Have you ever seen the 1950’s Marilyn Monroe movie “The Seven Year Itch?” This film explored the notion that many people lose interest in their monogamous relationship after seven years. Turns out, it’s a real thing that has been studied for years!
Some newly-married couples experience what is commonly referred to as the “honeymoon period,” a relationship “high” that can carry them through the first months, even years, of their marriage. Many psychologists report, however, that at the five-to-seven-year mark, it is not uncommon for partners to find themselves reexamining their relationship.
During those first few years, couples learn to merge their lives and their personalities, coordinating their work-life balance, negotiating responsibilities, managing expectations, handling money and the division of chores surrounding homelife, in-laws, and children. Statistically speaking, seven years of marriage seems to be a tipping point of marital frustration. In some marriages, one party becomes restless in the marriage and looks elsewhere for fulfillment, and an extramarital affair becomes the impetus for ending the marriage. This is where the term “seven-year itch” was derived.
Whether at the seven-year mark or not, it’s common for couples to experience a rough patch in which one or both partners feel less happy. They may be bickering more than normal. Some may feel restless. Some successfully work through these challenges on their own; others might enter into couples counseling. It doesn’t mean that divorce is a foregone conclusion. But for the couples who can’t work through their issues, or for those that grow increasingly unhappy, divorce may become an option.
What factors influence divorce?
Why do people get divorced, and what influences the timing of divorce? Couples rarely enter into a marriage assuming they will divorce down the road. According to the National Institute of Health, the most common reasons couples decide to divorce include:
- Lack of commitment — 75%
- Infidelity or extramarital affairs — 59.6%
- Too much conflict and arguing — 57.7%
- Getting married too young — 45.1%
- Financial problems — 36.1%
- Substance abuse — 34.6%
- Domestic violence — 23.5%
- Health problems — 18.2%
If you find yourself headed towards divorce or wondering whether you can save your marriage, the expert attorneys at Buncher Family Law can share their experience and provide guidance as you consider your options. Start by scheduling a Clear Legal Strategy meeting to explore the issues and help make some decisions as to which path you might take going forward.