The seven-year itch has become something of a joke, but it is no laughing matter. Statistics show that it is a real thing. So, how do you override it?
There is an old phrase called the seven-year itch. It is the magical number that allocates the number of years two people are married before the spark goes out and people are tempted to squelch their temptation with someone other than their significant other.
The phrase has been around as long as time. Although it was originally used to describe things irritating like skin rashes, scabies, and STDs, in 1955 good ol’ Marilyn Monroe made the phrase famous in marital terms by citing it in the film adaptation of The Seven-Year Itch.
6 ways to scratch the seven-year itch
So, is there such a thing as a seven-year itch? There is no doubt that at some point every marriage experiences a lull where the lust and dreaminess of the first couple of years are overridden by the mundane nature of the everyday and sex with the same person night after night. But, why seven years? Is there really any scientific research to back it up?
Apparently, yes. Statistics indicate divorce rates appear to explode in about the seventh year of marriage. The NCHS estimates that the average duration of marriage in America is about 7.2 years and consistently stays there since they began recording data on marriage and divorce in the early 70s.
Although a trend, the seven-year itch doesn’t have to define you or your marriage. I know a plethora of marriages well into their 20th-year mark and going strong. Maybe not having the passion that those who just start out have, but they also don’t have the turmoil of getting to know one another or learning to live together.
If you experience feelings of the seven-year itch, try these six ways to scratch it the right way so you don’t end up in divorce court.
#1 Introduce some new things into the bedroom. Yep, it gets kind of old eating vanilla ice cream for dessert every night. If you are always on top and they are always the one initiating, find a new way to spice things up.
Introduce toys, try watching some movies together, or just make the first move if it isn’t typically your role. Little changes create big excitement. Light your smoldering bed back on fire.
#2 Sext it up. Technology is an excellent way to regain the passion that might be missing. Instead of texting about daily chores, try making your significant other feel good about themselves.
Sending them love notes, notes of appreciation, or even sexting during the day, takes you both out of your element. It might feel weird and awkward at first, but you will be surprised at how quickly your marriage responds if you just send a simple sexy picture or text, telling them how hot you still find them.
#3 Let go of the past. If you want to know how to get over the hump of the past seven years, learn to let go and move forward. All of us keep a record of our past hurts and grievances. It is human nature.
After a while, it’s akin to carrying around a backpack. Who wants to do that? If you are upset about something in the past, let it go. I mean like truly forgive. If you put the backpack down and move around a little more freely, you might just find the person that you fell in love with instead of the person who did you wrong three years ago.
As the old Cherokee proverb says, “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” Let go of whatever resentment you have from the past. What you find is the same two people who fell in love.
#4 Work on yourself. Sometimes our unhappiness with our significant other stems from being unhappy with ourselves. If you give up the things you love to do, put on a bunch of weight, or just weighed down with career choices, it is easy to lump them into your relationship and put the blame where it doesn’t belong.
Instead of holding your partner responsible, think about the ways you change yourself to make you happy outside of your marriage. That saying that you can’t be happy with someone until you’re happy with yourself is absolutely true.
If you find you aren’t happy in your marriage, consider the fact that it might not be your marriage at all. Create some change in your life that revolves around you alone.
#5 Remember that it took you seven years to get where you are at. Change is not easy. Otherwise, we would all be walking around perfect, wouldn’t we? It took you seven years to get to where you are at all the way around. If you want to get over the seven-year itch, then it takes some continual and constant change on both of your parts to straighten things out.
If you make the first move and they respond in kind, then it is your turn. It is those small alterations we make consistently that make a big overall difference in ourselves and our relationships.
You aren’t going to find the magic you lost overnight. But, if you are willing to be creative and put in the extra work that it takes, you can find the love and lust that you felt right up front.
#6 Do the things that turn the other person on. If blow jobs are his thing, do them just because, even if you are tired. If sensual touch is hers, forget your “O” for a bit and make her feel good. Sometimes we forget what sex is for to begin with.
Sure, it is about feeling good. It is also about making our significant other feel good. Instead of getting yours on before you get some sleep, put some real time and effort into spending sexual time together and explore. You just might find that the sex is better than the dreams you have of how good it was when you first met.
You are older, wiser, and more giving now. So, use that to your sexual advantage to find out how to take sex one step further and beyond.
The seven-year itch might be folklore in words. However, there are some real statistics behind the notion that seven years is when people reevaluate their commitment and consider if they made the right choice. When the romance dies, it is easy to look around and think that being with someone else might be more exciting.
Marriage is NOT easy. Over time you build resentment and put up some walls. If you want to get past the hurdle of the seven-year mark, then it takes some forgiveness, creativity, and imagination. But, the two people hot for each other and in love are still in there, just hidden by the shit that covered them over the past seven years.
If you peel away the layers, what you will find is the lust that you lost, and hopefully, the enduring love and friendship gained over the first seven years, not just the seven-year itch. If you merge the two and work with them, the next 70, will be more fulfilling than you can ever imagine.