John Grohol, PSYD, is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central
It’s not unheard of for either the bride or groom to get cold feet before the wedding. Some pre-wedding anxiety is perfectly normal and natural, as virtually everyone experiences such anxiety to one degree or another.
But if you have real hesitation and doubt about going forward with the wedding, you may want to listen to your head and those doubts. Because new research released last week suggests that a woman’s hesitation before her wedding might predict a bumpy road ahead.
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.
The researchers, led by Justin Lavner, a UCLA doctoral student in psychology, studied 232 couples in Los Angeles during the first few months of marriage and then checked in on the spouses every six months for four years.
Among the wives who expressed doubts about getting married, 19 percent were divorced 4 years later, compared with only 8 percent women who did not report doubts. For husbands, those figures were 14 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
In 36 percent of couples, both partners said they had no doubts before the wedding. Four years later, only 6 percent of those couples had divorced.
Among couples in which both spouses reported premarital doubts, 20 percent got divorced. Of couples in which only the husband reported doubts, 10 percent got divorced, compared with 18 percent of couples who got divorced when only the wife had doubts.
What Do I Do If I Have Doubts Before My Wedding?
Doubts don’t mean doom for the relationship. There’s a few easy things you can do to put those doubts to bed.