Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Pre-Wedding Jitters

Just cold feet, or is there something more to anxiety about walking down the aisle? A recent study at UCLA found that those pre-wedding jitters are actually a good predictor of less marital satisfaction and higher divorce rates years down the lineóespecially when it’s the bride who’s uncertain.

The researchers interviewed 232 newlywed couples in Los Angeles within their first few months of marriage, asking questions that included “Were you ever uncertain or hesitant about getting married?” Forty-seven percent of husbands and 38 percent of wives answered yes. The couples then took follow-up surveys every six months for four years.

An interesting pattern emerged at the end of those four years: when the husband had doubts about getting married, 10 percent of the couples got divorced within those four years. When it was the wife who had doubts, 18 percent of the couples got divorced. When both the husband and wife had uncertainty, 20 percent got divorced, and when neither were unsure, only 6 percent split up.

Kind of depressing any way you look at it, but the psychologists think there’s more to it: they believe that the results point to the conclusion that although men and women both have doubts, women’s doubts are more meaningful when it comes to predicting marital trouble down the line.

Justin Lavner, the lead author of the study, doles out some advice: “Do not assume your doubts will just go away or that love is enough to overpower your concerns. There’s no evidence that problems in a marriage just go away and get better. If anything, problems are more likely to escalate.”

And keep in mind that nerves about the wedding itself (tripping on your walk down the aisle! wearing white after Labor Day!) are different from anxiety about spending the rest of your life with someone. But even if the worries go beyond the big day, the co-author of the study, Benjamin Karney, advises couples to talk through it and work through the reasons for nerves. “You hope that the big issues have been addressed before the wedding,” he says.



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Kate S.
Kate S4 years ago


Tim C.
Tim C4 years ago


Elena T.
Elena Poensgen5 years ago

Thank you :)

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

because women really LOOK at the problems and examine them closely. Plus whatever problems you are worried about are real problems. Can you live with them every single day? thats the question you have to be sure of

No B.
Nancy B5 years ago

wish I had

Sheri P.
Sheri P5 years ago

i doubt i'll ever have to worry about this one...no one is falling over himself to marry me...

Debra Griffin
Missy G5 years ago


Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago


Maria D'Oporto
Past Member 5 years ago

It is very true, I just had a god example of it with a close friend, the prewedding anxiety escalated till reaches so big stress that ended in a BIG trouble, and Thanks to God they stoped the ceremony just few days before of it; I am sure it would become a nightmare if they continue the process. One should listen to our intuition. Organic wisdom is important if your body is tellig you something pay atention, all of us had have a "fnny feeling" in the guts, just listen and pay atention it can prevent a bad experience.

Carole R.
Carole R5 years ago