Having 'Cold Feet' Makes Divorce More Likely
Pre-wedding jitters might be a sign of trouble ahead, one study finds.
A whopping two-thirds of grooms and brides-to-be have doubts before they walk down the aisle. Experiencing cold feet is nothing new, but if you're having second thoughts about your wedding, it may be more than just jitters, according to new research.
Researcher Thomas Bradbury led a study from the University of California, Los Angeles, which found that people who have doubts about their upcoming nuptials are more likely to end up divorced. Warning: This news is likely to make cold feet even chillier.
Bradbury and his researchers surveyed 464 recently married spouses (232 couples). The couples were asked if they experienced "cold feet" before their marriage. Forty-seven percent of husbands did, compared with 38 percent of wives.
Researchers then followed up with the couples every six months for four years. They surveyed them periodically to find out how satisfied they were in their marriages, if they were still married at all.
After four years, 12 percent of the couples were divorced. Of the women who had reported having cold feet, 19 percent of their marriages ended in divorce by their fourth anniversary. Only 8 percent of wives who didn't report cold feet ended up getting divorced.
For men, 14 percent of cold-feeters were divorced, compared to 9 percent of those who didn't have pre-wedding jitters.
Related video: 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship
In their paper, Do Cold Feet Warn of Trouble Ahead? Premarital Uncertainty and Four-Year Marital Outcomes, the researchers write:
"Taken together, the results indicate that premarital doubts are not simply an instance of feeling anxious before a major event or something to be worked through, but a sign of possible trouble ahead."
And, apparently, it's more of a trend for women than men:
"This appeared to be less true for men, consistent with our prediction that women’s greater attunement toward relationship problems would render their doubts more diagnostic."
Advice columnist Amy Dickinson, who writes for the Chicago Tribune, talked to NPR about the nervousness some couples experience before they tie the knot. Her advice:
"Listen to your doubts—postpone if you need to."
And while Bradbury's study doesn't appear to bode well for the hesitantly betrothed, Dickinson says it's possible to work through those jitters, process them and still walk down the aisle if you do end up feeling ready to do so.
"Discuss your doubts [with your partner], and really spend a lot of time before your marriage talking about marriage, reading about marriage."
And her final bit of advice for couples with cold feet:
"All I can say as a twice married woman is, you know when you know."
Photo: OMG/Getty Images
More love and sex on MSN Living:8 Ways to Spot His Lie
11 Breakup Lessons We've Learned From Romantic Comedies
30 Diamond Engagement Rings So Sparkly You'll Need Sunglasses
love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage
We know some of this may sound obvious, but these simple statements can make both of you happier.
Making your relationship more secure, connected, and intimate doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Try these expert tips and reap the rewards now—and in the long run.
For those times when nothing big and horrible happened--but nothing is feeling right either.
What's more fun than animals in weddings? We've rounded up eight of the cutest.
Your puppy is all over your Instagram, Facebook and fridge, so there's no reason not to include him in your engagement pictures too. The best engagement photos give viewers a peek into your life. If you’re a dog owner, take this opportunity to show off your pooch, like these 22 couples did! And we can't thank them enough.
Our married blogger gets real about checking out other guys when you're taken.
He’s confident, distinguished and anywhere from 4 to 20 years older than you. Age is just a number, but there’s something about older men that we love. Here are eight reasons why being in a relationship with an older man is tops.
While a younger man may have less life experience, that doesn’t mean he’s not emotionally mature. Here are the eight reasons why being in a relationship with a younger man is tops.
While we do love crazy, funny and over-the-top engagements, sometimes there's just nothing like a proposal with a heartfelt story behind it (warning: you might need some tissues). We've rounded up some of the most romantic wedding proposals from couples across the country, so keep scrolling for seven of our favorites:
As much as you’d like to think your guests will love every single aspect of your wedding, the truth is you really can’t please everyone. However, you can try to avoid ticking them off. Here’s how.
You’d think brides and grooms who celebrate their nuptials with 50 guests have an equal shot at wedded bliss as those who invite 500, but apparently not.
Because some things are just better with a buddy (whom you happen to be dating).