The so-called psychological phenomenon the “seven-year itch” suggests happiness fades after seven years of marriage. To be able to suffer from the dreaded “seven-year itch” you need to be married first. Although in other states, seven years is enough for a partnership to be recognized as a common law marriage, in New York, it is not. Only about a dozen states consider common law marriages valid. Couples may avoid formalizing their marriages for many reasons, but common-law marriages are as real and legally binding as taking a walk down the aisle.