Doubts about getting married? Research says do not ignore them

Published on August 25, 2013

couple therapy

The Science of Marriage

In the first science study done by UCLA on marriage and divorce it found—when women have doubts before their wedding, their misgivings are often a warning sign of trouble if they go ahead with the marriage. The psychologists studied 464 newlywed spouses (232 couples) in Los Angeles within the first few months of marriage and conducted follow-up surveys with the couples every six months for four years. At the time of marriage, the average age of the husbands was 27 years, and the average age of the wives was 25 years.

Among women, 19 percent of those who reported pre-wedding doubts were divorced four years later, compared with 8 percent of those who did not report having doubts. For husbands, 14 percent who reported premarital doubts were divorced four years later, compared with 9 percent who did not report having doubts.

Doubt proved to be a decisive factor, regardless of how satisfied the spouses were with their relationships when interviewed, whether their parents were divorced, whether the couple lived together before the wedding and how difficult their engagement was.

Prevention to a Bad Marriage

Pre-marriage counselling is so important to help prepare couples with effective communication and conflict management skills so that when the strong feelings of love and physical and sexual attraction wane and are replaced by the reality of everyday life and challenges, couples will still be able to function effectively, maintain their friendship and increase intimacy. 

Start Learning When you are Happy!

For many, thinking about problems or counseling—when we are happy seems silly and a waste of time and money. However, when we are happy and feeling loving in our relationship and towards our partner is the BEST time to actually learn new and more effective skills for maintaining friendship, managing difference and ensuring everyone can get their needs in the relationship.

It is inevitable that as couples continue to live and function together they will come across areas where they do not agree and may be very incompatible with how to resolve issues.  Having differences isn’t the problem, but rather if couples know how to effective negotiate these difference is the key factor.

If couples don’t anticipate this and learn more effective skills, misunderstanding, obligation and resentment are likely to build up. Over the longer term, these unresolved issues erode good will and can be harder to overcome. Start while you are happy and it’s much easier.

Don't Ignore the Warning Signs

Often couples will recognize areas that they are incompatible early on in the relationship. However, they often ignore those areas figuring love with solve it, as indicated in the study. They do this because they are swept up in the physical and sexual feelings that feel wonderful and they don’t want to ruin that feeling. It is a short-term decision with only short-term benefits that have long-term negative consequences.

So for couples considering getting married, it is important to work through doubts you have. Even if you don’t have doubts, learning effective skills to handle conflict, negotiate different wants and identify more effective ways to communicate will ensure you become a sustainable married couple.

All couples will have areas of conflict and incompatibility. But what separates the masters from the disasters is that the master’s learn effective skills to communicate and manage differences so that it is a win-win for the couple.

Our pre-marriage will help you learn how to develop these skills. Our course is different because it helps you translate concepts into actionable behavioural changes.  We provide you with a sustainable framework through which you can manage conflict in a way that brings you closer together.

You cannot improve your relationship by talking about it, you must do and behave effectively. No, where do we learn effective relationship skills. Find out more about our pre-marriage program. Email or call us at 9030 7239 to learn more about Pre-marriage Counselling Packages.


University of California - Los Angeles (2012, September 13). Should I marry him? If you're having doubts, don't ignore them, psychology study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieve.

Category(s):Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Divorce / Divorce Adjustment, Domestic Violence, Ending a relationship issues, Family Problems, Happiness, Marital Counseling, Men's Issues, Pre-Marital Counseling

Written by:

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA

Ms. Fontana is a relationship counsellor specializing in helping people with their relationships whether it is dating, marriage, parenting or with their extended family. Her clients call her approach practical and found solutions to their problems. Ms. Fontana has obtained her Master Degree in Mental Health counselling from the United States and is a USA Nationally Certified Counsellor. She is also a Certified Choice Theory Reality Therapist and is USA trained Sex Therapist.

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA belongs to All in the Family Counselling Centre, PTE LTD in Singapore