Thinking twice about tying the knot? You might want to trust your gut on this one. A new study from UCLA found that having doubts before a wedding can lead to a higher divorce rate and marital dissatisfaction — especially if you’re a woman.
University psychologists surveyed 232 married couples, first interviewing them after they had been married only a few months and then checking in on them every six months for a total of four years. Of the women who reported having doubts about getting married, 19 percent were divorced within four years, whereas 14 percent of doubting men got a divorce. When both parties had doubts, the divorce rate was 20 percent.
Compare that to couples who had no doubts about getting married: Only 6 percent of those couples got divorced. ScienceDaily reports:
“People think everybody has premarital doubts and you don’t have to worry about them,” said Justin Lavner, a UCLA doctoral candidate in psychology and lead author of the study. “We found they are common but not benign. Newlywed wives who had doubts about getting married before their wedding were two and a half times more likely to divorce four years later than wives without these doubts. Among couples still married after four years, husbands and wives with doubts were significantly less satisfied with their marriage than those without doubts.”
Sounds like women’s intuition. So what’s the advice for couples on the verge of getting hitched?
“What this tells us,” Lavner said, “is that when women have doubts before their wedding, these should not be lightly dismissed. Do not assume your doubts will just go away or that love is enough to overpower your concerns. There’s no evidence that problems in a marriage just go away and get better. If anything, problems are more likely to escalate.”
Good advice, study or no study.
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