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Got Cold Feet? Listen To Your Gut About Marriage, Study Says

By HERWriter
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listen to your gut if you have cold feet about marriage, says study PS Productions/PhotoSpin

We’ve all heard the jokes about grooms getting cold feet before a wedding (less often the brides), and most often we are reassured that this is a normal part of the marriage process.

However, a new study published in the journal Science suggests that we should all actually be listening to our gut to save ourselves from years of marital dissatisfaction.

Study results showed that newlyweds have gut feelings in the very beginning that they might not be fully aware of, but those feelings are the best indication of future happiness in their marriages, according to Medical Xpress.

Also, couples didn’t always accurately vocalize their gut feelings. For example, sometimes couples would say they were happy, when in truth their gut feelings showed otherwise.

Lead researcher James McNulty at Florida State University conducted his study on 135 newlyweds (heterosexual couples) who were married less than six months, and checked up on them every six months over the next four years.

In the initial experiment, researchers had participants disclose their relationship satisfaction and detail any problems. They also gave their conscious thoughts on their marriage by selecting adjectives out of 15 opposing pairs of words like “satisfied” or “unsatisfied.”

Another part of the experiment tested participant’s gut-level reactions to their marriage. Researchers put a photo of a participant’s spouse on a computer screen followed by either a positive or negative word, and the participant had to either press a key to state that the word was negative or positive. The reaction time was measured.

McNulty said in the Medical Xpress article that people who tend to have more positive feelings about their spouses are faster to click that words like “good” are positive, and slower to click that words like “bad” are negative. The opposite was true for people with more negative feelings towards their spouses.

Basically, the experiments tested implicit vs. explicit attitudes, and congruent vs. incongruent cognitive processes.

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EmpowHER Guest

I wished I listened to my cold feet! 18 years later, deep in debt, mental health issues, overbearing & controlling family, and bouncing from job to job. All this stress burned out my thyroid and other health issues. He is literally sucking the life out of me slowly. Kids are finally old enough and I'm going back to work to get myself straighten out and make a better life.

December 12, 2013 - 6:48pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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