Today my hubs and I are celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. While the last seven years have been wonderful (with one or two arguments here and there), it got me thinking to the old saying “the 7 year itch” – Is it a real thing? Where did it come from? How do you get past it?
The seven year itch refers to a theory that after being with your significant other for seven years, you might be feeling a little complacent or bored even – maybe you’re itching for something different, something new.
Why does this happen?? Some of the articles I read referred to the fact that typically around the seven year mark the dynamics of the relationship have changed: maybe kids are now in the picture, maybe career goals have changed, or maybe your individual life goals have changed.
While there’s no specific proof that any of this happens at exactly the seven year mark – really it could happen at any time in a long-term relationship – I do believe that there are ways to ensure the itching never surfaces. And it’s more than just “keeping things interesting, spicing things up.”
Here are 7 things my hubs and I have learned in the 7 years we’ve been married:
- Compromise is key – I know this a tad cliche, but it’s true. In order to live with another human being you must be willing to let some things go. We are different people, after all. I always tell my hubs when I feel I’ve compromised more than he has. I want him to know what I’m “giving up” or what I’ve been willing to concede on… not to turn it into a competition (who compromises the most) but just so that he knows I’m doing my part and I want him to do his part too.
- Understand the best way to talk to your partner – everyone communicates differently and it’s important to recognize how both you and your partner communicate. This can greatly help to reduce tension that can lead to arguments or disagreements. I know my hubs is a visual learner so if I’m trying to get his opinion on something, I know I need to show him an example. I also know that if he’s pre-occupied with something, nothing I tell him will sink in so I know to talk to him about it later.
- It’s OK to have different interests – As I write this post, my hubs is in the other room playing video games. We have our own things going on and that’s OK. Since COVID our lives have changed (I no longer meet my girlfriends for dinner and drinks… we drink over FaceTime now 😛 ) But we have different friends and different hobbies… we are two different individuals, after all, so it only makes sense that we’d have different interests.
- Support each other and each other’s hobbies – my hubs is not a fan of social media but he is supportive of me and my little blog that could. It’s not something he’s into, but he still supports me and my hobbies and vice versa. Your partner needs to feel supported by you with whatever hobby they take up, even if it’s something you can’t stand (my hubs likes to golf and I absolutely hate it. But I do like having him out of the house for a couple hours…)
- It’s OK to spend time apart – “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” as they say. There’s this weird notion that couples automatically have to be together 24/7. I never understood that but maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, so I enjoy spending time alone. Pre-COVID, my hubs would go away for the weekend with his friends, I went out west for a couple days to visit with one of my friends…. we didn’t let being apart stop us from doing things we really wanted to do. We miss each other, yes but I think that’s a good thing.
- Arguments happen – I don’t trust anyone who says they never fight with their partner. Arguments don’t always have to be full blown screaming matches; they can be small disagreements, too. It’s important, though, to take time to understand each other’s point of view and really listen. Arguments happen, but it’s important to work through them.
- Never go to be angry – the golden rule of marriage. I know, I know but this is a rule we never break. We always make sure we resolve any issues before bed. It’s never a nice feeling going to bed angry, silently stewing in your own thoughts. Be mature about things and try your best to figure things out before you turn in for the night.