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Is the Seven-Year-Itch Threatening Your Marriage?


Eight point two years: that’s the length of the average marriage for first-timers. Many say it makes perfect sense—after all, the seven-year-itch took its toll, and couples were ready to throw in the towel.  What does research have to say about it?

Adult Development 

Actually, researchers note that adults do cycle through life in roughly seven-year cycles. Seven years of general steadiness roll into a couple of years of disquiet, and then the cycle repeats itself. Whether the focus is on employment and career, family and domestic issues, aging and health, or caring for elderly parents throughout any or all of these phases, the transitions can be rough.

Starting Out 

Young newlyweds are transitioning away from dependence on parents as they look for stability in a family of their own. They long to feel loved and prioritized, offering the same to their new spouse.

The Building Phase 

As couples settle into their marriages, they develop routines and expectations that create stability.  They negotiate the day-to-day schedules, and figure out who does what, creating the “rules” of their relationship.  Who makes the coffee? Who takes out the trash? Whose family do you have Christmas dinner with?  The discovery of what makes a marriage work is exciting and fun for most couples, who learn the compromises they need to make to succeed in their marriages.

Crisis Hits 

Suddenly, somewhere around year seven, one or both partners starts feeling boxed in or generally dissatisfied. The things that were once charming about a partner are lost in the dirty laundry and yard chores.  While feeling grounded and steady once felt like a suitable goal, now it just feels like stifling drudgery.  This makes sense, because as people, there have been changes and growth that have altered perceptions, expectations, and needs.

The Seven-Year Itch 

That lack of spontaneity can lead couples to nitpick, argue, or actively create distance. Things don’t feel like they’re working like they used to, and leaving seems like the only way to solve it, either emotionally or through a divorce.  So couples start to focus heavily on work, kids, and goals not directly related to the relationship, or they just throw in the towel all together.

Are You Ready to Move On? 

If the seven-year cycle seems familiar, you may feel like it’s time for you to move on. At WiseLieberman, our experienced Boca Raton divorce attorneys will help you make a clean break.  Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.



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