonly known as the dreaded time in a relationship when things somehow start falling apart. Of course, not everyone breaks up at the seven-year mark, but it is very common for most relationships to go through a rough patch where you find your partner (or yourself) bored, predictable and they are really, really getting on your nerves. The day-to-day life monotony brings up the all too familiar question in a relationship, “is this it?” You may then begin to seek outside sources to fulfill you that gap.
“In any endeavor, boredom sets in over time, this is because the novelty becomes the routine,” says the professional family and marriage therapists. Since the 7-year itch is obviously a real thing and needs to be addressed in a relationship. If you have the desire, heart, perseverance and tenacity to try get past it and stay with your partner, here are a few suggestions from the professional relationship therapists:
- Change the way you think about committed love. Most people mistake love as a noun, when it is actually a verb. Love is an action that’s energetic and constantly changing. Love never stays stationary, always flowing and changing. Love is supposed to be that way; an everchanging adventure, not a Hallmark card.
- The sex is going to change and that’s okay. Everyone has fond memories of the hot sex you were having at the start of your relationship: Sex on top of washing machines and kitchen counters, the kind of sex that you called in sick from work. But eventually your sex life will change because your bodies and libidos change as you age. Biologically, our sex drives diminish as we age.
- Work on yourself first. It’s tempting to blame your partner when your relationship bores, irritates, or upsets you, thinking “if only he would help around the house more or remembered Valentines Day and your birthday without you having to put up sticky notes all over the house.” Blaming your partner, then trying to change them will only lead to resentment and anger, dividing the relationship even further. The best prescription to keep your relationship interesting is for you to become more interesting. Your partner will respond to keep up.
- Experience life together. The good way to combat boredom in a relationship is filling your life with exciting things you can look forward to doing together. Little weekend getaways and if you have children, make it a point to (at least twice a year), take a vacation from them. Get physical besides having sex and experience different things like renting bikes, go hiking or just go for a nature walk. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn how to communicate better. Exercise is an incredibly bonding experience and NO!……watching TV together is not considered exercise.
- Make friends with other couples. Your desire for contact with the outside world doesn’t disappear once you’re in a relationship. You still crave social interaction whether you are single or in a relationship, so why not arrange a monthly meet-up at a restaurant, a bar, or at someone’s home with other couples? No friends? Try something like Meet-Up.com, where people get together who like doing the same things. (It is not a dating site!) Doing so could make you feel less isolated; plus, it never hurts to share a laugh about married life with friends who are in the same boat.
- Don’t compare yourself to other couples. No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. Your coupled friends on Facebook may be traveling every other week to exotic locations, while other married friends seem to eat at nice restaurants every other night. What may seem like the perfect married life on social media is as complex as your marriage and every other relationship on earth.
- Learn to REALLY listen to what your partner is saying! If, when you’re discussing something contentious or arguing, you’re already thinking about what you’re going to retaliate as your partner is speaking; learn to take a few deep breaths and focus on what you are hearing.
- Keep the touching part of your relationship going, and lots of it! A hug, a stroke on the cheek, a simple brush of a kiss, a hand on your back or a touch of your leg is an important part of intimacy that is forgotten after being with the same person over time. Try and remember the days when you couldn’t keep your hands off each other and put some of that into action.
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Susan Z’s Verdict
Everyone speaks in a hushed-whispers of the dreaded “7-year itch” and wonder if their relationship will make it through it. It is obviously not a fallacy but a fact that when we move into a new energetic Soul Window life cycle (if you would like to know more about the Soul Window life cycles, read my book Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine by Susan Z Rich on Amazon.com. It will explain clearly why the 7-year itch happens)
Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.