7 Telltale Signs You Are Experiencing The 7-Year Itch

Understand the subtle changes and how to tide over those challenges together.

Reviewed by Joseph Moore, Certified Relationship And Life Coach Joseph Moore Joseph MooreCertified Relationship And Life Coach
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , BSc Reshma Latif BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years

The 7-year itch is a psychological term for a milestone in a relationship, after which the bond starts to decline. No more sparks flying, no more seeing stars, no more longing for each other’s touch. Couples enter a romantic slumber at this point, leaving them both feeling underappreciated and unwanted. Needless to say that this could lead to unhappiness, emotional detachment, the temptation to break away and even infidelity in some cases.

You will be surprised to know that the term ‘7-year itch’ was originally used to describe scabies! It gained popularity in 1950 when Marilyn Monroe starred in a name by the same name. The film’s subject? A couple loses interest in their monogamous relationship after being together for seven years.

But, hey! Not every couple breaks up after 7 years! However, they may go through a rough patch. Boredom, non-stop bickering, and not wanting to be with each other are typical signs that you are going through this phase. Well, you don’t need to freak out. This phase is normal and temporary. This too shall pass. Moreover, you can fix this feeling.

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There are several cycles in marriage that make certain years harder than others. The 1st year is harder because couples are still getting used to each other. 7th year is hard as kids start going to school and all the love hormones, such as oxytocin and dopamine which were high initially, now run dry.

In this article, we have listed 7 signs that indicate that you have hit the 7-year itch in your relationship, according to experts. You will also learn how to recover and heal from this phase. Scroll down to get all the information you need.

What Is The 7-Year-Itch?

The ‘7-year itch’ is a phrase that describes a common phenomenon in relationships, suggesting a potential dip in satisfaction or romantic enthusiasm around the seventh year of a relationship or marriage.

It is not an exact science but more of a general idea based on trends seen across relationships. It suggests a point when the initial honeymoon phase may wear off and couples may feel restless in a relationship.

It is like a crossroads where individuals might reassess their commitments and desires. It is not a guaranteed phase for every couple, but it highlights the importance of addressing and nurturing a relationship regularly as time passes.

Here are a few warning signs to look out for to understand if you are facing the 7-year-itch.

7 Signs Your Relationship Won’t Make It Past The 7-Year Itch

1. You Stop Being Curious About Each Other

You may stop being curious about each other when you hit a 7-year itch in the relationship
Image: Shutterstock

The desire to learn and know more about your partner is a very positive trait. Curiosity is an integral part of communication between a couple, and without it, it can cause us to jump to conclusions, make assumptions, and judge our partner. Remember, we are constantly growing and developing as individuals, so it’s important to keep up with each other.

The key is to let your partner talk – you listen intently and ask questions – even if it’s something as simple as asking them how their day was. Actively being curious about each other and the world around you can stop the relationship from entering into a dull, dead void.

2. You Have Started Keeping Secrets From Each Other

Close-up of a woman making a hush sign while hugging her lover, implying that she is keeping secrets from him.
Image: Shutterstock

When you’re married with secrets that you are keeping from your spouse, it’s only a matter of time before it creates legit problems. Transparency is a vital part of marriage and relationships. When you don’t practice transparency and decide to hide things, be it your thoughts or significant decisions, a toxic dent is bound to develop in your relationship.

The rewards of honesty and transparency in a relationship outweigh everything else. If you want to be loved, respected, and understood, the most natural place for this to occur is within the transparency of a healthy marriage. Share the real you, all of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly, and watch your commitment and trust soar.

3. You Are Spending Less Meaningful Time Together

You may spend less meaningful time together when you hit a 7-year itch in the relationship
Image: Shutterstock

In this busy life, love isn’t self-sufficient. A marriage or a relationship needs to be fed and nurtured by spending regular quality time together. If you think you are beginning to spend less meaningful time together, don’t hesitate to speak with your significant other about how you are both feeling about it.

If you want to feel connected, it is essential to spend time with each other, develop meaningful traditions together, and laugh together. Plan regular outings, date nights, and do whatever it takes to carve time out of your busy lives for each other.

4. You Start Taking Each Other For Granted

At the beginning of a relationship, every little thing – from waking up next to each other or laughing over drinks – can feel meaningful and exciting. But once specific patterns have been established, and certain things become more expected, your old priorities may start to feel less important or more flexible, or even postponable. The decline of communication, affection, and appreciation in a marriage over time is natural, not because couples start to dislike each other, but because they tend to become too comfortable together.

It takes tangible actions to convey how much you care about your partner. Don’t stop appreciating and acknowledging your partner amidst the humdrum of life. Even little gestures like a goodbye or hello kiss, or thanking your partner for the things they do for you can go a long way in rebuilding the closeness and intimacy that may have been lost by taking things for granted.

5. You Don’t Discuss Your Financial Goals

You do not discuss financial matters with your partner at this phase
Image: Shutterstock

Money, unsurprisingly, is often a relationship stress in a marriage. Talking to your spouse about money may not be on the top of your to-do list, but it is vital for your marriage. The idea is to build a future together, and if you aren’t discussing the logistics of it, there are certainly going to be more problems besides busted budgets.

