By Amy Osmond Cook for Divorce Support Center

If you listen to the relationship experts, the seven-year itch can just as easily be called the three-year itch, four-year itch, or the twelve-year itch. “There’s no consensus among experts as to why the seven-year itch may occur,” explained relationship expert Jennifer Nagy. Experts identify irritating contributors like hasty marriage proposals (Pamela Anderson or Khloe Kardashian), declining interest in his or her’s partner, and growing family responsibilities. But with married couples facing a 50-50 chance at success, it makes one wonder how to extend the rather short shelf life of a marriage, despite the growing needs of maintaining a life together.

Fortunately, society is filled with celebrity couples who have defied the odds. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith will celebrate twenty years together next year, Bill and Melinda Gates have been married over twenty years, and Billy Crystal and his wife, Janice, have been together forty-six years. If you and your partner are truly committed to making a marriage work, here is my relationship advice where I provide three ways to scratch that seven-year itch. Follow these dating tips to increase the longevity of your marriage.

Relationship Advice On How To Have A Lasting Marriage

1. Search for the things you first loved about each other. “I just love him more and more,” said Reese Witherspoon about her five-year marriage to Jim Toth. “I want so much for him to be happy, and he wants me to be happy.” Life is filled with distractions that make it difficult for those once-endearing traits to present themselves. Between family, changing interests, and work, we have many things demanding a portion of our time. Remember: You committed to share your life, dreams, and your whole self with this person. Don’t take that promise lightly, and don’t search for perfection—you won’t find it. Instead, uncover the things about your partner that make you feel secure, more focused, and better able to grow and expand your evolving interests as a couple.

Related Link: Dating Advice: How To Go From Single To Married

2. Make the private moments meaningful. “For us,” explained Chrissy Teigen about her marriage to John Legend, “it’s exciting to have time away and then be together and make up for that lost time.” As a mature relationship grows, the opportunities to share alone time are few and far between, but the need to find that time becomes so important. “When the sexual intimacy in the marriage can be nurtured and given the time to grow, then the marriage will be successful,” wrote Dawn Michael. “The problem, of course, is that many couples lose the closeness that brought them together in the first place.”

Related Link: Relationship Advice: Keeping The Fireworks In Your Relationship

3. Leaving is not an option. “At our facility, it is not uncommon to see a loving spouse sit with his or her aging partner while illness, dementia, or frailty robs them of meaningful twilight years together,” said Scott Hanson, executive director of Lake Ridge Senior Living. “Even though the loved one may no longer recognize him, the thought of leaving or loving her any less is simply not an option.” That kind of commitment through good times and bad is what strengthens the bond Gisele Bundchen shares with her husband Tom Brady. “My father always said, the quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationships, and I think, no matter how challenging it was, we’ve always been supportive of one another. I think that’s the most important thing you can have in life.” With the array of circumstances that continually take shots at a relationship, it’s hard to know whether or not a marriage will be strained at any specific time. According to Nagy, “The studies do seem to agree that couples need to put in the extra effort every day in order to sustain happy marriages. If a couple doesn’t prioritize their relationship, their marriage will fall by the wayside — no matter how long they’ve been together.”

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