We have all heard about it and maybe some of us experienced it, but the ‘Seven Year Itch’ is an unfortunate trend we see in some marriages. First let me make this perfectly clear, I am not about to tell you how my marriage is perfect and I live in a world of unicorns and rainbows. I don’t, I go through the day-to-day struggles like anyone else.
I recently read an article on Shine.com (http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/is-there-a-seven-year-itch-or-a-three-year-glitch-2589959/) that talked about this trend. The idea is that after seven years the honeymoon is over and the things you once tolerated are now no longer tolerable. The author mentions several famous Hollywood couples that fell to the ill effects of this phenomenon. The interesting thing I took from the article was not about why Reese and Ryan broke up, but that the new trend is shifting towards three years! At first I actually thought, ‘well that is better because they probably haven’t had any kids yet’. Then I thought more about the problem of being unhappy in a marriage. Some marriages unfortunately are headed down a tough road, but I think there are many that just need a GPS realignment.
I have had many girl’s nights where the discussion shifts to a friend who is unhappy, over stressed, lonely and wonders if their marriage is ok. You know the night, tears may soon follow and then more wine! Nevertheless, all of the friends help her figure out if it is worth staying, how to fix it, or to get out. Sometimes it is actually comforting to hear that other friends like you are feeling or experiencing similar problems. Marriage is not easy. We meet the love of our lives usually at a time when there is little to worry about. We don’t have kids, we don’t own a house, our jobs/careers are just beginning and nightlife is exciting and fun. Our lives take on a new level of complexity with children, mortgages, daycare & job/career changes. Nightlife with friends becomes hard because babysitters have to be managed and early mornings with kids are unavoidable. Before you know it time has passed and you are sitting next to your husband on the couch finally catching up on your DVR. No talking, just decompressing side by side on the couch.
These changes in our lives requires us to evolve in our marriages too. There have been some evenings that I have wanted and needed to “reconnect” with my husband, not sex…just talk & laugh about nothing. Life is a powerful force that can take over and we need to take it back! The easy going couple that was the life of the party with few worries now has changed, but does it have to? Do we have to change completely, can we not hold on to some of the “awesomeness” of our life pre-evolution?
One of the things I have found great about writing this blog is the effect it has in my own life. Thinking, writing, defending and laughing about life’s interesting moments gives me the time to reflect on my own. I think the “itch” everyone speaks about is really a fork in the road of the couple. There needs to be more talking and less judging, more talking and less slamming doors, more talking and less silent treatment, MORE TALKING and less yelling. When we become parents we feel a sense of control over the kids and that control is hard to let go. Our spouses are not controllable…they are a part of ‘The Team’. We need to work together for the common good of the family. That being said, working together does not mean doing ‘what I say’ or agreeing on everything. It may mean agreeing to disagree or coming up with a completely different solution. We need to appreciate each others input, listen to each others ideas and be more flexible in the chaotic lives in which we live.
One night a week, put away the cell phones and the to-do list, turn off the TV and talk about crazy funny stuff or tell a story about the old days. If you need to, get a babysitter and go sit at a bar for a drink and RECONNECT! Stop Itching and Start Talking!