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Can your friend's divorce influence you to split up?

If you ask anyone in Florida who has ever gotten a divorce, they will likely tell you that it is one of the hardest decisions they have ever made. Splitting up a marriage, even when there are no kids involved, is a drastic step that often takes a lot of forethought. A recent study has brought up an interesting question when it comes to the decision-making process of divorce - can that decision be influenced by the relationship status of your friends?

The study, which took data from thousands of individuals for about 30 years, shows that divorce may be "contagious." What that means is that someone may be more likely to seek divorce if a close friend or family member had recently divorced. The data shows that 75 percent of the participating individuals were more likely to divorce if a friend of theirs was divorced. Even more interesting - 33 percent of individuals were more likely to divorce if a friend of a friend was divorced.

While this doesn’t mean you should run from any friend that’s on the horizon of divorce, it does bring up an interesting point: emotions and ideas may be contagious. Perhaps the divorce of a friend may make you look at your marriage more critically. On the other hand, if you have been contemplating divorce for a while and see your friend successfully go through the process, it might be just the motivation you need to take the next step.

Whatever the reason for divorce, it’s obviously a very personal and sometimes complicated experience that will be different from any divorces that you may have witnessed. This is why it will deserve unique attention in order to reach a positive outcome.

Source: CBS New York, “New Study Says Divorce Can Be Contagious,” April 30, 2014

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