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17 September 2012

Brides with pre-wedding doubts more likely to divorce

Brides-to-be should heed their nagging doubts, a new study from the University of California shows, as nearly one in five women with cold feet before their wedding are divorced four years later.

When people have premarital doubts they think they do not have to worry, but new research reveals newlywed wives who had niggles before taking the plunge were two and a half times more likely to divorce four years later, reports The Telegraph.

Researchers studied 464 newlyweds within the first few months of marriage and conducted follow up surveys every six months for four years - average age at the time of marriage was 27 for husbands and 25 for wives.

When asked if they were ever uncertain or hesitant about getting married at the initial interview, 47 per cent of husbands and 38 per cent of wives said yes.

Although women were less likely than men to have doubts, the University of California Los Angeles researchers found their niggles were more meaningful in predicting trouble after the wedding.

Among women, 19 per cent of those who said they had pre-wedding doubts were divorced four years later, compared to eight per cent who did not have doubts, the Journal of Family Psychology study revealed.

For husbands, 14 per cent who confessed to getting cold feet were divorced four years later, compared to nine per cent who did not report having doubts.

Doctoral candidate Justin Lavner said:

"People think everybody has premarital doubts and you don't have to worry about them. 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.

"You know yourself, your partner and your relationship better than anybody else does; if you're feeling nervous about it, pay attention to that. It's worth exploring what you're nervous about."

Doubt was a decisive factor in splitting, regardless of how satisfied the spouses were with their relationships when interviewed, whether their parents were divorced, if they lived together before the wedding and how difficult their engagement was.

Read more from The Telegraph on this story here.