Study: Hesitation Before Marriage Could Predict Divorce

The attorneys at GillespieShields practice family, employment, civil, criminal, and immigration law.

Study: Hesitation Before Marriage Could Predict Divorce

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology, there may be a way to indicate whether your marriage is going to end in divorce even before it begins. Researchers determined that women who have doubts before tying the knot are two-and-a-half times more likely to end up going through divorce within four years than women who do not have pre-marital doubts.

A doctoral student who led the study said that doubts before marriage may be common, but they aren’t always “benign.” Even among couples who stayed together, researchers determined that those who experienced doubts before getting married end up being “significantly less satisfied” in their marriages than those who didn’t experience doubts.

The study involved 232 couples in the Los Angeles area. Researchers interviewed the couples during the first few months of their marriages, and then checked in again every six months for a total of four years.

During the first interview, researchers privately asked each spouse if she or he had felt “uncertain or hesitant” before getting married. A total of 47 percent of husbands responded “yes” to this question, compared to 38 percent of wives.

Interestingly, while men were more likely to experience hesitation, hesitation experienced by women appeared to more accurately predict the failure of the marriage.

A total of 19 percent of wives who reported feeling hesitant or uncertain before tying the knot were divorced within four years. Just 8 percent of wives who did not report having “cold feet” were divorced within the same time period. Comparably, 14 percent of husbands who had cold feet were divorced within four years, while 9 percent who didn’t have cold feet experienced the same.

While the researchers concluded that having cold feet doesn’t necessarily mean a marriage will fail, they do suggest that people address feelings of hesitation or uncertainty before going through with marriage.

We Can Answer Your Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement Questions

If you have questions regarding creating a prenuptial agreement or protecting your rights during divorce, please call us at 602-870-9700 (Phoenix) or 480-985-4000 (Mesa) or contact us to request a consultation today

Source: Fox News, “Bride’s ‘cold feet’ may be an indication of divorce,” Sept. 17, 2012



The information contained on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice concerning your individual situation. We welcome you to contact us via phone, electronic mail, or through this website. However, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send us confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship is established.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Contact Us


7319 North 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020 | 602-870-9700


1630 S. Stapley Drive, Suite 212, Mesa, AZ 85204 | 480-985-4000


Enjoy What You're Reading?

Thank you for showing your interest in our blog. If you would like to subscribe to read more, please enter your email address below. We promise to respect your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing to our website. -GillespieShields Team

Share This