Is There Really a 7-Year Itch?


Flickr photo by Sideshow Bruce

Making us stop, think, and scratch today in He Said/She Said are the parents of two adorable scamps who create the content for KidsIsCrazy.Follow them on Twitter and here’s one of the gems you’ll receive from their 3-year-old daughter, Daphne:

Daph, with Mike Bloomberg speaking on the radio: “That’s what God sounds like.”

More from The Stir: Kendra’s Sex Tape – A Dealbreaker? Really?

Mac Montandon, the “he,” has written the enlightening Jetpack Dreams: One Man’s Up and Down (But Mostly Down) Search for the Greatest Invention That Never Was and edited the must-own Innocent When You Dream: The Tom Waits Reader.

Catherine Crawford, the “she,” gave the world (well, the world of Salinger fans — which is like the best part of the world) a gift as editor of If You Really Want to Hear About It: Writers on J.D. Salinger and His Work.

Yep, they’re super-cool, erudite, and clearly sex-savvy, as shown in their answers to today’s question:

Do You Believe in the 7-Year Itch?

He Said:

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.  

More from The Stir: Mother’s Day Makes Women Cheat

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.

She Said:

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.

More from The Stir: Relationship Tip – Renew Your Vows

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.