Is Divorce Contagious?

Roughly half of all marriages end in divorce. The prevalence of divorce is widely known, but does the pervasiveness of divorce affect its likelihood? Data collected as part of a Framingham Heart Study suggests that there is a contagion effect when it comes to people considering divorce and their exposure to others who have divorced.  

The study found that people were more likely to divorce if they witnessed a close relative or friend go through a divorce. A person in an unhappy marriage may be influenced by exposure to divorce to remedy their unsatisfactory marital situation. Men and women are both affected by this trend. The study of 5,209 married people demonstrated that having a close friend who went through a divorce raised an individual’s risk of divorce by 75 percent.

Statistically speaking, if your social circle is made up of mostly married people, you are more likely to stay married. Study findings suggest that divorce is 147 percent more likely for those who surround themselves with multiple divorced friends and associates. The same is true for family; having a divorced sibling is associated with a 22 percent increase in divorce rates.

The takeaways are clear. When people are unhappy in their marriages, they are more likely to see divorce as an option if they have seen real-life examples of people who have gone through it. However, this is not to say that happily married people become prone to divorce based on their social circle. Perceived social acceptance and the effects of influential advice on marital perspective play important factors.

Advice and Perspective

Generations ago, divorce was less common. Once people began to see examples that proved divorce shed its social stigma, those wishing to escape a failing marriage felt it was an acceptable course of action. When dissatisfied spouses talk to their close friends and confidants about their marriage troubles, the feedback matters. It is hard to tell if a marriage is hopeless or if the counsel of a divorcee sways the outcome, but it is conceivable that the advice of someone who left a marriage might make an impact on the perspective of someone who sees their own marriage as a struggle.

Bel Air Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Represent Your Interests Throughout the Divorce Process

If you are planning a divorce, contact a knowledgeable Bel Air divorce lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC who can help you through the stressful process while keeping your material interests in mind. Call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.

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