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What Is The 7 Year Itch In A Relationship? – Meaning, Origin, Signs, And Much More

What Is The 7 Year Itch In A Relationship? – Meaning, Origin, Signs, And Much More

Updated on Sep 20, 2023

What Is The 7 Year Itch In A Relationship - Meaning, Origin, Signs, And Much More

So, you want to know what is the 7 year itch in a relationship. You came across this popular word and feel that it might have relevance in your love life. 

Well, it is definitely a worrying situation as it leads to serious issues like breakups/divorce, cheating, and so on. But it doesn’t declare the demise of your relationship

So, calm down, and let’s know everything you need to know about it…

What is the 7-year itch in a relationship?

The 7-year itch is a popular belief that says: committed couples experience marital troubles and dissatisfaction in the seventh year of their marriage. It is said that divorce rates are the highest when relationships reach this period. 

This has been disputed by experts, but people indeed go through deep issues with their partners around this time.

It does not only refer to a desire for divorce but also major relationship issues like cheating, conflict or irreconcilable differences, and so on. 

This leads to poor communication, a sense of boredom, and further conflicts. The seven-year itch is also used as an excuse to cheat by some.

But where does this come from? Let’s figure out the history behind it here…

What is the origin of this term?

Every long-term relationship will go through problems. But nobody can certainly say that the seventh year have some evil curse upon it. Relationship experts doubt whether the time mark is valid or not. 

The phrase “7-year itch” was first seen in popular culture in a film of the same name from 1955 which starred Marilyn Monroe. The plot of the movie says that all men cheat on their wives in the seventh year of marriage.

But in reality, this does not apply to just men and it is not particularly just about cheating.

Is the 7-year itch real or a myth?

Experts are divided on this topic. Some say that it is real and have shown that divorce rates reach a high peak in the seventh year of marriage. 

While other experts say that the earlier opinion is flawed and does not consider some things. For instance, some ambitious people work so hard that their relationships suffer. So, divorce is a likely option anyway. 

They suggest that such people are more prone to divorce and that the fifth year has the highest rate.

So, if there’s an issue in the fifth year as well, why the name? Let’s know that here…

Why exactly “7 years”?

Researchers say that couples commonly experience troubles around the seventh year due to two layers of decline in their relationship.

The first decline happens when the honeymoon period of marriage ends. For four years, couples basked in the feeling of love. Then things begin to settle down. So, the initial banging romance fades away over these four years.

The second decline happens after people have children because they demand a lot of time from the couple. So, they spend less time with each other, become less affectionate, and have more dissatisfaction in their marriage.

But does this curse-like experience only happen to marriage? Let’s find out here… 

Is it applicable to only marriages? 

Mostly, it’s said to apply only to married couples because the research on this topic has not been done on unmarried couples. 

Married couples who have children are prone to this thing the most because the focus of their relationship declines. 

While unmarried couples keep the dating phase alive so they don’t face the issue.

On the other hand, unmarried live-in couples with children may also experience the same 7-year itch. 

Is it concerning? How long does it last?

To understand whether the 7-year itch will affect your relationship, consider some factors like age, career, kids, family, and culture.

For instance, if you are a young couple, have a lot to do with your career, and have kids, you should look out for this. 

The phrase symbolically refers to the problems couples face at this juncture, it does not mean that the entire seventh year will be full of problems. So, this can last for a few weeks to many years, depending on the couple.

Now, are you concerned if the “itch” has already set in your relationship? Keep scrolling for answers…

Signs you’re facing the 7-year itch in your relationship 

If your relationship is approaching the seventh year, you might be afraid of the times ahead. So, read these signs to see if your bond is going through the 7-year itch…

1. You feel emotionally detached

Emotional intimacy is the backbone of committed relationships. So, if your connection with each other is crumbling down, you will feel like not sharing your feelings with them.

When you realize that you would rather cry alone or let your partner be miserable alone, that’s a bad sign of the 7-year itch.

2. You have doubts about the commitment

Some people begin to think that monogamy is too boring for them and feel suffocated. While others feel that their partners are not committed enough to this bond and they are alone in this relationship now.

Both of these feelings are indicative of the itch. 

3. You fight more

When you’re dissatisfied with your partner, fights are bound to increase. Every little thing they say will set you off, even the sound of their voice might become annoying to you.

If you’re fighting a lot without rhyme or reason, it is because of the 7-year itch.

4. You feel restless 

You will feel restless about your situation if you are going through this phase. It’s because nothing is quite right and settled. You’re itching for change and more satisfaction because you are tired of settling for such a long time.

5.  You have fantasies about another life

You might have thoughts about a different person. It might be real people or an ideal type you desire to share a fantasy-like perfect connection. These are also glaring signs of the itch.

If you see these signs in your relationship, you need to know whether you guys can live through it here…

Signs your relationship can’t withstand the 7-year itch

You don’t have to worry just because you’re experiencing the itch. But it’s better to be aware of these concerning signs…

1. You aren’t curious about each other

If you’ve lost curiosity about who you are with, you are done for. While it is great to know someone well, mystery keeps the spark alive.

2. You have secrets

Everyone has some secrets from their partner. But when it becomes too many, you will lose transparency in your marriage. It will make you suspect each other and pull you apart.

3. You don’t spend time with each other

If you never give your partner time, you won’t be able to get over this rough patch. It is important to have good conversations to maintain intimacy.

4. You take each other for granted

Earlier, you used to feel grateful for every little flower and gesture of love. But now favors have become commonplace. If you say, “Oh, they are supposed to do this,” that’s the end.

5. You both criticize each other too much

Pointless criticism of little things like how they keep their shoes or clothes deepens the dissatisfaction in the relationship. That’s another sign of the end of your relationship.

Even if these signs showed in your relationship, you must not give up yet. Learn to fix the situation instead…

How to overcome the 7-year itch in a relationship?

This 7-year itch is not a sure-shot beginning to the end. You can improve the situation if you try hard. So, overcome this disturbing patch in your relationship with these steps. 

1. Have a good conversation about it

Talk frankly about this issue with your partner. Find out how both of you are feeling. Unique solutions that are suitable for your life will become clear only then. But remember not to accuse them.

2. Start taking an interest in each other

Show interest in their hobbies and daily life again. Do it just like you used to when you began dating each other.

3. Give more love to your partner

Become more affectionate both physically and through actions. Give a little kiss goodbye in the morning, write a little loving text, and so on.

4. Speak up about your needs

If you have just been giving in to avoid conflict, speak up about your needs. This will help avoid feeling resentful of your partner. 

5. Seek professional help

A couple’s counselor is a good idea when the problem has become too much. They are trained to help you overcome this particular trouble.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

Though the 7 year itch is a scary and overwhelming phase, don’t throw in the towel on your relationship too soon. Communicate well, think rationally, and give your partner a second chance. 

Remember, everyone goes through this, and with strong love and determination, you can overcome it, too!

Are you interested to know more about ‘Signs You Love Her Too Much’ then click here?

Are you interested to know more about ‘How to Know if She Is the ONE’ then click here?