Do you know someone going through a divorce? If you are in a happy marriage, you may want to avoid that person for a while. A recent study by researchers from Harvard, Brown and the University of California at San Diego examined the impact of a friend’s divorce on other marriages. The study showed that divorce rates increased substantially if you had a close friend going through the process.
With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, many studies are conducted to determine the reasons why some marriages simply do not work. In this study, researchers wanted to know the impact of divorce on the marriages of friends. The research was focused on people from Framingham, Massachusetts, looking for trends over a 32-year span.
If a close friend was going through a divorce, a person was 75 percent more likely to end up getting divorced as well. Even a divorce twice-removed can have an impact on a marriage, as those couples who have friends’ friends going through a divorce show an increase in rates. Having divorced family or co-workers also leads toward a higher likelihood of divorce.
The study also showed some common trends for those who stayed married, even when they had divorced friends. Couples with children had a decrease in divorce rate for every child that they had. If they had five or more children, it canceled out the impact caused by a friend’s divorce.
Even longer marriages are not immune to these trends. Couples find themselves growing apart, and decide to think about ending their marriage. When a friend goes through the process, they can ask questions and learn what to expect. Knowing someone who has emerged successfully through the process can make it easier to cross the emotional barriers that may exist.
If you are considering getting a divorce, speak to an experienced attorney. No two divorces are the same, and it is very important to seek advice about your situation to learn if divorce is right for you. Do not try to handle the divorce yourself, as you may give up property or rights that you are unable to get back.