The Seven Year Itch

by Meredith on October 14, 2013

Shaun Soleau is probably clicking on this post with pure terror in his heart.

Is my wife about to confess that she’s bored in our marriage?

Nope. I don’t get bored. I keep busy. And being married to me, as you can imagine, is a very busy thing. Even when Shaun Soleau wants to be lame (like hang out and play cards with his friends) and not do fun things that I want to do (like sing karaoke), I just drag him along with me, and force him to be fun.

The Seven Year Itch - A Real Life Marriage Series

But we are coming up on the dreaded Seven Year Itch.

Is the Seven Year Itch a real thing? I think it probably is.

According to Wikipedia:

The seven-year itch can be analyzed quantitatively. Divorce rates show a trend in couples that, on average, divorce around seven years. Statistics show that there is a low risk of separation during the first months of marriage. After those ‘honeymoon’ months divorce rates start to increase. Most married couples experience a gradual decline in the quality of their marriage, in recent years around the fourth year of marriage. Around the seventh year, tensions have risen to a point that couples either divorce or adapt to their partner.

If you don’t keep your marriage spicy, who will?

The answer is no one.

Shaun and I have been trying to make it a point to put each other first. We haven’t always done this. It took us years to figure out that if we put each other first, the rest falls into place from there, and even the kids are happier because of it. I’d rather be the gross make-out parents than the ones who got divorced. Or worse, the ones who stayed together, but should have been divorced.

Our marriage is far from perfect. FAR. But at least we’re still trying to be pals.

We go through phases, just like most marriages. Right now we are in the I-like-being-around-you-sort-of-ish phase. This is the phase immediately following the recent I-want-to-stab-you-in-the-eye-with-a-pen-and-then-maybe-set-you-on-fire phase.

We need to take a big trip. Alone. I want to run wild with my husband and sleep late.

One thing we are super good at as a couple (besides fighting and humping) is traveling. So when normal life gets overwhelming, I book us a trip to shake things up and remind him how much fun I am to hang out around (when I’m not wiping boogers off of the wall behind my son’s bed). I think it’s important to remind your husband that you are still the same girl who once blew him in the bathroom at The Village Inn while you were dating (this may or may not have happened, Mom).

These trips never involve our children. I know that sounds like we are bad parents, but really, I don’t care. How can we be good parents if we aren’t good to each other? And blowies are few and far between when you have kids looking at you from the other bed (Other Bed = Observation Deck).

One of the stops on our honeymoon cruise was St. Martin. We loved the French side of the Island (probably because Shaun is super proud of his French-ness), especially the Grand Case area. We’ve always wanted to go back for a week and have been eyeballing the Love Hotel for years. Without asking Shaun what he thought about it (because I don’t need his permission to make fun happen – and we have separate bank accounts), I just went ahead and booked us a weeks’ stay. I found a really good deal on what was already really affordable through booking.com.

The Love Hotel only has seven rooms. It’s super boutique-y. There are no TVs in the room because the owners don’t think you need to be watching TV while you’re staying with them. I like the way they think. The hotel even has a little bar downstairs that serves excellent French tapas and yummy Caribbean drinks.

Love hotel

This is going to be the perfect vacation for two sometimes best friends who super like getting drunk and hooking-up. It also gives us something to look forward to. A common goal, if you will.

As we enter the seventh year of our marriage, I’m going to be real with you and chronicle the ups and downs of the next year. A psychic told me were supposed to get divorced a few months ago. I came home and cried. Shaun made fun of me, and promised me we would prove her wrong. We will prove her wrong (eff off, Janet Amid!). So this marks the beginning of a new series called on the old blog called, The Seven Year Itch.

I hope you all enjoy this intimate peak inside of a real-life marriage. The good, the bad, and the ugly. You’ll see it all. And your feedback is super important, especially if you’ve been-there-done-that.

So tell me, do you believe in the Seven Year Itch? And how do you pull your partner back to you when you feel like you’ve drifted away from each other?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess

We’re coming up on year 7 too! And with a 3 and 5 year old, I feel ya on kind of just letting things go. I think our itch happened last year, and we totally survived…well…barely, but we’re still here! You’re totally on target with making time for each other. That was something we weren’t doing and it was killing us, so we are making more of an effort to “date” each other and will also be taking a trip this year sans kids. It doesn’t make you bad parents to go away for awhile without your kids, you need to take care of your marriage first and, like you said, everything else will fall into place. Best wishes on year 7!

