Lifestyle & Belief

Bride's cold feet predict divorce, study says


Kate Middleton looks back at her maid of honor, sister Pippa, after arriving at Westminster Abbey in London, England for her wedding to Prince William on April 29, 2011. Her dress is by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.


Dan Kitwood

Your fiancee is so sweet when he's sober, and his beer gut isn't that bad, so you guys should still get married, right? Probably not. New research suggests that women who have nagging doubts about their upcoming marriages are more likely to get divorced. "People think everybody has premarital doubts and you don't have to worry about them," Justin Lavner, a UCLA doctoral student in psychology who led the study, told LiveScience. But pre-wedding jitters may not be so "normal" after all. 

In the study, Lavner and his fellow psychologists interviewed 232 couples over a period of four years. They found that women were less likely to suffer from cold feet than men, the Toronto Sun reported. However, the women in the study were also better predictors of how long the marriage would last. The study found that 19 percent of brides with cold feet were divorced within four years. Meanwhile, for women who didn't have doubts, the divorce rate was half that amount. 

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"There's no evidence that problems in a marriage just go away and get better. If anything, problems are more likely to escalate," Lavner told the Daily Telegraph. And Professor Thomas Bradbury added this helpful piece of advice: "You hope that the big issues have been addressed before the wedding." Yes, that's probably a good takeaway message from the study--the best time to tell your fiancee that you don't like them isn't during the wedding or after the wedding, but before the wedding.