Certain pre-wedding woes are normal. A minor freak-out when the bridesmaid dresses arrive in neon green instead of sage? Normal. Fretting about Uncle Larry’s completely inappropriate signature dance at your reception. Also, normal.
But if it’s your soon-to-be spouse that has you sweating the wedding, your intuition may be spot-on.
A recent study out of UCLA suggests that having cold feet before walking down the aisle should not be ignored. According to their research, pre-wedding uncertainty, especially among women, predicts higher divorce rates and less marital satisfaction years later. Newlywed wives who had doubts about getting married before their wedding were two-and-a-half times more likely to divorce.
Before you put a ring on it, ask yourself why you’re nervous—and if it’s the wedding or the marriage that’s turning your tootsies blue.
Results of the survey suggest that doubt is the ultimate deal-breaker.
In 36 percent of couples, the husband and wife had no doubts about getting married. Of those couples, 6 percent got divorced within four years. When only the husband had doubts, 10 percent of the couples got divorced. When only the wife had doubts, 18 percent of couples got divorced.
But when both partners had doubts, 20 percent of the couples got divorced.
Rachel A. Sussman, licensed therapist and relationship expert, recommends that all couples listen to their intuition. “If you have a nagging suspicion of doubt during your engagement, it’s important that you spend time listening to that voice and where it’s coming from.” Sussman suggests asking yourself if the jitters stem from wedding stress or a character flaw in your future spouse.
Sussman says to go away for the weekend by yourself or talk to a therapist—face your fears! If you find that when you’re holed-up in nature, a yoga class or fancy hotel (sans fiancé or iPhone), and you’re calm while removed from the stress of the wedding, it’s a good sign. If you find that you have concerns about the person you’re marrying while in a new space, it’s important to speak to your future spouse and seek pre-martial counseling or even postpone the wedding. “Couples are too afraid to cancel or postpone a wedding because they’re embarrassed, but it’s better to cancel than to get divorced a few years after the wedding,” say Sussman.
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