While many couples may decide to split after just a few years into their marriage, and others might file for divorce after 25 years of marriage, recent numbers from the U.S. Census determined that the median for first time marriages to end is at eight years, with the initial separation happening after seven years.
In general, when looking at this seven-year itch, many couples who have called it quits point to the stress of children, work and other pressures that have been building up over the years. At around the seven year mark these stresses that have been piling up tend to just boil over.
Andrew J. Cherlin, a Johns Hopkins University professor of sociology and public policy, said it's also important to realize that in most cases a spouse doesn't just decide to get a divorce at around the seven year mark. Rather, people normally realize that they are unhappy at just a few years into the marriage, and it just takes a few more years for that unhappiness to lead to the actual split and eventual divorce.
One 54-year-old father shared his personal divorce story, and said that the stress of having a special needs son and working a lot of hours to provide for his family eventually took its toll on his marriage.
He claims that his wife wanted him to work less, but he was trying to move up in the corporate world. In the end, he wasn't listening to what she wanted, and the two ended up getting divorced.
Source: Boston Globe, "The magic number when magic's gone," Beth Teitell, 29 July 2011