The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia published a study called “Before ‘I Do'” and found that what couples do before they say ‘I do’ actually matters — and that premarital experiences from the past could end up haunting them long into marital bliss.
“What people do before marriage appears to matter,” stated Dr. Galena K. Rhoades and Dr. Scott M. Stanley in the 2014 study, saying that “how they conduct their romantic lives before they tie the knot is linked to their odds of having happy marriages.”
Rhoades, a Research Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Denver, and Dr. Scott, a Research Professor and Co-Director of the Center of Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, have spent their time researching relationship commitment and development, as well as related implications for family, children, and divorce.
Their findings lead to the conclusion that happy marriages could weigh on the balance of relationships past.
They found that those couples who partook in hooking up, premarital cohabitation, or even engaging in multiple sexual encounters with different people over the course of their lives would have a less likely chance of remaining in a happy marriage – if they even got married at all.
“What happens in Vegas – everything you do before settling down in marriage – may not stay there,” Rhoades and Stanley continued, saying that “those who have had more romantic experiences are more likely to have lower-quality marriages than those with a less complicated romantic history.”
About 90 percent of Americans have sex before marriage and on average, these Americans will have five sexual partners before settling down with “the one.” (READ MORE)
The good news is that regardless of your pre-marital history, God wants you to have a happy marriage and a healthy, vital, passionate post-marital sexual life. Marriage, as a sacrament, is capable of facilitating both healing and holiness. Even so, the more complicated your pre-marital history is, the harder you may need to work to overcome the bad habits you may have picked up along the way, bad habits that can block marital grace and undermine marital satisfaction and stability. Now, more than ever, couples need resources and support that can help them leave behind the world’s vision of love and sex and embrace a more godly vision; a vision that leads to real joy, deeper intimacy and true satisfaction.
No matter where you’ve been. No matter what you’ve done. God wants to give you the love your heart longs for. Will you let him?