WEDDINGS

Gut Reaction To Your Spouse May Predict Marital Happiness: Study

12/02/2013 04:35 pm ET

Before tying the knot, listen to your gut.

It's not just good advice, it's backed by science: A new study published in the journal "Science" says newlyweds' gut feelings about their relationship can accurately predict their likelihood of marital happiness in the long run.

James K. McNulty, an associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study, measured 135 newlyweds' gut-level feelings toward their spouses using a specialized computer test. McNulty and his team also measured participants' conscious feelings toward their partners by asking them questions.

The researchers then followed the newlyweds for four years. They discovered that the feelings initially verbalized had little to no effect on the couples' marital satisfaction, despite how in love they said they were.

However, McNulty says the subconscious gut-level feelings played a major role. Couples who had positive gut feelings based on the computer test were much happier in their nuptials over time, versus the couples who had negative gut-level reactions.

McNulty explains in his research, "Although they may be largely unwilling or unable to verbalize them, people’s automatic evaluations of their partners predict one of the most important outcomes of their lives -- the trajectory of their marital satisfaction."

Check out the slideshow below to learn the secrets to a happy marriage, according to our readers.

The Secrets To A Happy Marriage

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