10:20 20 October 2009
We are happier with our spouses, a new report has revealed, at least for a few years more.
Immortalised by the 1955 film of the same name, the so called 'seven-year itch' refers to the time it typically takes for a marriage to breakdown.
However, the latest figures show that not only is divorce at an all time low since 1981, but instead of wanting to rid of our other halves by seven years' time, nowadays it is more like the 11 or 12-year itch.
In 1985, it typically took eight years 47 weeks for a marriage to end up in divorce meaning the couple were likely to have been in difficulty by seven years.
But research from the Office for National Statistics shows that today it is a third less, with recent figures suggesting a marriage is likely to endure for 11.7 years before falling apart.
The figures further revealed that the age of Brit divorcees was steadily rising, with 41.2 and 43.7 being the average age for women and men respectively.
While it could be attributed to stronger bond between partners, it could also be the result of far fewer couples choosing to marry.
Currently, despite an ever-growing population, marriage rates are at the lowest since records began in 1850s as many opt to cohabitate first or instead of tying the knot.
Playwright George Axelrod coined the phrase 'seven-year itch' for the title of his 1952 Broadway success, which was based on the idea that temptation to be unfaithful becomes too irresistible after seven years of marriage.
The hit play was turned into a movie three years later, starring Marilyn Monroe (and the famous scene where a subway vent blows up her skirt), and Tom Ewell, who is lured to stray by his ravishing neighbour (Monroe).
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