Mar 292016 1 Response

How to Combat the 7 Year Itch

In the 1950’s Marilyn Monroe starred in a movie called The 7 Year Itch. In the movie, a man who has been married for seven years finds his attraction for his wife waning. When a new neighbor, played by Marilyn, moves in next door, he finds himself thinking more and more about her. The movie is about the tension between vows and desire, what is and what could be.

The movie’s title comes from a common belief that passionate feelings within a marriage begin to disappear at seven years. What begins as an exciting, romantic relationship devolves into a predictable, routine interaction without excitement, arousal, or intrigue. When a marriage becomes boring, both partners become open to the possibilities of something (more like someone) new. It’s no accident that many divorces happen after seven or eight years of marriage.

While the 7 Year Itch is part urban legend, every relationship does experience seasons of boredom. We go through times in which the relationship feels routine and uninteresting. When experienced as a simple season in the midst of a larger story, it doesn’t matter. When experienced as an extended period of time which doesn’t end, it kills the relationship. (See: You Will Have an Affair If…)

So how does one avoid the 7 year itch? How do we keep our sexual lives from boredom, predictability, and drudgery? What’s the key to nourishing a vibrant sex life? How do we stay passionately in love with our spouses and guard our hearts from falling for other people?

We can take the word “itch” and develop a matrix for an exciting sex life.

4 keys to avoiding the 7 year itch:

1. Intention. Having a vibrant sex life is a choice. A healthy couple chooses to develop and nourish their sexual experience as both a bonding element within their relationship and as a defense against inappropriate relationships. Without intention, a couple is leaving their romantic future in the hands of chance and chances are it will not be a good ending. Determine to have a good sex life and then do everything in your power to make that happen. (See: 9 Choices Happy Couples Make)

2. Technique. Good sex has far more to do with who we are, when we do it, and why we do it than what we do and how we do it. Yet the what and the how do matter. When sex becomes boring and predictable, a couple has probably fallen into patterns which kill spontaneity and growth. If a couple will continually be learning and expanding their sexual repertoire, they can keep boredom at bay. Good sex is not the result of having hundreds of experiences with different people. It is the byproduct of making love to the same person time and time again learning what they want, need, like, and desire while communicating the same about you to them. If you are never trying new things, learning new skills, and showing some adventure, your sex life will become boring. (By the way, if you need ideas I’m not suggesting you look at porn. Don’t. Instead, seek wise counsel. Here is a good resource from a fellow blogger, How to Try New Sexual Positions or Does Your Husband Want More Variety)

3. Communication. Nothing is more important to a healthy sex life than good communication. Most couples who are unhappy with their sex life experience that unhappiness because of an unwillingness or inability to openly discuss sex with their spouse. While we are way too open about sex in public, we are way to recluse about the topic in private. If a couple cannot calmly, fairly, and productively speak about their sexual experience with one another, they cannot have a good sex life. If you want to prevent a boring sex life, talk about sex with your partner. If you can’t be open and honest with your spouse about your sex life, you have bigger problems than a boring sex life. (See: One Tip to Improve Married Sex)

4. Health. Few young newlyweds ever consider the influence their health will have over their sexual experience. Not until they experience pregnancy for the first time do they understand that things can change. Understanding one’s health, confronting health issues, and learning how to be intimate through the different seasons of life is vital to a good sex life. For most couples, a moderate increase in exercise could greatly increase their sexual experience. Willingness to talk to a doctor about ED, pain during sex, or a low libido can prove very productive. Anytime a couple is not experiencing the intimacy they desire, health issues have to be discussed.

Every relationship goes through periods of great excitement and other times that seem more mundane. While a couple shouldn’t get too concerned with occasional rough patches, every married couple should seriously consider the importance of a vibrant sex life to a healthy marriage.

By focusing on these four areas–intention, technique, communication, and health–a husband and wife can create an exciting element within marriage which will draw them closer to one another and prevent them from being tempted toward someone else.

The 7 year itch is part myth and part truth. It’s not something a couple has to face. They are free to nourish a relationship with one another rather than drifting into boredom and opening themselves up to temptation.

One Response to How to Combat the 7 Year Itch
  1. […] 2. The blandness of the 7-year itch. Legend says it happens in 7 years, but forget the number. Wheth...

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