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Thinking of divorce? Why your friend might be to blame

Often, there is not just one thing or one event that leads someone to file for divorce. However, there may be one final straw or indication that the relationship is beyond repair.

For instance, one report suggests that a friend’s divorce could be that event that triggers another person’s divorce.

What the research says

A study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Brown University and the University of San Diego revealed that divorce can spread between friends.

In fact, a person’s likelihood of divorce increased by 75 percent when a friend divorces. When the friend of a close friend divorces, the odds of getting divorced increased by 33 percent.

How is this possible?

Numerous possibilities might explain this seemingly contagious element of divorce. One explanation could be that tending to a friend dealing with a divorce could put someone in a position to see his or her own relationship in that same perspective. And discussing someone else’s marital challenges could bring to light the challenges a person faces in his or her own relationship.

It is also possible that seeing someone go through a divorce and get to the other side of it gives a person the confidence that he or she can get through it, too. It can also be tempting to see someone start a new, exciting chapter of their lives.

What this means if you are divorcing

If you are someone considering divorce after a friend has divorced, it is important to keep a couple things in mind.

First, understand that every divorce is different because the people involved in them are different. Your friend may have had an easy or difficult time resolving various divorce-related matters like child custody or property division, but that doesn’t mean you will have the same experience.

Further, even if your friend had an influence on the decision to divorce, be careful about how he or she influences your decisions during your divorce. This is a legal process that sets the stage for your future, so talk to an attorney and focus on your needs and doing what’s best for you.

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