FORGET the proverbial seven-year itch.
Not to disillusion the half million or so June brides and bridegrooms who were just married, but new research suggests that the spark may fizzle within only three years.
Researchers analyzed responses from two sets of married or cohabitating couples: one group was together for one to three years, the other for four to six years.
While the researchers could not pinpoint a precise turning point — the seven-year itch, as popularized in the play and film about errant husbands, was largely a theory — they found distinct differences between the groups.
“We know the earlier ones are happier,” said Prof. Kelly Musick, a University of Southern California sociologist. “The initial boost that marriage seems to provide fades over time.”
A long-time running theme in the Dish is that we are sometimes a little incredulous of some surveys and research. Sometimes it seems like researchers are really, really stretching with their studies and end up coming up with projects that are really not informative. This study is the opposite of that. Very interesting work by these researchers. It appears that people just get sick of each other. Or bored. Or something. Maybe we’ve been programmed to believe that relationships are supposed to be easy. Maybe our instant-gratification culture is intolerant of heartache. Maybe our society is falling apart. Maybe online porn is too easily available (and cheap). Maybe talking to each other about important issues is a good idea. We mentioned the Catholic Church is making a big push for spouses to start doing nice things for each other in the http://tangotogether.com/loveflash/2007/06/28/catholics-begin-campaign-o...)" target="_blank">Dish from June 28th.