Friday, August 22, 2014

Bigger Weddings And Fewer Premarital Partners Could Lead To Better Quality Marriages

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Bigger and more formal weddings can predict happier marriages, a US study has found, with clear results showing that couples who had larger ceremonies had higher-quality marriages.

They believe that marrying in front of a large number of people demonstrates greater commitment to the union while also discouraging divorce. Said lead author Dr Galena Rhoades;

“There is some reason to believe that having more witnesses at a wedding may actually strengthen marital quality. We try to keep our present attitudes and behaviours in line with our past conduct. The desire for consistency is likely enhanced by public expressions of intention.

“Weddings may foster support for the new marriage from within a couple’s network of friends and family. Those who hold a formal wedding are likely to have stronger social networks in the first place.”

["Marriage quality" is based on responses to questions about relationship happiness, thoughts about dissolution, frequency of confiding in each other, and a general question about how well things are going between the partners.]

Although cynics may argue that people who can afford an opulent wedding are likely to be financially secure, and therefore happier, the researchers claim that the correlation remains even when controlling for wealth.

The report is part of the ongoing National Marriage Project in the US which has been studying what makes marriages work since 1997. The survey of 418 people found that only 30 per cent of couples who had 50 or fewer guests at the wedding had highly-successful marriages.

In contrast, nearly half (47 per cent) of couples who had 150 guests or more had strong unions. National Marriage Project director Brad Wilcox added:

“Couples with larger networks of friends and family may have more help, and encouragement, in navigating the challenges of married life.”

The research, titled “Before ‘I Do’: What Do Premarital Experiences Have To Do With Marital Quality Among Today’s Young Adults?", also discovered that couples who had fewer partners before marriage were happier and more content.

Having several relationships before getting married may lead couples to compare their current partners with former lovers, the authors warn.

“We generally think that having more experience is better. If you were hiring an architect, for example, you would want to hire an architect with more, not less, experience to build your house. But what we find for relationships is just the opposite. Having more experience was related to having a less happy marriage.

“People who had been married before; people who had lived with a boyfriend or girlfriend before and those who had more sexual partners before marriage were each associated with having lower marital quality.

“Having more relationship experience may lead to a greater sense of what the alternatives are. If you have a greater sense of other options it may be harder to invest in, or commit to a marriage.”

The researchers call it the ‘Vegas Fallacy’ – not everything that happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, they warn.

“The past does not always stay in the past,” added Dr Rhoades.

Read more - Telegraph, Newswise, Washington Post

1 comment:

  1. Well searched post!! Truly said bigger marriages more secured rather than others. I love the way you explained all details efficiently. Thanks for sharing this post.


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