The average length of a marriage is around 9 years.  We have all heard the stereotype of the “seven-year itch”, but now that I am eight years into my marriage, I am learning quickly that the seven-year itch is a REAL thing. So, what’s happening? Why do I commonly receive calls about a marriage that has recently hit an eight-year anniversary and now divorce is on the table???

I am no phycologist, but if you have been married any length of time you know marriage is HARD. Around the 4-7-year mark, many couples start adding children to the mix, sometimes 2 or 3. The hustle and bustle of a family full of diapers, leaky boobs, temper tantrums, and sippy cups can quickly turn lovers into walking zombies who occasionally sleep in the same room. As a mom of two little boys there is nothing that makes you feel sexier for your husband than feeling like a milk cow covered in spit up or discussing the consistency and color of your toddlers’ poop. As our focus shifts from each other to managing a household of tiny humans, it’s no wonder that the fire between couples dissipates in some capacity.

So how do we combat the seven (or four, five or six) year slump? In my opinion this is where the work really comes into a marriage. Life can so easily pull two people apart. What better to “relight the fire” than to date like you did in the early years. Take the time and pay the sitter to go to dinner or dessert to connect with your spouse. Don’t feel guilty to take a trip, just the two of you, as a special honeymoon like getaway. Also, be willing to be vulnerable and ask for help.  Seek out a therapist in your area that can help you to relearn how to communicate with each other. Living in the Texas, many of my friends were married in their very early 20s. Not only could you be combatting the life as parents, but you are also maturing and chasing new dreams that may or may not be the same, or at the same pace, as your partner. Marriage is hard but can be wonderful if you’re willing to work at it.

Unfortunately, we can only control ourselves! Sometimes no amount of work will save a marriage if only one partner is willing to fight for what you once felt for each other. If you find yourself moving in the direction of divorce, I strongly encourage you to surround yourself with the appropriate team for your situation.  By contacting your local Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® they can educate you about your options and provide a list of attorneys and other professionals that could be appropriate for you and the style of divorce you are seeking.

With the average divorce length around nine years it’s no wonder that there are additional components that don’t come into effect unless you have been married at least 10 years. The two biggies are, spousal maintenance in Texas and the possibility of receiving the spousal benefit of your ex-spouse’s social security. There are also specific rules with military pensions that can cause issues if you divorce prior to your 10-year anniversary.

Deciding to file for divorce is extremely emotional, amid the stress there are some tough financial decisions that must be made. Most of us would struggle with hard financial decisions on our best day, so why wouldn’t you choose to hire an expert to guide you through those decisions while at your worst? Contact us a Next Step Divorce Solutions and let us carry you through this difficult time and bring clarity to the confusing financial decisions that you are about to make.