Listen up, ladies: If you’re having second thoughts about walking down the aisle, you might want to lace up your trainers and run the other way.
In the first scientific study to test whether pre-wedding jitters are more likely to lead to divorce, psychologists at the University of California, Los Angeles, have found that a groom’s nervousness has no direct impact on a couple’s chances of splitting – but a bride’s doubts more than double her odds of divorce. Yikes.
The study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology included 464 newlyweds who were interviewed separately every six months for the first four years of marriage. When asked, "Were you ever uncertain or hesitant about getting married?" 47 per cent of husbands and 38 per cent of wives said yes. But while women were less likely than men to have doubts, their hesitations were better predictors of divorce, the researchers found.
"People think everybody has premarital doubts and you don't have to worry about them," said Justin Lavner, lead author of the study. "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.”
Co-author of the study, Thomas Bradbury, compared the situation to finding a suspicious mole. "If you see something unusual on your skin, should you ignore it and go to the beach, or see a doctor? Be smart and don't ignore it - and don't ignore your doubts either," said Bradbury. "Have a conversation and see how it goes. Do you think the doubts will go away when you have a mortgage and two kids? Don't count on that."
The takeaway tip: if your feet are feeling frosty, have a chat to your partner and if you're still not convinced, bail.