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Forget the Seven-Year Itch: Affairs More Common After Three Years of Marriage

ID-10074157There is no such thing as a “perfect marriage.” I can only imagine that if one partner steps out of the marriage and turns to another person in the form of an affair, it becomes even more challenging. Affairs can happen for a wide variety of reasons from either party, and there’s no doubt they can really hurt a marriage.

We’ve all heard the common term “seven-year itch,” which indicates the most common year of marriage to encounter affairs, but a new survey says that “itch” may actually come a lot sooner in marriage.

A survey conducted by AshleyMadison.com, the world’s leading extra-marital dating site, revealed that affairs or “the itch” is more likely to happen three to five years into a marriage. Using research data collected from the site’s 25 million members located in 35 countries, it showed this “itch” coincides with the time a married couple usually has their first child.

I can say from personal experience that one of the harder times in my 10-year marriage came after my first child was born. All the added pressures, responsibilities, changing roles, and limited sleep took a toll and it was hard. According to Noel Biderman, CEO of AshleyMadison.com, the time period during pregnancy and after the birth of a first child  can affect both males and females equally:

“Pregnancy, especially the first, can trigger affairs. It’s a testing time for married couples as sexual desires and attractiveness may decrease during and after the birth of a child. Often women no longer feel attractive, or are physically impaired by their pregnancy, perhaps find their man lacking in some way. Men can find sex in close proximity to their child problematic. Therefore people find themselves searching for someone outside the marriage to help them meet needs that aren’t being met at home. What’s most interesting is that our research shows male and female infidelity to be just as likely at this time.”

The research data shows a spike of 30-40 year olds with a 1:1 ratio for men and women signing up to use their dating service looking for an extramarital affair. And if I just look around to my friends who are now having their first baby, they’re also within that age range, so it’s not surprising to me to hear these stats.

Which year of marriage do you think is typically the most challenging? Share in the comments!

Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Source: AshleyMadison.com UK, press release

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Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband and four kids. Read more from  on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!  

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