The seven-year itch is a pop culture term arising from the 1955 movie starring Marilyn Monroe. It is popularly used to describe a crisis or waning interest in a monogamous relationship after 7 years. Research shows that the 7-year timespan might not just be an urban myth. According to researchers, people may build stability for 6-7 years followed by a period of 2-3 years of restlessness or upheaval. In a marriage, 7 or 8 years of stability followed by a period of upheaval could mark a natural pattern in relationships where people build stability together, then begin to make changes in their lives which could lead to a crisis in the relationship or marriage. This also chimes in with statistics from the US bureau of census that shows that most first marriages end around the 8-year mark.
What factors could lead married couples to experience an upheaval that leads them to consider divorce? These factors may often involve major life changes, financial changes, and other milestones. If you are facing any of the following life changes, you might have hit a crisis in your marriage and you might be considering divorce:
Having Kids or Wanting Kids
Having kids or deciding to remain childfree is a major milestone that can change your life and your intimate relationships. If you do not have kids, the biological clock is ticking, and some happily married couples may face a crisis over wanting to have children when the other spouse is not enthusiastic. If you do have kids, you may put a lot of energy into your family, but find your romantic life lacking, which could lead to a crisis in your marriage.
Career and Promotion
Married people often face a crisis when the balance of power between them changes and one spouse is earning significantly more than the other. There could also be an issue with a change in work life balance, when one spouse dedicates more to a career than the marriage. To make matters more complicated, one spouse may have helped the other spouse build their career by being a homemaker and could feel resentful that their efforts are going unacknowledged.
Receiving an Inheritance or Financial Windfall
Receiving an inheritance or financial windfall, like a higher salary or high return on a business investment can change a person’s life quite quickly. If the money is inheritance or money that is not marital property, this could lead to a crisis in terms of who feels entitled to the money, which could lead to conflict and suspicion.
If you are facing a crisis in your marriage should you call it quits? Should you try marital mediation or counseling? It depends on the situation.
If your spouse is honest, transparent, and willing to work with you, you may want to consider marital mediation.
However, it also pays to be cautious if a crisis is looming. Has your spouse received a sudden windfall? Are they suddenly earning more money and locking you out of financial decisions? Are you arguing about parenting, childcare and housework, to the point that teamwork is impossible?
At Amaral & Associates, P.C., our Divorce and Family Law Center allows you to avail of the solution that suits your needs. Marital mediation can lead to negotiations about your future together, which could help you to rule out divorce or decide to go your separate ways. You can also hire an attorney to protect your interests if you feel your marriage is heading for divorce, particularly if your spouse is not being transparent about finances. Please contact us to learn more about our divorce and family law services.
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