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steph gas

this is an excellent idea. i’d steal it, but awesome husband and i just celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary last week. i don’t know if i would quantify the year of the itch, but i believe that marriage gets stupid and boring and dull – if you let it. our seventh year of marriage occurred less than a year after my mother died and a few months after moving from florida back to new york – we had too much other ‘life’ stuff to deal with besides a seven year itch.

maybe that’s the point – finding other things to focus on besides this itch. are there times i’ve wanted to gouge awesome husband’s eyes out? sure. but marriage is HARD WORK. if you’re not working your marriage (like you and shaun are) then you’re not doing it right – and that’s when these amicable, ‘we just grew apart’ divorces happen. (imho at least)

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Allison F.

I totally believe in it, but not necessarily that we’re hardwired to want to stray at that point, more that most couples have a kid or two by then and are firmly in “The Blur” years and life just sucks in general, so it becomes a ‘hey, who can I blame this on’ scenario. We’re only just over a year into marriage, but we deal with this stuff already too (we’ve had kids from day 1, his from a previous marriage) and since he doesn’t seem to appreciate my blunt, to the point, ripping off a bandaid style of dealing with conflict, usually me pulling away too is the best way to pull him back in, if that makes sense.

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Dom Perna

Hey, speaking of the v.i. bathrooms, they’re a lot nicer now!

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Buttah

I totally DO NOT believe in it!! Marriage only gets boring and dull if you stop working at it and allow that to happen. Hubs and I have been together for 17 1/2 years total, married for 13 of them (since we were 18 years old at that!). Our 7th year of marriage was spent with our little man just turning 1 year old!! We keep things spicy…we have date nights and also adult only get aways from our little dude too, and trips to the “toy store” on occasion for various sexy time fun. We also still hump in various scandalous places… If you don’t take time for each other, then that’s when you leave the door open for someone else to come in and take care of what you’re not…know what I mean?? The “itch” only happens if you allow it to. If you are both taking care of one another, then there is never a reason for the itch to occur! Genius right?!?!

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erica

I do think the itch happens, but not necessairily because of boredom. I think it takes about 7 years for the things that irritate you about your spouse to stop being cute or “ignorable” and start being real problems. I think that people then tend to just say oooppps I made a mistake instead of working out there personal and relationship flaws. I think that is where the work comes in, and some just don’t want to do it. But hey what the hell do I know? I am coming up on my 9th year of marriage and just getting to the point, where I am like hey a, b, c drives me crazy and lets do something about it before we both start hating each other. But I think that is how it happens.

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Maggie

It’s totally a thing, or we wouldn’t be talking about it. I personally think it happens when life gets derailed. Kids, babies, jobs, no sleeping, top that off with falling asleep with the PITA 3 yr old who won’t sleep alone. This can lead to no hot and sexy time. Marriage is hard, yo. The dynamic of the relationship changes so much after kids, people don’t realize that fully until it smacks them in the face (speaking from personal experience). I think going away without kids to remind each other how great you both are is perfect..and NEEDED.

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Ruth H

It’s definitely an issue, I think, in most relationships; just that the timing varies. I was married for 25 years, my ex and I would be in the category “should have divorced a long time ago”; but we didn’t, until I finally had enough. I stayed for the sake of our son, who as I’ve watched his relationship issues, realize in retrospect, that was not a good reason to stay; nor was fearing the wrath of my family (old fashioned Christians, my dad still asks when I’m going back where “I belong”, it’s been over three years now). I tried to address the issues over the years, and my ex wasn’t blind to them, he admitted “yeah, we got issues, but I got issues too; I gotta figure my stuff out before I deal with us”… after 20 years of that, I had to pull the plug; marriage shouldn’t make you suicidal. We now get along just fine and talk fairly regularly, we still have a common interest, our son and daughter-in-law, and we can look back and see where the connections fell apart, but we have no desire to reunite. He is quite happy as the middle aged social butterfly – he’s always on the go; and I am engaged to my best friend.

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chrisinphx

Totally believe it. I was in an 8 year relationship that SHOULD have ended in year 6. I was too chicken shit to leave since we had a house, bank accounts yada yada yada together. I thought it would pass and things would get better, but I just got more and more resentful. When your partner tells you that the problems are all in your head and will not make any real effort to fix or help solve said problems; weather they perceive them as valid or not things will never work.

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Jody

It happens, been there done that a few times….been married to the love of my life for almost 27 years. We’ve had our share of ups and downs. Right now, we are having the time of our lives….really enjoying one another and rediscovering one another. Two of the three kids have been out of the house for a few years and we have only our 17 soon to be 18 year old son at home. He’s the coolest kid you ever want to meet and he knows how not to get in the way (he spends lots of time with his friends…yay). Despite having my mom-in-law living with us now for almost two years, hubby and I find time for each other. Is our marriage perfect…no way but we’re in it for life…7 year itches and all.

All the best to you Meredith and Shaun. Taking those trips and doing things without the children is what keeps your marriage alive. You have to do it now and again. Life does get in the way. When you find yourself drifting apart try to remember why you came together in the first place. Corny but true!

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