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Have divorced friends? You may be more likely to get divorced yourself

Most of us enjoy a complex web of relationships with relatives, friends, neighbors, work colleagues and so on. They affect our lives in various ways, just as we influence theirs.

It appears one way that people in Marblehead influence their friends and loved ones is through getting divorced. A university study suggests that the more divorced people you know, the more likely you are to get a divorce yourself.

Much more likely to get divorced

Researchers from Harvard, Brown and the University of California-San Diego say the data suggests that a married person is up to 75 percent more likely to get divorced if they have at least one divorced friend. Even having a friend of a friend get divorced seems to raise your risk of divorce by 33 percent.

However, if you and your spouse have children, you are less likely to be influenced by your friends’ (and their friends’) divorces. At the same time, the number of kids a couple has does not seem to impact the odds of the couple getting divorced. Finally, the research indicates that popular people with a lot of friends and social support are less likely to get divorced, which would seem to contradict the study’s first conclusion somewhat.

Thoughts why this might be the case

Divorce is ultimately a personal choice. Only you or your spouse (or both of you together) can decide to split up. But seeing a friend who was stuck in a bad marriage take the step to end things and thrive afterward can show you that it is possible. That realization might help you clarify your thoughts on your marital problems.