Two-year itch infects marriages
By James Mills
June 22, 2004

COUPLES watching out for the seven-year itch should be on their guard a lot earlier these days. According to research, they are far more likely to separate after about two years of marriage.

One in 12 couples is heading for the divorce courts after 24 months - more than double the figure for seven years.

Julia Roberts can certainly testify to the existence of the two-year itch. The actress's first marriage to singer Lyle Lovett in 1993 was over after 21 months. The 36-year-old star has now been married to cameraman Danny Moder for 22 months and is expecting twins, but there have been rumours of tensions within the relationship.

Other celebrity marriages to hit the rocks around the two-year period included Madonna and Sean Penn, who lasted 27 months.

Dr Michael Svarer, who led the study at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, said the risk of a split rose rapidly throughout the first 18 months of a marriage and then slowed before reaching a peak at two years.