According to one study that looked at 30 years worth of marriage data, you’re 75% more likely to get a divorce if you have a friend who is going through one. Perhaps even more startling: If a friend of a friend gets a divorce, your own odds of ending your marriage just bumped up 33%.
What’s the deeper, underlying reason for these “chain reaction” divorces?
Experts say that if your marriage is healthy and happy, a divorce in your social circle is no threat to your relationship. In fact, even if your marriage has had a few rocky spots, a divorce in your friend group can provide an opening for you and your spouse to communicate about issues that haven’t yet been addressed (just so that you don’t end up in your friend’s position).
However, if your marriage is strained, your friend’s divorce may prove to be a catalyst that spurs you into action – particularly if your friend seems to be relieved to be out of their relationship or happy to be single again.
In other words, if your reaction to your friend’s divorce makes you want to work harder on your marriage, you’re probably okay. If, however, you find yourself somewhat jealous that they’re regaining their freedom from an unhappy relationship, your own marriage may be toxic and in its final days.
Ultimately, if you are unhappy in your marriage, you don’t need any excuse to get a divorce. Life is too short to stay in a relationship that isn’t working. Find out more about what you need to do to go into the divorce process prepared.