Addressing relationship concerns early on key to happy marriage

November 2, 2012 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.

Explore further: Should I marry him? If you're having doubts, don't ignore them, suggests psychology study

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

Related Stories

Should I marry him? If you're having doubts, don't ignore them, suggests psychology study

September 13, 2012
Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one. —Voltaire

Passion pitfall: Research finds that rekindling a romance often extinguishes a couple's happiness

February 21, 2012
Before renewing romance with an ex, it may be better to move on to the next.

Recommended for you

Children with fragile X syndrome have a bias toward threatening emotion

August 23, 2017
Anxiety occurs at high rates in children with fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of inherited intellectual disability. Children with co-occurring anxiety tend to fare worse, but it can be hard to identify in infants. ...

So-called "bright girl effect" does not last into adulthood

August 23, 2017
The notion that young females limit their own progress based on what they believe about their intelligence—called the "bright girl effect"—does not persist into adulthood, according to new research from Case Western Reserve ...

High moral reasoning associated with increased activity in the human brain's reward system

August 22, 2017
Individuals who have a high level of moral reasoning show increased activity in the brain's frontostriatal reward system, both during periods of rest and while performing a sequential risk taking and decision making task ...

Like adults, children show bias in attributing mental states to others

August 22, 2017
Young children are more likely to attribute mental states to characters that belong to the same group as them relative to characters that belong to an outside group, according to findings published in Psychological Science, ...

Yoga and meditation improve mind-body health and stress resilience

August 22, 2017
Many people report positive health effects from practicing yoga and meditation, and experience both mental and physical benefits from these practices. However, we still have much to learn about how exactly these practices ...

Wealth disparity and family income impact the brain development of female youth

August 22, 2017
Female teenagers living in neighbourhoods with wide salary gaps and a low-income household show changes to their brain maturation that could indicate a higher risk of developing mental illness in adulthood, suggests a recently ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.