Wedding Doubts for Women Often Predict Divorce

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Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge MARK SEBASTIAN / FLICKR
  • Mark Sebastian / Flickr
Those nagging doubts you have about your fiance?

They're probably right.

So says a new UCLA study, which concludes that such "pre-wedding uncertainty," more for women than men, predicts unhappy marriages and even divorce.

Justin Lavner, the lead author of the study and a UCLA doctoral candidate in psychology, says:

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.

Yikes. Forever hold your peace, man. The study will appear in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Family Psychology.

click to enlarge SHELLEY PANZARELLA
  • Shelley Panzarella

According to a UCLA summary, Lavner's team looked at 232 married couples in L.A. for four years and found that, at the end of the time, the pairs were not always still happily married, if they were still married at all.

Nearly 1 in 5 women (19 percent) with pre-wedding doubts ended up divorced compared with fewer than 1 in 10 (8 percent) of those without such doubts, according to UCLA. For men, those divorce-rate numbers were 14 percent for the doubters, 9 percent for the non-doubters.

When both partners had doubts, divorce was the case for 1 in 5 couples, according to the research:

Doubt proved to be a decisive factor, regardless of how satisfied the spouses were with their relationships when interviewed, whether their parents were divorced, whether the couple lived together before the wedding and how difficult their engagement was.

Lavner argues that pre-wedding problems only "escalate:"

... When women have doubts before their wedding, these should not be lightly dismissed.

Ya heard, guys? No? That's why you're alone.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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