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The Seven Year Itch

The Seven Year Itch made famous in a 1952 film starring iconic beauty, Marilyn Monroe, is perhaps a very real relationship phenomenon. Much speculation surrounds the implications of the term "seven year itch." The term originated during the 1950's when experts noted most relationships and marriages hit a plateau at the seven year mark. The plateau often caused the couple to part ways or surmount the difficult task of working through the process through careful re-evaluation. Furthermore, after spending considerable amounts of time in relationships, some people seek satisfaction beyond the monotonous predictability of a long term relationship. Consequently, rather than looking inward to solve the problem, many couples consider extramarital options, including cheating, as the "itch to scratch."

Marriages have been falling apart for years for a multitude of reasons. Present trends indicate higher divorce rates or couples forgoing marriage altogether and choosing cohabitation over exchanging vows. Studies indicate that the seven year itch occurs anywhere from six months to four years, with divorce rates peaking at the eight year mark, not seven. The U.S. Census Bureau completed a recent study with statistics leaning more toward an increase in divorce nearing the 8 year mark. Leading researchers across the globe have found that men re-evaluate relationships every three to four years while females seek "psychological security" due in part to a nesting instinct, at the seven to eight year mark. Men tend to leave relationships in the third or fourth year mark or at the eleven or twelve year mark whereas women, especially those who seek to procreate, leave relationships between the seventh and eighth year.

Surprisingly, since the 1950's, the "seven year itch" is also possibly rooted in a severely itchy mite infestation known as scabies. Additional speculation indicates various other skin conditions like eczema, herpes, heat rash, or other generally chronically aggravating and itchy rashes.

Whatever it's foundation, the "seven year itch" phenomenon calls for further research and demands relationships evolve or sadly end, depending upon the needs of individuals.

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