Talking about finances with your partner is the only way out. Share your views, state your disagreements, and be on the same page when it comes to finances. Everyone has a different perspective on how they perceive money. It is essential to know where your partner stands on the subject so you can both work out the details and give shape to your long-term plans.

6. You Are Drowning In Criticism

If you are trapped in the negative cycle of constantly criticizing each other, it will only lead to restlessness where both partners hide things from each other, resent each other, and perhaps go to seek validation elsewhere. Your partner may even start seeing you as a burden and will begin to tune you out.

Instead of criticizing your partner, choose your words carefully, and show appreciation before giving criticism. Go for a dialogue rather than a monologue because no one likes being told to do something. We can’t stress enough on the importance of creating a safe space where both of you express your views openly and listen to each other’s point of view as well.

7. You Have No Fight Left

You have no fight left when you hit a 7-year itch in the relationship
Image: Shutterstock

Living in silence is often the first warning sign that all is not right in the relationship. If you have given up fighting, but feel more distant than ever, it’s often a sign that you have reached the crossroads. The thing about fights is that they can lead to greater intimacy if the couple processes the fight well and repairs the relationship.

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You should take out some “me time” or time for yourself if you are facing a 7 year itch, which will help you achieve the clarity needed to take the appropriate steps.

If you want to get back in touch with your feelings, turning towards your partner emotionally is the best thing to do. Rather than ignoring them, giving them the silent treatment, or responding negatively, turn towards your partner and give it another go. Often, unresolved conflict can fool you into thinking that your love is lost, but if you genuinely want to access it, you have to make an effort.

Renata Ellera Gomes, a culture and relationship blogger, shares her experience and thoughts on the so-called “7-year itch”. She wisely notes that there’s no time period for this feeling, and it is easy to blame your shortcomings on some external factors. She says, “The seven-year itch might feel like a convenient excuse for infidelity, but it’s all that it is, convenient. To become a better person and a better partner in subsequent relationships, I had to let go of the itch as an excuse and look at the facts, including my own shortcomings (i).”

Infographic: How To Fix The 7-Year Itch

A lot of couples go through the 7-year itch. After years of living together and getting to know each other inside out, it is a human tendency to feel saturated. Although it is a common occurrence, it should not be taken lightly. Sometimes, couples drift so far apart that there is no saving the relationship. If you feel your relationship is experiencing the 7-year itch and wish to do something about it, the infographic below will help you work through it. Check it out!

how to fix 7 year itch (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The point is that a relationship will definitely have its ups and downs. After years of togetherness, yes, the charm might tend to decline. But if you and your partner are committed to the relationship and fidelity, you will find ways to stay together happily forever. We believe that giving up is not always the solution. If love is pure, it is essential to work together and bring the charm back into the relationship. However, if everything else fails, take your time and choose the next best step wisely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is year 7 the hardest in marriage?

For some couples, the ‘7-year Itch’ might be the hardest point simply because you grow too comfortable with or used to each other, and it might seem boring. But, throughout your marriage, you will face ups and downs that can either make your relationship grow (if both partners are willing to put in the effort) or fall apart.

Is 7 years too long for a relationship?

This entirely depends on how you and your partner feel about it. Some relationships keep blooming and growing stronger over the years, so seven years may not seem like enough time with each other. But, if you are feeling weary in your relationship, you might want to talk to your partner and see if you want to work it out or go your separate ways.

How long does it take to get over a 7-year relationship?

This changes from person to person. It may take a month, a few weeks, or a year or two to move on from a 7-year-old relationship. But, to effectively move on, you need to give yourself the time to heal and feel all the emotions that come with breaking up.

How long does the average marriage last?

It varies from country to country. However, in the USA, the average number of years a marriage may last is about 8 to 9 years.

What should I expect in the seventh year of marriage?

Some couples might go through the 7-year itch, as mentioned in the article. But, not all couples go through that phase. Some may have a lot of fun in the 7th year of marriage and grow stronger.

Key Takeaways

  • It is said that a bond starts to decline after you have been in a relationship with someone for 7 years.
  • If you have stopped spending quality time together and started keeping secrets from one another, you may be going through the 7-year itch.
  • During this time, many couples stop fighting with each other and grow distant as well.
  • One of the signs of the 7-year itch is couples wait for their partner to do something wrong and then resent them for it. It is often an excuse to walk away when they want to.
7 year itch

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Embark on a heartfelt journey in this video and explore the challenges and complexities of the notorious 7-year itch in marriage. Check it out!

Personal Experience: Source

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Joseph Moore

Joseph MooreCertified Relationship And Life Coach

Joseph Moore is an ace relationship coach and public speaker who started coaching in 2015. Although Joseph is a trained electrical engineer from the University of Chester, he found passion in helping people get it right with their love life. His passion and experience of over 6 years made him set up a relationship blog where he shares relationship advice...read full bio

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