For Better or Worse, No?
Posted On Apr 12, 2017
The seven-year itch. No, it’s not a festering case of eczema, it is a world-shattering and all-consuming condition that befalls on helpless couples that pretend they didn’t see it coming but really have felt its presence for years. A metaphorical disease, the seven-year itch is not a physical malice, but rather an emotional parasite that feeds off pride and petty differences. Sounds like a walk in the park huh? Far from it. The itch is just one of the many meager attempts at explaining what happens when two people who should otherwise be romantically inclined to stay together, begin to lose touch of one another. Think your relationship is immune to the icy grip of separation? Hopefully – but chances are, you might be in the midst of the itch, or something equally as damaging that could permanently ruin what you thought would be forever. Spot the signs and salvage the sanctity of your union while you still have time.
With endless amounts of bake sales, crowded carpools, last-minute deadlines, and unrelenting in-laws, “life” can play a major factor in just how happy your happily ever after truly is. How many times have you been “too busy” to acknowledge an anniversary, “too tired” for the occasional romp in the sheets, or “too stressed” to put the phone down during dinner (even if it’s takeout)? While all completely viable reasons to be stretched to the limit, is answering that email really more important than the person you vowed to love for better or worse? No. Your boss can wait. Is that basketball game really more important than having a conversation with your spouse? No. You can catch the highlights later. Turn it off and tune it out, before it’s too late.
When life begins to creep into the most sacred and vulnerable part of your relationship – the love you share – it’s time to make a change. Date nights, weekend trips, and babysitters (even the mother-in-law type) are little gifts sent to us from the relationship gods to ensure we don’t lose each other or the love that has kept us together. Take advantage of a long weekend and rekindle the flames of the fire that may have begun to dim. Don’t let everything you built together be what ultimately tears you apart.
What once were precious bundles of joy ready to welcome you into the beautiful world of parenthood have now, rather
quickly, turned into the very stick driving a wedge between the person who is supposed to be the love of your life. “But my kids are my life!” Yes, as they should be, but what kind of life is that if you and your partner can’t finish a conversation without a heated spat ensuing and ending in the proverbial, “You can just sleep on the couch tonight!”
Raising kids can be one of the greatest accomplishments we can achieve as human beings. But between the honor roll assemblies and the late-night solar system projects, are you leaving any room for your relationship? Where do you even begin to find that kind of time? First step – get that child out of your bed! Cuddly, snugly, and cute, sleeping with your child is one of the purest rewards bestowed on a parent. We’ve all done it. But at the expense of your sex life? No. It’s not worth the detrimental strain on your relationship and the independence you are robbing your child of (that’s a whole other can of worms). Figure out how to nurture your child and your relationship – from different beds. Spending time with your mate is just as important as spending time with your kids, but without him/her, your kids would not even be on this earth so you shouldn’t let your relationship fall to wayside.
Communication (or lack thereof)
Who can honestly say they have stellar communication with their partner? Anyone? ANYONE? Likely not something you’re going to find too often – sad, but that’s the texting, tweeting reality we have created for ourselves. What’s likely the basis and most fundamental attribute of a successful relationship is often one of the first things to go. Don’t let it! Communicating can be awkward, uncomfortable, and even painful, but if you practice, it can become second nature and the saving grace of a potentially destructive relationship.
But, how? How does one improve communication with a partner that can be hard of hearing (to put it nicely)? Simple – just say it. Even though bottling up our innermost thoughts and emotions may be the easiest route to take, that kind of stubborn solution will likely get you nowhere. Expressing what we feel can provide the emotional release your soul needs to be able to overcome a strenuous argument and give your clueless partner insight into why not having dinner hot and ready is such a big deal, or why allowing dirty laundry to accumulate has pushed us to the breaking point. Keeping the lines of communication free flowing ensures that there are no guessing games and no room for misinterpretations. Save yourself a headache and talk it out.
Oftentimes, we are quick to throw in the towel and blame it on ambiguously “irreconcilable differences” when really it’s just a matter of misplacing the connection that once brought you together. Turn back the hands of time and revisit your relationship when it wasn’t tainted by emotional hardship and rediscover why you fell for each other in the first place. A nice gesture, a kind word, even just a smile can work wonders for an ailing heart so give it a go before giving up and giving in. Remember, you promised till death do you part for a reason…