When to Call Off the Wedding

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Hesitative brideNew research was published just last week that showed a correlation between a bride’s cold feet and the sustainability of her marriage.  Specifically, the divorce rate amongst brides who had second thoughts prior to the wedding is substantially higher compared to brides without such thoughts.  Dang, if I’d have just known this before I got married! (just kidding…?)

The research was conducted at UCLA and focused on 232 newly-married couples.  Newly-married women who experienced hesitation prior to the wedding were found to be more than twice as likely to get a divorce within 4 years compared to brides without such doubts (19% versus 8%, respectively).  And even when divorce doesn’t happen, a hesitative bride is typically much less satisfied with married life overall.

Of course, this begs the question of whether or not hesitative brides ought to move forward with their weddings.  This is a tough question to answer as it is a highly personal decision, but if you find yourself in this predicament there are a few things you can do that should help.  The key is to accept the hesitation and communicate with others so that you can try and make sense of your feelings.

Therefore, if you’re getting cold feet, the first thing to do is to avoid ignoring the problem.  Accept that you are having second thoughts, and don’t let the pressure from friends and family force you to do something you’re not fully comfortable with.  Yes planning a wedding takes time and money, but that is no reason to simply ignore the problem.

Once you’ve accepted your feelings, the next step is to have an honest discussion about them with your husband-to-be.  Yes I realize this is easier said than done, but sometimes talking it through can help reduce the anxiety.  You should also discuss your feelings with other people whom you trust, because this will help facilitate an objective opinion that you yourself might be unable to offer.

After going through this process of acceptance and communication, it is likely that you’ll have more clarity around your feelings, which will allow you to make an intelligent decision.  The bottom line is that if you just can’t get past your own negative thoughts and feelings about the wedding, it probably makes sense to call it off.  Again, this is easier said than done, but doing this is much better than going through a divorce down the road.

For more stats and conclusions from the research study, click here.  And of course, good luck!

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