New study shows why some marriages end in divorce

September 27, 2012 1:57:00 PM PDT
You've picked out your dress, and the invitations are out.

But if you're about to tie the knot, and you're having doubts, don't ignore them.

A recent study in the Journal of Family Psychology finds that people who have doubts about their upcoming marriage, but go through with it anyway, are twice as likely to end up divorced.

"I think that people feel compelled to go forward even if they are having doubt," said Scott Bea, Psy.D at Cleveland Clinic, "and I think what this study says is you have got to take your doubt seriously."

University of California researchers studied about 230 newlywed couples - tracking their progress every six months.

At the end of 4 years, 19 percent of the women who reported pre-wedding doubts were divorced- compared to 8 percent who had no doubts.

14 percent of the men with premarital doubts were divorced compared to 9 percent who did not report having doubts.

If you're having any doubts, it does not mean you have to cancel the wedding, but psychologists you should talk about it and consider counseling.

"It might be worthwhile asking somebody you care about 'are you having any doubts?' Somebody outside may be able to ask that with a little bit more objectivity, and if someone responds 'yes I am having doubts,"'" said Scott Bea, "You might talk about this sort of research and actually try to take some measures to address those doubts before you ever take a step forward."

The study found that having doubts raised the risk of divorce regardless of other factors - whether their parents were divorced or whether or not the couple lived together before the wedding.

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