The seven-year itch is one of the most common anxieties of otherwise happy couples on the verge of marriage or well into their first years of married bliss....
Regardless, according to Karl Pillemer, author of 30 Lessons for Loving: Advice From the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage, "couples should not fear the seventh year as a distinct peril." "Studies do reveal that, on average, marital happiness and overall quality...," he said. "But this doesn't mean that every couple will experience trouble at some point during their marriage."
Here's how Pillemer describes the most dangerous time period for marriages: "The first seven years are actually the riskiest period for any relationship. During these first few years, a husband and wife are trying to establish who will be number one in their relationship - them or their jobs. They are also learning to get along with each other's family members and friends. If either person is feeling unappreciated or misunderstood, they can cause serious problems for their marriage by expressing those feelings in ways that avoid conflict but still hurt their partners' feelings.
“Without question, the first seven years of marriage are the most important years for any relationship to succeed or fail. If things go well, you have nothing to worry about; if things don't go so well, it can become very difficult to recover from many problems during this period of time.
The Most Common Marriage Issues After 10 Years Together 1. You begin to feel more like housemates rather than romantic partners. 2. You've grown tired of your life together. 3. Your sexual life has dimmed. 4. You are unsatisfied with your marriage because you believe it has hindered you from achieving certain life objectives. 5. In order to make your marriage work, you have to put aside your personal feelings and desires and think about what is best for your spouse.
If any of these issues affect your marriage, then it's time to seek help. Marriage counseling can be very effective if both parties are willing to work at it. Counseling can address many issues that may not seem important to you but could be driving your spouse away from you. For example, an unhappy person will rarely try to change their attitude so they don't have to leave home anymore; however, by working through their emotions they can learn how to communicate better and open up new ways of thinking that would allow them to stay in their homes longer.
Marriage takes work. It isn't just a matter of falling in love with someone then living happily ever after. Rather, it is a commitment to build a relationship that can withstand anything that comes its way. Only you can decide whether or not you want to keep your marriage strong over time. If you aren't happy in your marriage, perhaps it's time to consider some alternatives before it's too late.
Researchers discovered one method for making long-term marriages happy. According to a recent study by psychology experts at UC Berkeley, the first few years of a marriage are fraught with conflict, but the emotional weather ultimately changes. After the initial honeymoon phase, couples go through cycles of attraction and rejection that cause their feelings toward each other to fluctuate over time. If they're lucky, the tides will turn in favor of love and intimacy, and they'll become comfortable with each other's quirks over time.
Here are other factors that determine whether a marriage is going to be successful or not:
Loving vs. Lust: A couple should enter into a marriage with pure intentions, without any expectations other than giving themselves to the person completely. If one or both parties come to the marriage with unresolved issues from previous relationships, it will only lead to heartache down the road.
Money Problems: If you cannot agree on how your marital money shall be handled, then there's no way you can have an intimate relationship. If one spouse feels like they're being taken advantage of, they may very well end up feeling used instead. It's important to have discussions about finances early on in a marriage, so everyone knows what to expect.
Despite this, the happiest time in a couple's marriage has been demonstrated to be later than you may assume. A research published in the journal Social Networks and the Life Course discovered that when couples hit the 20-year mark—their China anniversary—they were the happiest. "This suggests that marriages that survive the initial honeymoon period are likely to remain happy for many years to come," says study author Dr. Robert Waldinger of the Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.
The study also found that marriages that start out unhappy are less likely to last. If your marriage isn't working yet, spend some time talking through what the problems are so they can be resolved before they cause more damage.
Finally, remember that happiness is an inside job. Your spouse doesn't control your feelings, but they do control their response to you. Don't expect your husband or wife to make you happy—instead, let them go about their business while you take care of yourself by doing things that make you feel good.