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7-Year Itch? Should Be 4-Year Itch Actually

7-Year Itch? Should Be 4-Year Itch Actually

Does 7-year itch really exist or not?

When couples who’ve been many years together and break up, people often become so shocked and would attribute that to 7-year itch.

“Oh…how come? They’ve been so sweet together! I just can’t believe that…Maybe it’s 7-year itch…”

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It’s always a pity to see promising couples to break up. It’s like forcing you to accept the truth that nothing lasts long.

But is it really a phenomenon we can’t avoid? Or, it’s just an excuse?

7-year itch is partly truth

Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, did a project to see if 7-year itch really exist or not.

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She found that although the median duration of marriage was 7 years, most of them divorced at the 4th year[1].

    ▲The peak is at the 4th year

    Image credit: Statistics New Zealand

    By coincidence, another research shows similar results. This time the researcher Dr. Larry A. Kurdek, studied more than 500 couples to see the trend of their marital satisfaction over the years. The biggest decline occurs at the 4th year. And there’s a second decline at the 7th year, which scale is smaller though.[2]

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    Some reasons scientists suggested for the 4-year itch and 7-year itch

    4-year itch

    For the peak at the 4th year, researcher Helen Fisher tried to explain it by taking references from animals. She said most mammals don’t stay with their partners forever. Usually they just stay with them long enough to raise their offsprings to the age of 4. After that it’s time to say goodbye. This is also a common phenomenon in some tribes. Biologically speaking, this is beneficial because as they have offsprings with different partners, the genetic variety increases.[3]

    7-year itch

    For the 7th-year decline, one explanation is that human has big changes every 7 years[4]. This is a theory that has been widely adopted in the education field. That’s why a lot of educational systems divide children’s development into three stages from the age of 0-6/7, 6/7-14 and 14 and up.

    So…should I try to save the relationship or not?

    The 4-year itch and 7-year itch do exist. But it doesn’t mean every relationship that reaches the 4th year or the 7th year is doomed. If you can overcome such crisis, your relationship will only become stronger.

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    One important thing to note though is that you should make sure if you are just bored, or you’re really in a wrong relationship. Once you know the person is right for you, don’t let the petty stuff and time ruin you. If the person is wrong, don’t hold on for the sake of holding on. The 4-year itch and 7-year itch might just help you make up your mind better!

    Reference

    More by this author

    Chloe Chong

    Chloe is a social media expert and shares lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on July 3, 2020

    30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

    30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

    In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

    1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

    Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

    2. Focus on your breath

    Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

    3. Get organized and purge old items

    A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

    4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

    Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

    5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

    Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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    6. Smile more

    Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

    7. Don’t worry about the future

    As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

    8. Eat real food

    The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

    9. Choose being happy over being right

    Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

    10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

    Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

    11. Make use of filtering features on social media

    You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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    12. Get comfortable with silence

    When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

    13. Listen to understand, not to respond

    So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

    14. Put your troubles in a bubble

    Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

    15. Speak more slowly

    Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

    16. Don’t procrastinate

    Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

    17. Buy a coloring book

    Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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    18. Prioritize yourself

    You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

    19. Forgive others

    Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

    20. Check your expectations

    Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

    21. Engage in active play

    Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

    22. Stop criticizing yourself

    The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

    23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

    Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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    24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

    Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

    25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

    Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

    26. Manage your money

    Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

    27. Stop trying to control everything

    Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

    28. Practice affirmations

    Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

    29. Get up before sunrise

    Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

    30. Be yourself

    Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

    Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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