Got cold feet?
The familiar saying ‘you’ve just got cold feet’ might do more harm than good, according to a study by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). As the first study of its kind to test whether wedding doubts are likely to lead to an unhappy marriage, this research from UCLA might shed some light on what those pre-marriage jitters could mean, and whether you should act on them.
The study involved profiling 232 newlyweds within the first few months of marriage. Participants were asked about how they felt about their relationship before the wedding, and were asked to complete surveys every six months for four years. 47 per cent of husbands and 38 per cent of wives admitted to feeling uncertain or hesitant about their relationship prior to getting married. What’s interesting however is that while women were less likely to have doubts, theirs were more insightful in predicting a troubled relationship. Almost 20 per cent of women who had doubts were divorced four years later, compared to only eight per cent whose relationship failed but had no pre-wedding concerns.
"What this tells us is that when women have doubts before their wedding these should not be lightly dismissed,” lead author Justin Lavner told reporters. "You know yourself, your partner and your relationship better than anybody else does; if you're feeling nervous about it, pay attention to that," he says. "It's worth exploring what you're nervous about."
Researchers look to doubt as one of the most decisive factors in determining the longevity of a relationship. They found that regardless of whether the interviewees came from a divorced family, lived with their spouse before their wedding or had a difficult engagement doubt was the main factor linked to a failed relationship.
As a result, researchers recommend the most obvious solution is the best. They say to talk with your partner and try to resolve the problem prior to the big day, in the hope of increasing your odds and a happy, long term relationship.
Sophie Miura is madison's health writer and production editor
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