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The (Ree)lationship Guide: Research Shows Doubt Before Marriage Signals An Unhappy Ending

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Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, say their four-year study of 464 newlyweds finds those with uncertainty were less satisfied with their marriages, and women with doubts who took the plunge anyway were 2.5 times more likely to divorce. Photogtaphy by NHPHOTOS.com

Photography by NHOPHOTOS.com

by Ree, “The (Ree)lationship Guide”

Research has proven what most of us already know but refuse to acknowledge: Doubt ruins relationships. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, say their four-year study of 464 newlyweds finds those with uncertainty were less satisfied with their marriages, and women with doubts who took the plunge anyway were 2.5 times more likely to divorce.

The survey question was very simple and only required a yes or no response. “The question was ‘Were you ever uncertain or hesitant about getting married?’ Just a yes or no. The simplicity is great because it’s such a basic question,” says lead author Justin Lavner, a UCLA researcher. “But unfortunately, it doesn’t allow us to say if it’s doubts about the partner or doubts about marriage in general. Doubts specific to the relationship or partner are generally worse than doubts about marriage in general.” Among the newlyweds, 47% of husbands and 38% of wives said they had doubts. The study, published online in the Journal of Family Psychology, found that about 10% more husbands than wives had doubts, but the women’s inklings of trouble better predicted divorce.

Among women, 19% who reported pre-wedding doubts were divorced four years later, compared with 8% who didn’t report having doubts. For husbands, 14% who reported doubts were divorced four years later, compared with 9% who didn’t report doubts. “Very often in describing problems that exist in the marriage, they say something to the effect of ‘I saw all the signs before we got married and I ignored them,'” says Susan Winters, a family law attorney in Short Hills, N.J. The study also found that in 36% of couples, neither partner had doubts. And Lavner warns, not having doubts doesn’t mean the marriages survived. Among those in which neither expressed doubts, 6% still got divorced.

New York attorney Lubov Stark, who has practiced family law for 17 years and wants to make sure people understand there’s  a difference between conscious doubts and jitters. “A lot of people have jitters — a subconscious feeling that something may be off here,” she says. “But they are swept away with the whole experience of getting engaged and getting married. Everybody wants to believe it will work out.

Earlier this year I touched on the topic of addressing doubts. The first thing you want to do is identify the source of the doubt(s). The next thing you want to do is address your concerns with your significant other. Once you’ve addressed the  issue with your significant other, you can then form a plan of action. The plan of action may or may not include your significant other because their willingness to make sure you feel confident and secure in the relationship is contingent upon their response to your concern(s) that you’ve brought to their attention. Read more about tackling doubts in your relationship by clicking here.

Ree “The REE-lationship Guide” is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University. She is a contributing writer for YourBlackWorld.net and BlackLikeMoi.com. Follow her Twitter: @iDateDaily Questions, comments, and/or concerns can be addressed to Ree via email at TheREElationshipGuide@gmail.com

The (Ree)lationship Guide

Ree "The (REE)lationship Guide" is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University. She is a contributing writer for YourBlackWorld.net and BlackLikeMoi.com.

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