Whether the 7-year itch is real or not, it happens often enough that couples serious about making things work know that they should proactively guard against it. If you value your relationship and are nearing this important milestone, you might be better off putting a few protective guardrails around your marriage just in case.

5 Safeguards Against the 7-Year Itch

Work as a team

The first step in guarding against the 7-year itch is to get on the same page. You both have to recognize that for a marriage to work, you need to work as a team to get things done. Getting on the same page and agreeing to work on the marriage can make all the work that needs to be done easier to do. Recognizing that it takes both of you for the marriage to work is not only practical, but it also reinforces the fact that in order to keep your marriage safe, you need to work together and not against each other.

Make talking a must-do

Regardless of what plan you come up with to strengthen your relationship, talking and clear communication should be a major activity. Set a time during the day to talk without any distractions. It could be as short as 20 minutes or as long as an hour or more. Regardless of length, prioritizing intentional communication with your partner can go a long way toward keeping communication clear and your relationship strong.

Watch out for the signs and talk about them

No matter how good you think your relationship is going, there is always a possibility that one of you ends up making a mistake. Always watch out for signs. Discuss what these signs are between the two of you so there is a common understanding that either person knows what to look for if the other person starts to change his or her behavior. Keeping things open like this can help you control your actions because you know that the other person is watching and knows what they should be looking out for.

Get wise counsel

Get the help of older and wiser friends and family members for problems that need a good sounding board. Identify supportive friends and family members and even community, leaders such as a trusted person from church, and go to these people if you need help. Sometimes it can be hard to solve a problem involving two people if emotions are in the way. Having an objective and uninvolved third party weighing in can guide the two of you into making reasonable decisions for your marriage.

See a counselor

Sometimes professional help can do wonders for marriage because you are paying for it. Professional marriage counseling is not cheap, so you already have the incentive to make the most out of your money. More importantly, a professional counselor can give you the skills you need to navigate your relationship in a healthy way. Professional support can also become essential if you cannot get third-party, outside support anywhere else.

The 7-year itch can happen to any couple. Guard the relationship by being proactive about communication and working together as a team to keep your relationship strong enough to withstand any challenge.