Does peer pressure influence divorce decisions?

Many of us fear or have difficulty with change. Even in cases where we may not be happy, it’s sometimes easier to stay the course rather than face the unknowns that accompany making a change. This is frequently the case for many unhappily married individuals and couples. Even in cases where a husband and wife constantly fight or come to realize they are no longer in love, it can be difficult to take action and choose to end a marriage and file for divorce.

While making the decision to divorce may not be easy, according to at least one study, it’s a decision that’s a lot easier to make when an individual has a positive example of the possible outcome. For the study, researchers from three prominent universities studied the phenomena commonly referred to as “copycat divorces.” The study’s findings indicate that an individual who has at least one friend who is divorced is “75 percent more likely” to also divorce.

The decision to file for divorce or leave a marriage is not one that should ever be taken lightly or made in haste. However, in cases where a marriage isn’t happy or healthy, divorce is often the best option for all involved parties. What’s more, having friends who can provide positive examples related to divorce is often a good thing.

Take for example a married woman that meets her three female friends, all of whom are divorced, for dinner. After venting about the most-recent argument with her husband, the woman’s’ friends her why she’s still married. If the woman truly isn’t happy in her marriage, having the encouragement and support of her three divorced friends may prove to be the driver that compels her to make a positive life change and file for divorce.

Source: New York Post, “How getting divorced can be contagious,” Annie Daly, July 5, 2014

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