This weekend my husband and I will celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary. Apparently the seven year itch was named after a contagious, bacterial skin infection that could last up to seven years *scratches self*.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the median duration of marriage to divorce in Australia is 12.2 years. Marriage to separation, 8.9 years. We might have a few years up our sleeve but I’m not entirely convinced in the seven year cyclical nature of relationships anyway.
A few years ago, in an episode of radio show This American Life entitled ‘What I did For Love’ host Ira Glass spoke with Kurt Braunohler about his decision to test a 13 year relationship with a month of mutually agreed upon infidelity. Based on the Amish term ‘rumspringa’ meaning running around, the relationship was eventually forced into a decision with Kurt closing the interview explaining his theory that at the end of seven years, you should either remarry or decide to terminate your relationship. Host Ira Glass had this to say in response:
I don’t know what I think of that. Because I think, actually, one of the things that’s a comfort in marriage is that there isn’t a door at seven years. And so if something is messed up in the short-term, there’s a comfort of knowing, well, we made this commitment. And so we’re just going to work this out. And even if tonight we’re not getting along or there’s something between us that doesn’t feel right, you have the comfort of knowing, we’ve got time. We’re going to figure this out. And that makes it so much easier. Because you do go through times when you hate each other’s guts. You know what I mean?
*for the full audio, you can listen here.
I’ve heard some dubious marriage advice over the years. Don’t go to bed on an argument. Set the challenge to have sex with your husband every day for one month. Always speak to each other with respect (really hard on five consecutive years of minimal sleep). I don’t have any marriage enlightenment. Seven years still feels amateur and experimental at times, but I do take comfort in knowing we have time. Even in our most volatile moments there’s always the underlying yet not necessarily acknowledged agreement that we made a pact. Who knows what adversity that pact may face in the future, for now it’s a bond I’m indebted to. One enriched with support, friendship and the solace of time.
I loved the Dumb Ways To Die campaign, I thought this Valentine’s Day snippet was kinda cute. Happy anniversary husband x