Today’s marriages are going stale at a staggering pace. 

In fact, a new study found that the 7-year-itch is now a 4-year-itch. The average amount of time it takes for your stress and your partner’s bad habits to turn into a relationship-killers. 

Lead researcher Judi James says marriages are crumbling at the 4-year mark because couples are more stressed than ever – and taking it out on each other. There’s more money pressure, more work pressure – and small irritations that you may have turned a blind eye to, are becoming full blown annoyances you just can’t deal with anymore. 

But some researchers say that’s just normal. In fact, at 4-years, we’re biologically programmed to move on. Biologists say, our ancient ancestors didn't live long enough to enjoy a golden anniversary, so we’re only biologically programmed to stay with our mate about 4 years - just long enough to conceive a child and raise it for a few years so our species can go on. 

This is why, according to worldwide statistics, divorces peak in the fourth year of marriage.

But, as a last ditch effort to save their relationship, some couples are taking time off. Whether it’s a weekend – or one person moving into an apartment so you can “date” again. The thinking is that if you have time away from each other, you’ll realize what you’re missing and it’ll reignite the spark. 

But experts say it’ll do the exact opposite. That’s because it's rare for both people in a relationship to "decide" to take time off. What usually happens is one person, the one leaning towards a break up, suggests they separate and the other person who still wants the relationship goes along with the idea. And the more time you have apart – the easier it is to end things altogether.