Giving Men An Equal Voice In Divorce

Examining the “eight-year itch” in marriage.

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | Divorce

Many Florida couples reach a point known as the “eight-year itch.” At this point in the marriage, spouses’ needs change, and couples often face irreconcilable differences that lead to divorce.

Plateaus occur in marriage and usually resolve when couples work together; however, many couples find the eighth year difficult to tread due to aging, career changes, parenting disputes and financial mishaps. Younger couples and those married for the first time get divorced more often in the eighth year than other mature unions.

Life changing priorities

By year eight, many couples have purchased their first home, had children, and pursued career goals. One spouse might work a demanding job that prevents them from sharing parental responsibilities, which strains the other caregiver. Who does the most for the home is a common argument in divorce petitions.

People lose interest after a significant time together.

The things they thought they shared dissolve, communication fails and couples grow apart. One spouse finally gets the promotion they’ve worked hard for, which requires moving to another state. The other spouse is happy where they are and doesn’t want to move.

Unrealistic expectations

Disappointments and unhappiness are key components of failed marriages. Initially, there was marital bliss, but later, conflicts, stagnation, medical challenges, or other life events began to take a toll on the relationship. Marital vows like in sick or until death don’t expect to become a reality for couples.

For example, a sudden accident permanently disables a spouse or a special needs child is born, creating a new dynamic that can end a marriage. No one gets married anticipating becoming a full-time caregiver to a disabled spouse or child, and the shame and guilt of wanting out might result in divorce contemplation.

Unreasonable expectations in a marriage:

• Constant Bliss: Marriage will always be happy and stress-free.

• Perfect communication: Emotional needs will always be met.

• Flawless: The ideal spouse and house with perfect children and a pet will

create a perfect union.

• Fulfillment: Every need and expectation is satisfied without fail.

Unrealistic expectations add undue stress and lead to arguments, infidelity, abuse of finances or substances and eventually dissolution of the marriage. Couples who are realistic and willing to seek outside help, such as marital counseling, may be able to avoid or mitigate the effects of the eight-year-itch.