The seventh year of a marriage or relationship is notorious for breaking many connections. But is there something to this folk saying or is it just a fairy tale? A study reveals it.
Some people really dread the seventh year of a partnership. It also hits celebrity couples again and again: Barbara and Boris Becker, Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes, Heidi Klum and Seal, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, to name just a few examples, because the list is long.
With her film “The Seven Year Itch” in 1955, Marilyn Monroe made the phenomenon of a marriage failing after seven years known worldwide. Since then it has been popularly used again and again: “Oh yes, the darn seventh year” is often the reaction to the separation of couples in this period of time.
The sex educator Justin Lehmiller has compiled the research results of the last decades in the magazine “Psychology Today” and came to an amazing result. The seventh year it’s not just a fairy tale in popular speech, in fact, according to studies, this year is considered the sticking point in a relationship. According to this, infidelity in partnerships increases from the seventh year.
Studies and analyzes confirm the seven-year itch of marriage
A study published in the Journal of Sex Research surveyed 313 adults, average in their mid-thirties and married for at least a year. Participants were asked to comment on the likelihood of infidelity, and the researchers looked at how this was related to the length of marriage. First, the group was divided into three categories: short-term marriage (up to five years), medium-term marriage (six to ten years), and long-term marriage (ages eleven and older). When asked about infidelity, it became apparent that the longer you have been together, the more likely people in partnerships are to cheat.
However, you have to decide between the sexes here. While men tend to cheat the longer the relationship lasts, there is a pinch for women in the medium-length relationship. Women are less likely to be unfaithful in relationships from the age of eleven and the risk is also quite low in shorter marriages.
Another study called “A Theory of Marital Sexual Life” by Chien Liu, published in the “Journal of Marriage and Family” in 2000, deepened this research trend and came to the conclusion: Women cheat most often in the seventh year of their marriage. According to study results, the infidelity curve then falls again. Another finding was that women who have been married between the ages of twenty and thirty generally do not cheat at all.
The study also found that the probability of cheating on men in their seventh year of marriage is quite high. After that, the probability for men decreases until about the 18th year of marriage and then increases again. Men had the highest rates of infidelity when they had been married for thirty years or more. Of course, with all the surveys, it should be noted that there is no guarantee that the protagonists were telling the truth.
In the United States, data from the US Census Bureau also found that most marriages end in divorce in the eighth year of marriage. Very often this is preceded by the separation already in the seventh year. Statistically, the seventh year of marriage really does exist.
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I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.