Couples about to tie the knot shouldn’t ignore nagging doubts about getting married, warns a University of Alberta researcher.
“If you are having doubts about the relationship, just ignoring them may make a difference years down the road,” said Matthew Johnson, Ph.D. who co-authored the study while at Kansas State University. He is now an assistant professor in the University of Alberta Department of Human Ecology.
The new research found that couples who were more confident as they exchanged vows spent more time together 18 months into the marriage, and were still happy at the three-year mark.
The study used existing research data to weigh the marital confidence of 610 newlywed couples over a period of four years.
“These couples were spending time together, dining out, taking part in activities together, sharing meaningful conversation and physical expressions of affection,” Johnson said.
“Those who are more confident in getting married are willing to invest in their relationships.”
Dealing with relationship issues up front is essential, according to the researcher.
“It is tempting to push those concerns down and just go with the flow, but couples need to remember the doubts you are having are there for a reason and dealing with them will be beneficial,” he said.
He suggests premarital counseling, which is a good opportunity for couples to talk openly and honestly about their concerns and their confidence in being able to meet future challenges.
The study was published in the journal Family Process.
Source: University of Alberta