I’ve often heard psychologists refer to the seven-year itch in a relationship as a period that can be especially difficult. My husband and I have passed this milestone, and have been through major movements, lack of work and a lot of arguments about money and lifestyle. We have had problems in the law on my side and disagreements about where to live and why. My parents had a volatile relationship, of short duration and separated when I was very young. I even had a brief turbulent first marriage, in my early twenties.
What about this period of seven years? Whether or not this “itch” is real, I can share with you what I have found works for us and our friends and brothers who share together after several years of ups and downs:
Nothing, nothing, nothing replaces good old sense of humor. This applies to everyday trivia and a more serious matter
2. Know your love language.
5 Love Languages book by Dr. Gary Chapman is perhaps the single best book written in relationships. Once I understood my (quality time) and my husband (words of affirmation), we communicate very differently. Every married couple could benefit from this book.
3. Give each other space.
One of my favorite books of all time is the prophet Kahil Gibran. He says about marriage, “The Oak Tree and cyrus not grow in the shadow of the other.”
4. Have the difficult conversations.
We speak openly and freely about money. This is a hugely contentious issue for a lot of couples I know. There seems to be a culture of evasion in discussing things that are important, such as whether or not combined bank accounts, decisions surrounding their financial future, the boundaries around family and their participation in their relationship, and the decision whether or not to have children. It is also crucial to discuss how both are willing to support parents of each aging – financially and physically.
5. Make an effort.
Relationships are not without effort. Anyone is a long-term partnership known that some compromise, some donations, some sacrifice is required. After seven years, I have learned to do this happier than I used to. It is important and inevitable and the closest couples I see seems to compromise more easily.
6. Let the right person.
There is a saying I’ve heard some weddings – that marriage is not about finding the right person but to be the right person. It took years and a divorce soon to understand this. One of my mantras is “Peace and love begin with me.”
7. often recall happy memories.
After seven years together, we have a library of private memories. I love reliving the happy times, fun for dinner, just relax on the couch and walk together. This way you enjoy them twice, or several times. And you’re inspired to create more!