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UCLA Study: Cold Feet, Especially A Woman’s, May Signal Future Marital Distress

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A woman’s cold feet may be a warning sign of marital distress, according to a study out of UCLA.

UCLA psychologists say a study of pre-wedding jitters, especially among women, predicts higher divorce rates and less marital satisfaction years later. The research will be published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

“Newlywed wives who had doubts about getting married before their wedding were two-and-a-half times more likely to divorce four years later than wives without these doubts,” lead study author Justin Lavner said. “Among couples still married after four years, husbands and wives with doubts were significantly less satisfied with their marriage than those without doubts.”

The study followed 232 newlywed couples in Los Angeles over four years. Among women, 19 percent of those who reported cold feet were divorced four years later, compared with 8 percent of those who had no doubts. As for the husbands, 14 percent who reported premarital doubt were divorced four years later, compared with the 9 percent who had no doubts.

The study is not permission for women with doubts to end their relationships cold turkey, study authors said.

“Talk about it and try to work through it,” co-author Thomas Bradbury said. “You hope that the big issues have been addressed before the wedding.”

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