The idea of the seven-year itch has been around for decades. The premise is that people become dissatisfied with a relationship after about seven years. They may start looking for a new partner or considering ending a long-term relationship with no major reason to do so.
Psychological and social researchers have found that the seven-year itch may not be universal, but it does have a basis in reality. Often experienced at around the three-to-four year mark or after a major transition in a relationship, like moving in together, the experience of dissatisfaction or wondering if the grass is greener on the other side can sometimes prompt people to cheat or leave a relationship.
These can both be actions that they may later regret. If you have recently gotten engaged, there is actually a step that you can take to help reduce the risk of the seven-year itch affecting the success of your marriage.
Protect your future union by creating a marital agreement
Both prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements are contracts between spouses. Although you get to decide what terms you include in the document, marital agreements often have guidelines for splitting up property in a divorce.
They may address unique considerations, like a small business or a cherished pet. By setting terms right now about what would happen if the marriage ended, you effectively remove the mystery from the process. The romance of the unknown can often be a major contributor to the so-called seven-year itch and its effect on marriages. Understanding exactly what the outcome will be in a divorce removes some of the mystery and may reduce its appeal.
It’s also possible that you and your ex might agree to include terms about infidelity in your agreement if you worry that cheating would be how the issue manifests itself in your relationship. Understanding that there could be financial or property division consequences for an affair might motivate someone to remain faithful should temptation or opportunity arise.
A prenuptial agreement is a tool to protect your marriage
The bizarre notion that prenuptial agreements set a couple up to fail has little basis in reality. Marriage is a legally vulnerable situation, and it makes sense for people to want to protect themselves before legally tying themselves to another person.
Needing to agree on major financial and relationship terms before you tie the knot can make sure that both of you enter into this relationship with shared goals and a mutual understanding of what will happen if it doesn’t work. Talking to your fiance about a prenuptial agreement could help you avoid issues like divorce in the future.