Have you ever heard of the seven year itch? Commonly, it was believed that committed men and women started to experience feelings of boredom at around this marker. However, new research suggests otherwise. It seems that one in 12 couples are headed for divorce after just two years — more than double the number that are divorced by seven years. Marital unhappiness peaks around four years and then begins to taper off.
This early itch may be a combination of dwindling argue with their partner, but also because they don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings or make “a mountain out of a molehill.” So they convince themselves to put on a happy face and move forward without complaint. Sadly, this only makes problems fester.
As hard as it is to discuss these issues, it’s crucial to do so. Secrets have power. They control and poison your mind and shut you off from the person you love the most in the whole world. Yet once you voice your feelings and express your needs (such as, “I really miss the tender way we used to make love,” or “I feel disconnected from you and it makes me sad”), the sooner you can treat those issues and get back on track again. Remember, you both committed to the relationship for better or worse, and that means being brave enough and open enough to talk about what is deep inside your heart.
Making your marriage last requires a constantly evolving approach — especially in the beginning. You need to take each other for who you are. Realize that you are not falling out of love so much as you're learning more about who your partner really is. The wonderful qualities you fell in love with are not gone; they're just part of a bigger, more realistic picture.
Marriages that go the distance ultimately shed illusions about what marriage "should be" and embrace what marriage is. When you and your spouse accept that you're a union of two people — faults and all — within the real world, you'll have a marriage that can stand the test of time. And that is truly romantic.