Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Seven Year Itch

The million dollar question is: what makes the difference between the happy marriage and the so-so marriage.  And, how far from so-so are you to the miserable marriage?  Haven’t we all been there?  We said our vows with a smile on our face and determination etched in our minds.  We swore we’d never be the “ones” who failed; we’d succeed and why wouldn’t we?  We were in love!
I call it the seven year itch.  Only because a close friend of mine explained it.  She said, after seven years, you get the itch.  You get the itch to test out new waters, to question why you said your “I do’s”  in the first place; the itch to wonder period.
I remember, as a newlywed, looking at her like she was crazy.  The itch?  What the hell is she talking about?  I married the greatest guy in the world!  Duh…there would be no itch here, thank you very much!
Okay, Earth to Trina, you weren’t born on a perfect planet and you definitely aren’t going to die on one.  Your marriage, just like everyone else’s, is susceptible to pain, heartache, and many other problems.  But not failure.  There will be no failure here.
Two years went without a hitch, hooray!  I was still in newlywed bliss.  Three years? Ha, no serious issues here!  We’d be celebrating our 80th before you know it! Five years…well, maybe a bit of “not enough sex” from the hubby and “he doesn’t help enough around the house” from me, but for the most part, marital bliss.  Year seven?  okay, now it’s time to re-evaluate.

Do I truly believe that there is a certain time frame that a marriage can fall into serious downturn?  No…that’s so a load of crap.  What I do believe is, we all disconnect from the marriage at some point, usually when we are comfortable and used to one another.  I’m not saying disconnect like in Indecent Proposal, where we take our marriage vows to some un-matrimonial place.  We just…leave for a while.  Mentally.
He will say “Once we got married, we stopped having sex as much”.  She will say, “Once we had children, I got exhausted.  And, you stopped cherishing me as much.”  He will say, “Well, if you stopped nagging me all the time, I would show you more appreciation and help you more,” and you will say,  “If you stopped being so lazy I’d stop nagging!”

It’s an endless cycle where we are all pissed-off, nobody is having sex, and none of us are really feeling the love for one another.  We’ve forgotten that at one time we were a team, and now we are on the opposing side rather than partners.  This, my friends, is the seven year itch.

I don’t have all the answers, the cure-alls; the fix-it’s.  All I know is, I try to find a babysitter when I feel so angry I think splitting up is actually somewhat reasonable.  It’s funny, it takes about an hour or two of no kids pulling on my clothes, interrupting my every word…and the quiet….and I’m back to my old self again, or at least, almost there.   My husband and I can talk and we actually have fun.  We realize, oh yes, there is a reason we like one another, we did fall in love at one time.

Ultimately, there will be ups and downs.  Wonderful times and the inevitable ruts.  Take each day one at a time, committing to make it through to the end.  Choosing this path will keep you one step closer to being on the positive side of that nasty divorce statistic.  I know that I’m going to be really saggy and gray at some point, probably sooner rather than later.  My husband loves me for me, even through the aging and frumpiness all mothers endure.  And even through the stressful times, I plan on loving him like that too.  Real life, plain and simple includes the good, the bad and the ugly.  



Anonymous said...

Great post! Sure, people told me marriage would be hard or challenging, but I never thought they meant MY marriage. I'm learning that it's how you do deal with it as just part of the path down a long and winding-often bumpy-road. Hold your breath (and work a little) through the tough stuff, and surely you'll see the brighter side again and again and again.

Brower Family said...

We are in year seven and it has been a bit more difficult than the others. Throw in THREE kids now, some added expenses without added income and just busy life and there you have it. But we are determined to stay in love through it all. He still makes me laugh until I cry, and I still scratch his back every night so he can fall asleep. (He probably wouldn't like that I just told you that.) Oh well. I am grateful to know that there are other couples out there who are just as determined as we are. Marriage is such an amazing gift. I just need to remember to cherish that gift every day!! Thanks for the great post!