Shot from "Seven Year Itch"
Due to cutbacks in Ireland, the seven-year itch has been restricted to three years.

It seems couples have more to contend with other than a weak economy and poor job prospects, as new research shows that more people are splitting up after three years, not even making it close to the seven year itch.

According to a study by parenting website Netmums, couples are now four-and-a-half times more likely to split after three years and than the traditional seven years.

A significant 21 percent of couples who parted ways, said their relationship fell apart between two and four years. In contrast, a mere three percent broke up after seven years.

Normal everyday pressures such as raising kids while juggling careers were the main reasons why relationships failed.

Almost half of the 1,500 respondents said that bringing up children had put a strain on their relationship.

Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard (44) told the Irish Sun: “Relationships are tough at the best of times but having children puts an extra strain on them.

“The problem with ‘fast forward’ relationships is if the foundations are not strong then children can quickly make a relationship very wobbly.

“The research shows we are then giving up too quickly — maybe because it seems there are more choices than there used to be.