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How to Scratch the Seven Year Itch

by eHow Relationships & Family Editor

When hearing the term "seven year itch," most people think of Marilyn Monroe and the movie. This is actually a phrase that embodies a stage many marriages go through; infidelity caused by a feeling of loneliness brought on by partners drifting apart or feeling unfulfilled. There are ways to get through this period or avoid it altogether that are very important in order to maintain a healthy, loving relationship.

Keep romance alive in your marriage. After being married for several years it's common for partners to take each other for granted. This is a dangerous situation to be in: avoid marital boredom by showing your appreciation for your spouse in small ways. Send flowers, make loving comments to show that you still find him or her attractive and surprise each other romantically.

Talk to each other. Take the time to discuss important aspects of your day or your thoughts on situations that arise in your marriage that need attention. Make sure that as you both grow personally you are growing in the same direction by sharing interests and being aware of your partner's opinions.

Avoid situations that leave you alone with members of the opposite sex if possible. Let them know that you're married and do not become emotionally close or discuss personal matters with them. Approximately 70 percent of men and 40 percent of women begin extra-marital relationships with people they work with.

Schedule a date night. When partners do not spend time together in enjoyable pursuits a marriage might come to resemble a business arrangement. It's important to have fun memories to discuss and look back on. Doing this on a regular basis will increase the sense of fun in your marriage and solidify the friendship that should accompany the romantic aspect of your marriage.

Recognize the importance of sexual relations in your marriage. Consider your partner's needs and make an effort to meet them lovingly. You may not feel romantic at the same times and this is natural. But in a marital relationship both partners must be giving at times even though it may not fit their own mood.

Be supportive of your partner. Whether this means encouraging his or her interests or helping him or her through a rough time, make sure you're open and willing to listen. If a spouse feels neglected and/or lonely in a marriage, it's common for her to look for fulfillment elsewhere.