Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dominoe Divorce; Uh -Oh!

Posted by Michele Olson

“Divorce is contagious in social networks, a new study says.” That’s the first line in a CNN article.

Having someone divorce in your social circle can up your chance of divorce. Not only that, it can influence your friend’s friend! That’s the degree of separation theory...this time it’s two degrees instead of the popular “six.”

People with a divorced sibling are 22 percent more likely to get divorced than people who don't have divorced siblings. James H. Fowler, a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego headed the study.

Some Facts From the Article:

· Friends have even more influence than siblings when it comes to divorce, according to Fowler's study. People who had a divorced friend were 147 percent more likely to be divorced than people whose friends' marriages were intact, the study said.

· The study also revealed a divorced co-worker can increase the likelihood of another employee divorcing by 55 percent compared to an employee who works with non-divorced employees.
· The study also found the divorce influence in chains of friends. For example, a divorcing person confides in a married friend. The married friend doesn't opt for divorce, but relays details of the divorce discussion to a third person, influencing that third person in the chain to get a divorce.

Could it be that misery loves company? Your divorced friend, sibling, co-worker or other family member’s divorce may have a strong influence on you. It makes sense. Say things aren’t all roses at your place and your “friend” laments about how unhappy they are and they have decided to get a divorce.

Had you not engaged in that exact conversation, would you view the everyday rumblings in your own marriage the same way… or has a thought been planted that maybe you too would be happier and the grass greener on the other side of the white picket fence if you weren’t with that person causing you grief right now?

What do you think? Are you divorced and you can point to someone else in your circle of family or friends directly influencing your decision because of their own relationship situation? We’d love to hear your story and words of wisdom.

Remember, has couples check-ups and a wealth of information as welll as workshops to encourge you in your healthy relationship.


Wendy said...

My sister is divorced and tried to talk me into divorcing at the same time. She wanted us to buy a house together. My sister in law is divorced and seems to have less respect for my marriage to her brother now, like she now sees marriage as expendable. My husband and I have been married for 11 and a half years. Both of our parents are divorce, but we plan to not be another statistic. We will never tear apart our children's home. said...

It sounds like your experience is exactly what the study showed...other people's decision to divorce can have a big impact on you. I applaud your dedication to keep your marriage together, and for your children. I hope you take advantage of the great resources we have at Keep up the great marriage and keep blogging!