why many couples choose divorce around the 8 year mark

Studies from the census bureau reveal that the average duration of first marriages before divorce is approximately 8.2 years, commonly referred to as the "seven-year-itch." But why seven years, and not 11 or 15? This question warrants exploration, and here's what we've discovered.


Seven-Year Blocks of Adult Development

Throughout our adult lives, we undergo significant changes and transitions. Research conducted by experts like Levinson, Vaillant, and Sheehy suggests that there's something distinctive about the six to 10-year phase—roughly seven years of stability followed by two to three years of restlessness and transition before entering the next life stage. This period may revolve around work and career decisions, aging and long-term plans, processing childhood experiences and parental relationships, and sometimes, it pertains to our intimate relationships.

The Beginning of Love

In the initial stages of falling in love, there's often an unconscious psychological need that we seek to fulfill—whether it's escaping from our parents' influence, finding stability or starting a family, feeling valued or cared for. Our partners unknowingly become the source of fulfilling these needs. Implicitly, we make a deal: "I'll meet your primary need, and you'll meet mine."

Building a Life Together

During the first couple of years, couples establish a shared life with rules and routines to create stability and avoid having to reinvent their lives daily. They determine who takes out the trash, how often parents come over for dinner, or who initiates intimacy. While some couples may struggle and separate during this phase due to lifestyle conflicts and unmet expectations, most manage to overcome these challenges.

The Crisis Emerges

However, around the five, six, seven, or eight-year mark, restlessness starts creeping in for one or both partners. The life they've built with its established rules and routines no longer aligns with their evolving needs. The partner who fulfilled those initial year-one needs may no longer meet the current requirements. The solid, steady individual can now appear rigid and controlling, while the spontaneous, fun-loving partner might seem overly dramatic.

Breaking Out or Distracting

This is the infamous seven-year itch. Couples begin arguing or pulling away. Some may even engage in affairs. The underlying message is: "This isn't working; I'm leaving to start anew," which often leads to divorce. Then, two or three years later, they remarry and repeat the cycle.

Alternatively, some couples avoid confrontations and choose distractions instead. They concentrate on their children, involving themselves in numerous extracurricular activities, or they immerse themselves in their careers, working excessively long hours to secure promotions. Others seek diversions like starting a new hobby, buying a boat, or engaging in various recreational activities. These distractions might offer relief for approximately another eight years—until their kids become teenagers, or their careers reach a plateau, prompting another bout of restlessness and feeling trapped in their lives.

The Challenge and the Solution

Despite sounding disheartening, this pattern is not inevitable. Instead of divorce or distraction, the key lies in recognizing and addressing the restlessness and emotions as vital pieces of information. They serve as cues for taking stock and reassessing one's current needs. Rather than starting from scratch, couples can upgrade their relationship contract from year one. This entails identifying necessary changes, such as fostering teamwork over heavy lifting, prioritizing active listening over dismissiveness, embracing a more settled lifestyle, and nurturing intimacy and affection.

If these conversations prove difficult or confusing, seeking support from a therapist, minister, or counselor can be instrumental in navigating these critical crossroads in one's psychological life. By making the right choices and facing these challenges head-on, couples can forge a deeper and more fulfilling bond, paving the way for a promising future together.

The Best Way to Make Sure You Have a Future Together

In the final phase of the seven-year itch, when restlessness and doubts can test even the strongest relationships, iFindCheaters becomes the best option for couples who want clarity and certainty. Our service is safe and discrete, so you can find out what your partner is hiding without touching their phone or making things worse if you get caught. By giving you information about what your partner is doing, iFindCheaters gives you the power to make smart choices about your future together.

To get through the important crossroads in a person's mental health, you need to understand and deal with your feelings as signs that they need to change. Take advantage of the chance to change your relationship contract by encouraging teamwork, active listening, and real closeness. With iFindCheaters, you and your partner can safely move forward into a bright future, free of uncertainty and doubt. Try us out today for free, and let us be your trusted friend in making connections that last and mean something.

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