If your friend was jumping off a bridge, would you? Research says you might!
- September 11, 2019
How many times have you heard that expression? Likely too many times to count. But research shows that couples are more prone to divorce if others in their social network are in the process of getting or are divorced.
According to an article on Fatherly.com, having a divorced, close friend raises your risk of divorce by 75 percent. Results have also revealed that, compared to married couples with mostly married friends, you are 147 percent more likely to divorce if you have multiple divorced friends in your social network. Other contagious splits can come from having divorced siblings and/or co-workers.
Before panic sets in, there is more to it than simply being surrounded by failed marriages. The same study says that divorce doesn’t just happen “out of the blue”. Typically, the friend’s divorce is the inspiration needed by those who never should have married their spouses in the first place to change their personal situation. Also noted, tying the knot and having kids is contagious as well, and could be to blame for couples entering into a marriage when they never should have.
Communication is the key to beating the odds.
Could it be that divorce is just the easier than putting in the hard work needed to keep a marriage on track? Let’s face it, communicating with your spouse is a lot of work and takes people out of their comfort zone. Mainly because everyone’s communication style is different. It can be easier to avoid it all together. Researchers found that when couples discussed their friends’ problems with each other and came up with solutions that may have prevented the split, it helped their relationship. “Husband bashing seems to be contagious in my office. Once one starts complaining, they all do, and I’m left wondering why they are still married. Depending on my mood, their negativity can blur my prospective on my otherwise happy marriage and I know when I talk to my husband about their views, we wind up feeling better about our own relationship,” says a PR consultant we spoke with.
Unplugging from your phone and computer can be beneficial.
Social media is another medium that affects relationships. People have been known to compare their marriages to what they “see” online. You can easily jump on the bandwagon thinking your recently divorced friends lead very exciting lives, or that other couples are happier and more fulfilled, leaving you feel that your marriage is insufficient or lacking. Keep in mind that people post what they want you to see, not what is necessarily their norm.
Once you are married, should you only pick friends that are in secure relationships? That isn’t really a reality, but you can step back and examine your own situation and make the decision on whether your relationship is worth the effort.
Divorce is not an easy road but having an experienced attorney in your corner is helpful. Finding legal representation you can trust and feel comfortable with can make the process easier.