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'Glitch' replaces 'itch' as urge to ditch accelerates

In this age of Internet information, it feels as if the pace of life grows faster by the nanosecond. A new survey indicates that the quickening pace isn't an illusion.

According to the survey, couples now experience a "three-year glitch" rather than the "seven-year itch" that was the infamous line drawn to indicate when partners began to take each other for granted and marriages begin to head for divorce courts and legal disputes over property division, child custody and more.

Some of the ways in which people show their disdain or disinterest in their partners include weight gain, stinginess and slovenly grooming and housekeeping habits.

The survey of 2,000 Britons in committed relationships shows that relationships erode and fray quicker in the 21st century than they did in the 20th.

Some couples are trying to fight the three-year glitch with separate vacations that may include a "pink pass" in which no questions are asked and no lies are told about flings that may take place during these brief escapes from marriage.

Do these methods work? It depends on the couple. Some might well find time away from each other to be invigorating. Others will find the idea that their spouse might be indulging in romantic adventures too much of a burden to carry.

The recent poll showed that two-thirds of those surveyed find that small irritations are easily forgiven in the early flush of love, but over the next three years, can often develop into major pains.

Of those people in relationships that are less than three years old, just over half reported sexual encounters with their mates at least three times a week. Just 16 percent in relationships that had passed the three-year mark had the same level of sexual activity.

The poll makes a person wonder: if we're down to three years from seven before partners start getting truly irritated with each other, where will we be in another decade or two?

Resource: Reuters: "The 7-year itch is now the 3-year glitch": March 9, 2011

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