Addressing relationship concerns early on key to happy marriage

by Bev Betkowski

(Medical Xpress)—Couples about to tie the knot shouldn't ignore any nagging doubts about getting married, warns a University of Alberta researcher.

"If you are having doubts about the relationship, just ignoring them may make a difference years down the road," said Matthew Johnson, assistant professor in the U of A Department of .

The study, published recently in the journal Family Process, showed that who were more confident as they exchanged vows also spent more time together 18 months into the marriage, and were still happy sharing life with their spouses at the three-year mark.

New to the U of A, Johnson joins the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences as a researcher in the field of . His research involves the dynamics of , including dating and marriage, and he plans on deepening his scope of studies as he grows as a professor and researcher. "I've found the U of A to be an incredibly supportive environment for my development into a productive scholar."

Johnson co-wrote the study while at Kansas State University, using existing research data to weigh the marital confidence of 610 newlywed couples over a period of four years. Those who were most confident at the outset of matrimony were still showing their happiness by sticking together as a couple long after the honeymoon was over.

"These couples were spending time together, dining out, taking part in activities together, sharing meaningful conversation and physical expressions of affection. Those who are more confident in getting married are willing to invest in their relationships," Johnson said.

In a time when divorce is prevalent, dealing with up front is key, even if it could dim the glow of romance, according to Johnson.

"It is tempting to push those concerns down and just go with the flow, but couples need to remember, the doubts you are having are there for a reason and dealing with them will be beneficial."

Premarital counselling is a good opportunity for couples to talk openly and honestly about their concerns, and about their confidence in being able to meet future challenges, he noted.

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10… 012.01417.x/abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research may hold key to a happy marriage

Dec 22, 2011

With every third marriage in Australia ending in divorce, the secrets to a happy marriage continue to elude many couples. But not for much longer with University of Queensland researchers on the case.

Recommended for you

Discovery hints at why stress is more devastating for some

4 hours ago

Some people take stress in stride; others are done in by it. New research at Rockefeller University has identified the molecular mechanisms of this so-called stress gap in mice with very similar genetic backgrounds—a ...

Family dinners reduce effects of cyberbullying in adolescents

16 hours ago

Sharing regular family meals with children may help protect them from the effects of cyberbullying, according to a study by McGill professor Frank Elgar, Institute for Health and Social Policy. Because family meal times represent ...

The Edwardians were also fans of brain training

22 hours ago

Brain-training programmes are all the rage. They are part of a growing digital brain-health industry that earned more than US$1 billion in revenue in 2012 and is estimated to reach US$6 billion by 2020. The extent to which they actually improve brain function re ...

Report advocates improved police training

Aug 29, 2014

A new report released yesterday by the Mental Health Commission of Canada identifies ways to improve the mental health training and education that police personnel receive.

User comments