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Why is divorce contagious?

Many of the factors that contribute to a high risk of divorce make sense, such as your financial circumstances or the age when you got married. However, other factors can be subtle and seem irrelevant. 

One of these is having divorced friends. According to a multi-university study, your chances of divorce go up 75 percent when you have friends who have also ended their marriages, reports the Chicago Tribune. Even friends of friends still have an impact, leading to a 33 percent increase. Does this mean that divorce is contagious or trendy? While a couple's divorce can negatively affect friends' marriages, it often helps those who already have the desire to leave.

Courage

Going through a divorce takes a lot of time, money and emotion. These factors alone discourage many couples from going through with the process even though they want to. However, when you see someone close to you go through it and survive, it can give you the courage to make the first step toward moving on from your marriage.

Information

Maybe you have already gotten over the fear but do not know where to start. The many steps you have to take can be overwhelming, and you may not know where to turn for information. Friends who are already divorced can give you tips or recommend legal assistance.

It is important to note, however, that your divorce will be different than your friends' because you are different people. Just because it went a certain way for them does not mean that it will be the same for you. Accept their advice but know that it may not apply to or work for your situation.

Empathy

Divorce is an emotionally painful road to walk on. The more support you feel you have, the more likely you are to go through with it and come out intact. Having a circle of friends who have been there and done that can provide you with the empathy you need to know that you are not alone or unique in your feelings and challenges.

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