The meaning of "I do"
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A mixed methods approach was used to investigate newlyweds’ marital conceptualizations including their expectations of infidelity and divorce. Two hundred and seventy-six newlywed individuals completed an online qualitative assessment, and a subset of 213 completed quantitative assessments. Marriage was primarily conceptualized in terms of love, friendship, and lifelong commitment. Individuals were more likely to hold conservative views of marriage if they were highly religious, Republican, had emotionally stable personalities, and if they had not experienced premarital cohabitation and/or sex. Approximately 50% of newlyweds expected to experience infidelity and 72% indicated some expectation of divorce. They were less likely to expect infidelity if they were religious and more likely to expect it if they believed their spouse would engage in extramarital sex. They were more likely to expect divorce if they had less agreeable personalities, if their parents had divorced, and if they had low levels of relationship satisfaction and/or commitment.