A study conducted by Brown University in the US has concluded that in some cases, a couple are more likely to divorce if the members of their social group are also divorced. The research identified ‘clusters’ of divorces amongst social groups.
The findings suggest that when a couple in a particular social group choose to divorce, the other members of that social group then feel more able to assess their own relationships. They feel more confident in making decisions about their relationships that up to that point they may have been suppressing.
In essence, the research highlighted that divorce becomes less stigmatised within a social group after a couple within that group divorce. The friends within the group also have a better understanding of the divorce process and not least, through their friends’ own experiences, they can see there is life after divorce.
The research also identified that the presence of children in the relationship did not influence a couple’s likelihood to divorce; however, each additional child reduced the extent to which a couple were influenced by its social group.
Whilst the research is interesting to a point, it is also not surprising. Perhaps it can be argued that any unknown activity in life is more easily tackled when friends can provide support and advice from a position of experience and divorce is no different.