LIVING

Wedding Cold Feet: What If Those Nerves Before Marriage Aren't Just In Your Head?

11/05/2012 11:21 EST | Updated 11/05/2012 11:21 EST
Shutterstock

It is so rare that Hollywood manages to accurately portray real life — but apparently, every scene you've ever watched of the bride or groom having serious doubts about their impending wedding (and inevitably dashing off to the arms of "the right one") could be true.

Researchers at the University of Alberta and Kansas State University have concluded that emotions experienced before getting married can have a direct impact on how happy you'll be several years into the marriage.

Matthew Johnson, assistant professor in the U of A Department of Human Ecology and recently of Kansas State University looked at more than 600 couples over 18-month intervals, starting from the time of marriage. He found that people who were confident about their marriage when it began were satisfied with it three years later.

“If you are having doubts about the relationship, just ignoring them may make a difference years down the road,” said Johnson in a press release.

But does mean that every to-be-newlywed who has doubts should walk away from the marriage? Not according to HuffPost blogger Sheryl Paul, an anxiety counsellor, who believes these questions are a matter of fearing the end of the life you know.

"The truth is that, for many people, real love is scary. Real love means the possibility of real loss. Real love means that the person standing before you is asking you to show up with your whole heart, which means being vulnerable in a way you've never been before ... It's okay to feel scared. It's okay to have doubts. It's okay to question. It's okay to grieve for the life and the fantasies that are over."

On the other hand, there can be plenty of reasons to walk away, including not getting along with your partner's family, a relationship that's gone on for less than a year, and interestingly, your gut telling you to get out, according to YourTango.com. "Instinct" is a theme that comes up often in these debates, and one way to help determine the best case is to time travel — picture your life down the road having gone through with this decision, and also having called it off, advises an article from Oprah's Lifeclass.

This methodology in fact goes hand-in-hand with Johnson's science, as his research hinged mightily on the notion that couples who were spending time together at least 18 months into their marriage were the most satisfied in his studies. So if you look into that crystal ball of your future and don't see each other, then it might be best to dash away from that aisle right now. And yes, possibly find "the one."

Celebs Who Called Off Their Weddings