People who are engaged to be married, but are having doubts about whether they should actually go through with it, should not dismiss their worries, according to a recent study published in the journal Family Process.

The conclusions of this new trial, conducted by Matthew Johnson, appear to concur with those of a study published in September in the Journal of Family Psychology, which indicated that pre-wedding jitters may be a sign of trouble ahead.

Johnson, who is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta Department of Human Ecology and co-author of the study, said: “If you are having doubts about the relationship, just ignoring them may make a difference years down the road.”

In the first 18 months of marriage, couples who were sure of their commitment when they were exchanging vows report more “together-time” than those who had doubts at the time of their weddings, according to the new findings. The confident couples were also still living in blissful marriages 3 years down the road.

Researchers examined data regarding 610 couples’ marital confidence over the course of 4 years. They determined that the people who were most optimistic toward their marriages at the commencement of the union were still happily involved in their relationships post honeymoon, and long after.

Johnson commented:

“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.”

The experts reiterate the importance of addressing relationship issues before getting married, even if it may put a damper on the romantic nature of the partnership, because in today’s society, divorce is prevailing.

A 2011 report said that some couples fear marriage because of the possible economic, legal, emotional, and social consequences of divorce.

He continued, “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.”

Counseling for couples prior to marriage is a beneficial method to work out the concerns people may be having, according to Johnson. He said that it is a great way to put all the cards on the table, and be able to talk freely with someone of expertise there to help.

Written by Christine Kearney