Couples who host bigger weddings are more likely to have happier marriages, according to a new report. In addition, the more partners that people having prior to getting married, the less likely they are to have a happy marriage in the future.
According to a new report, “Before ‘I Do’: What Do Premarital Experiences Have To Do With Marital Quality Among Today’s Young Adults?,” from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, how people live their romantic lives before getting hitched – for example, having more cohabiting or sexual partners – can determine their likelihood of having a happy marriage.
The researchers found that having more romantic experience prior to getting married was associated with lower marital quality. Having more experience with previous partners may increase a person’s awareness of all their partners, which allows them to compare a present partner with previous ones. When it comes to marriage, leaving other options behind is essential, which may be extremely difficult for people with lots of previous partners to do.
While many people may stay in an unhappy marriage, many marriages lead to divorce. In fact, approximately 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end up in divorce.
W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at U.Va., believes that having a good number of family and friends in one’s corner can have a big impact on marital bliss.
“In what might be called the ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ factor, this study finds that couples who have larger wedding parties are more likely to report high-quality marriages. One possibility here is that couples with larger networks of friends and family may have more help, and encouragement, in navigating the challenges of married life,” said Wilcox in a statement.