It’s long been considered a common reaction ahead of your big day – that panicked moment that your mother and maid of honour are supposed to talk you out of by saying things like, “You’re just a little nervous” and “You’ve come so far together”.
Most of us will agree that having last minute doubts before walking down the aisle to say, “I do” is a natural and harmless thing, but new research suggests that cold feet might predict future divorce.
Justin Lavner, a doctoral student at UCLA believes women should trust their instincts more often when it comes to those nerves.
“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,” Lavner is quoted as saying in an article by LiveScience.
The psychologist and his team studied 232 couples in their first few months of marriage, later checking up on them every six months for the ensuing four years.
Through interviewing individuals in the study, researchers found that 47 percent of men and 38 percent of women were uncertain about saying “I do”. Yet, while husbands tended to experience cold feet more than wives, it was the women’s uncertainty which influenced whether a relationship survived.
While only 14 percent of the men who expressed doubts before getting married ended up divorced in the four years of the study, the figure grew to 18 percent for those women with cold feet.
Interestingly, a separate study conducted by the US Family Relations department found that fear of divorce actually kept committed young couples from the altar.
While doubts might have some role to play in the longevity of a relationship, Lavner and his team suggest that being open and talking it through with your partner will help.
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,” said co-researcher, Thomas Bradbury.