Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The 7-Year Itch

I'm sure the title of the blog post could raise a few eyebrows to those who know me well. Ryan and I will be celebrating our 7th (!!!) Anniversary in about 2 weeks. Which is really hard to believe.

Over the past few months, I have been asked about "The 7 year itch". To be honest, I wasn't really familiar with that. So I did a little googling.

What is the 7 year itch? Well, besides a movie from 1955. It is a phenomenon that occurs in many marriages.

Scenario #1: The couple has raised 1-2 children through the sleepless and stressful infancy years. They reach 7 years of marriage, and they have lost touch with their bond. And they get the itch to seek other things, lifestyles, or in some cases, relationships.

Scenario #2: The couple have spent enough time together that they realize they are not excited about their partner anymore. A philosopher once said that the human develops in "7 year cycles". These changes/cycles can be mental, emotion, and physical. And that evolvement can turn into changing into a person who doesn't want to be married to the person they fell in love with 7 years ago.

Obviously Scenario #1 does not apply to us. We don't have children yet.

Scenario #2 could apply to us. We have both changed dramatically over 7 years. Sometimes when I look back who what I was doing and how I looked at life 7 years ago, I scratch my head.

But I can assure you all that we are NOT experiencing the "7 year itch" some speak of or ask about.

In fact, I am confidently say that I am at least 10 TIMES more in love with and crazy about Ryan that I was 7 years ago. And here are a few things I've reflected upon over the past few weeks, that I think contribute to that. So here are my thoughts and these are a few pieces of advise I would give to any newlyweds preparing to get married:

-Nothing has been constant the past 7 years, except for our commitment to each other. -
  • We have both changed careers multiple times. 
  • Ryan has made 4 temporary out-of-state moves during our marriage. 
  • We have had some major life changes occur (especially over the past year).
  • There is no desire to go seek something new. Sometimes I dream about a life where we get to eat dinner together every night of the week. 
  • But that's not our life. And I'm okay with it.
  • No 2 weeks in our life look the same. 
  • The erratic lifestyle has taught me to really cherish the evenings/weekends/days we get together. 2. We are the only family each other has in Tucson. This is a tough reality to face - but it is the truth. We lean on each other when times are tough, we need advice about what to do/say next, and when we need to celebrate happiness and now holidays.
-In our early years of marriage -- I was so new to AZ that I didn't have many close girlfriends here.
  •  So when we got into a fight, I didn't have anyone to go to and vent to. 
  • That situation taught me to respect our marriage - and fix things immediately and move on. Not gossip about it
  • We girls love our gossip
-I have my hobbies: running and cooking. Ryan has his hobbies: woodworking and hunting. And we have OUR hobbies: hiking, traveling, and cooking together. I think it is so important to have those 3 different entities. 

-We are up front about our finances. 
  • Fact: finances can cause a lot of tension in relationships. 
  • From day 1, Ryan and I have worked out a budget that makes both of us happy. 
  • We both have had to make mini compromises.
  • We keep each other in "check". (ie: "You're buying another woodsaw?" or "How many sundresses do have you bought this summer?")
-We have kept God in our marriage. We pray for each other. We pray together. We talk about our spirituality - and it something we enjoy discussing and sometimes even bantering about. Ryan is very scientific, and it takes him a lot to really believe something. You could tell me that it's raining lemon drops, and I'd probably believe you. So those different beliefs have kept us on our toes over the years

-And finally - we are brutally incredibly honest with each other. Someone has to keep you in check of your behavior, your goals, and your lifestyle. We point out to each other if we are slacking at something in life or having a bad attitude towards something. And we genuinely compliment each other every single day. 

This is not a post saying these 7 items are what every relationship should incorporate to equal happiness. But it is what worked for us!! I cannot wait to see what the next 7 years brings. I hope it doesn't go quite as fast. But I assume it will - since every year seems to go faster! 

What advice would you give newlyweds preparing to get married? 


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

You two definitely have something special and it's very apparent that you really enjoy your time together and are truly best friends. I'm glad that the first 7 years of marriage have been so wonderful. You've definitely had lots of changes and curve balls thrown your way but it has only made you two stronger!

I am not married so can't give advice to newly married couples but hopefully I will be on the receiving end of advice in the next year. :)

Marlys said...

This was a great post and you are so blessed to have found each other. I do think living apart from family forces you to work on your marriage together and to depend on each other. I know that moving away after we got married was a blessing now that we look at it in a rear view mirror.
You pointed out many great things, but most important is that you pray together! That is the glue to a great marriage!

Amber said...

Congratulations on almost 7 years married! That is truly incredible! We just celebrated our 4th year of marriage and I admit our life looks NOTHING like what I thought it would look like 4 years ago. We've had some serious struggles in our marriage over the last year but I actually think in the end those struggles have brought us closer together and I really do love Eric more and more each day (well, most days - there are some days when he doesn't wipe out the sink after he's done with it and I am NOT feeling the love ;) )

Amber said...

PS: Your comment "other than a movie from 1955" made me snort laugh a bit ;)