Is Divorce Contagious?
We are all well familiar with washing our hands, using hand sanitizer, wearing a mask, coughing into our sleeves and staying six feet apart in order not to spread germs and disease, but is the same needed to avoid catching the epidemic of divorce?
A study conducted by McDermott discovered that 75 percent of their participants are more likely to get divorced if they have a close friend/co-worker who is divorced, and 33 percent more likely to end their marriage if they have a friend that has a divorced friend. Wow!
Scientists call this phenomenon “divorce contagion.”
If you have a close friend whose marriage has also ended, you’re 75 percent more likely to get divorced.
It is highly likely that we can conclude that if your social or work network is composed of many divorced friends there’s a high likelihood that divorce could happen to you as well.
Many times we see in celebrity circles how prevalent couples divorce.
In fact, journalists go as far as to create family trees and diagrams to demonstrate the connection and commonality of divorce among Hollywood types, rock stars, politicians, influencers and CEOs.
It appears celebrity divorce is simply a snapshot of how contagious divorce truly is.
When we associate with others who divorce are we too headed in that direction?
In an Good Morning America interview with James Fowler, University of California, San Diego professor said, “Think of this ‘idea’ of getting divorced, this ‘option’ of getting divorced like a virus, because it spreads more or less the same way,” he added, “When one person experiences divorce, it gives the people around them information about what that’s like,”.
How does this contagious dynamic affect company culture?
Although there is little data suggesting the fact that if a peer at work is divorcing they will too, but don’t rule it out. Having a day to day contact with anyone that is contemplating, approaching, preparing, managing, surviving and attempting to heal from divorce makes them more aware of why divorce may be a viable option to relieving a difficult conflict in their own relationship particularly when they see a change for the better before them.
Divorce is not a solution for all conflicts in marriage by any means, but the improvement and results after the fact seem to be inciting for others in difficult marriages when they begin to see signs of experiencing less financial conflicts, relief from feeling stuck or controlled, freedom from abusive harm, less damage to their children, become a better parent, greater control over their future, improved desire to take care of themselves with a better diet, exercise routine, improved sleep and mood and an overall relief and sense of freedom.
Change breeds change! Momentum builds momentum. Insight increases insight. Growth expands growth.