Itches are mysterious things. Sometimes it feels just so good to scratch ‘em. But sometimes you can scratch and scratch and scratch an itch and, not unlike Mick Jagger, find no satisfaction. Still other times -- thinking wasp stings and poison ivy here -- if you scratch an itch, it only makes it worse.
Which brings us to marriage, where itches are more mysterious yet. And they can arrive after a week, a month, a year, 7 or 47. There are plenty of ways to get itchy in a marriage, but it seems like only a couple of ways to scratch matrimonial itches (also the title of the least sexy porn movie ever): Cheat, divorce, or talk about it and work it out.
That last one can be tough, which explains why there's so much cheating and divorce. Luckily, we're no longer stuck in a Mad Men world -- these days, marriages can take on any shape possible. I know couples with strictly monogamous relationships, of course, but also some with wide-open deals and another wherein one person wants to play the field and one doesn’t. Those two, by the way, have been married a lot longer than seven years. They found a way to scratch their itches without having to scrap the whole union.
One final thought: Seven is only one in dog years and dogs never get divorced. If your mind is now sufficiently blown, I think my work here is done.
Apologies 7-Year Itch, but I’m afraid you're passe. Nowadays, the fun little rash of infidelity, marital ennui, and “experimentation” flares up at about three years. That’s right, the 3-Year Itch is the new 7-Year Itch.
Perhaps it has more to do with age than the number of years clocked in a marriage. As we Americans are waiting longer to wed, it makes sense that some girls wander (can never resist a Sisters of Mercy reference) before they’ve had a chance to celebrate their wooden anniversary (that’s five years, not me being cheeky). Truly, all of my buddies who have decided to scrap the holy matrimony thing detached right around the three-year mark, before they'd amassed a mountain of stuff and kids. The world seems to spin faster in the 21st century.
I’m not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater, though. The 7-Year Itch just needs a little re-branding. Once you’ve made it that far, the 7-Year Ditch is a bit more accurate -- at least in my case, anyway. Wait, that seems way harsh. I've grown very comfortable in my union and I can't imagine up and leaving. Regardless of the bliss-o-meter, I’d need a tow truck with some serious horsepower to pull me out of this gully. Anyway, I think I’m late for a PTA meeting.