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Is Divorce Contagious?

Apr 23, 2014


Did you know, when a close friend or family member gets divorced, you are 75% more likely to get divorced yourself? This shows that it can be a bit contagious. Even if you just have a friend that has a friend and they recently got divorced, you are 33% more likely to get divorced.

This may seem very gloomy for both those not divorced and those going through a divorce. You certainly don't want to spread your divorce to those around you. However, it doesn't have to be this way.

You shouldn't be concerned about how your divorce affects your friends. As a friend, you should always be positive about their marriage and never mention divorce as an option, unless they are in a bad, unhealthy marriage.

These divorce statistics come from a study done by Rose McDermott of Brown University of thousands of couples, over about 30 years. According to the study, it has become harder to protect your marriage from the social contagion caused by divorce. It can affect couples two-degrees removed from the actual divorce.

If you're going through a divorce, you may want to protect close friends from this issue. However, you still need somebody to vent to and share your issues with. Make sure you approach this with care and do your best not to allow your relationship to cause a shadow on friend's relationship.

You may also want to warn your friends of these statistics, so that they can be aware of the potential contagiousness of divorce. Unfortunately, this is a real issue many are dealing with and divorce can spread like a bad rumor very fast.

It may be a good idea to seek counseling and share as little as possible about your reason for divorce with friends. This may protect them much like wearing a mask when you have the flu. However, if a friend of yours gets divorced after you, it's not necessary for you to feel like you need to burden the blame.



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