Gut Feelings may Predict Marital Happiness and Divorce

Waiting to say “I do” can be very nerve-wracking. It can make you break out in a cold sweat. It can feel like there are butterflies in your stomach. Sometimes the wait can also cause anxiety and dread. Now a new study is linking gut reactions to a spouses as a way to predict if a marriage will be a success or end in divorce.

James McNulty, a psychologist at Florida State University, led research into the subconscious feelings about that spouses have about each other. The paper was recently published in the Journal of Science. Part of the paper's conclusion was that “even though people may be unwilling or unable to recognize any deep-seated discontent they have toward their partners, that discontent may nonetheless shape their relationship outcomes.”

The test reviewed the responses of 135 newlywed couples from Eastern Tennessee who said that they were happy with their marriages. Each person was given chance to quickly respond positively or negatively to pictures, including pictures of their spouse. The idea was that people who are genuinely happy with their relationship would not take as much time to respond with a positive answer. Similar tests like this one examine people's prejudices about hot button issues as races, genders, and age groups.

This test was repeated to these couples every six months over the subsequent four years. The spouses who took more time to respond positively were more likely to be divorced within four years. That being the case, it is important to listen to your gut response when thinking about your relationship. Although, having a bad feeling does not mean your marriage is doomed to fail.

It is beneficial to have a prenuptial agreement in the event of a divorce down the road. A postnuptial agreement can also be drafted after your marriage is finalized. Either can allow you to keep property and assets after a divorce. It can also help design how spousal support will be paid after a divorce is finalized. Contact an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County to begin discussing your options today.

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