Is Divorce Contagious?

We’ve all heard the phrase “misery loves company,” but when it comes to divorce, it might be more accurate to say that “change loves company.” Is it possible that when we observe a big change in those around us, like a divorce, it might push us toward our own transformation? Can divorce be, for lack of a better term, “contagious” among friend groups?

Is Divorce Contagious? Let’s Check the Numbers

Imagine this: you find out that having a close friend who’s divorced might increase your chances of heading down the same path by a whopping 75%. Add a few more divorced friends to your circle and those odds seem to jump even higher- up to 147%. Now, throw in a sibling or coworker who’s gone through a breakup, and the pattern starts to emerge even more clearly. Statistics from a study on this topic backs up the social contagion theory that behaviors, like getting a divorce, can spread through populations much like diseases. But is divorce really ‘catching’ or is it just that our life choices are profoundly influenced by our peers?

Life’s Big Decisions: Are We More Influenced Than We Think?

 From choosing a partner to deciding to start a family, our decisions might be more influenced by our peers than we’d like to admit. If friends are tying the knot or having babies, the pressure to do the same is palpable. Sometimes, this can lead to marriages that aren’t quite ready or even right from the get-go.

The Nudge from a Divorced Friend

Sometimes, seeing a close friend muster the courage to end an unsatisfying relationship can be the final nudge for someone already contemplating divorce. Observing someone take the leap and find contentment or relief on the other side can be a powerful motivator. However, it’s important to remember that every relationship is unique, and what worked for one friend might not work for another.

Can Friends Give Unbiased Relationship Advice?

Friends are great listeners, but let’s be real, they’re not always the best at giving unbiased advice. The closer you are to someone, the harder it is for them to remain neutral. Friends often project their experiences onto one another. So, if a friend finds relief in divorce, they might encourage you down the same path, even if it’s not the right choice for you.

So, is divorce really “contagious”? While the numbers might suggest that it might be, it’s important to remember that every relationship and marriage is different. Decisions as significant as divorce should come from introspection and understanding, rather than external influences. Only you truly know what’s right for your relationship. The next time you catch up with a friend who’s recently divorced, listen, and learn, but always remember – your journey is uniquely yours.

In the “stay-or-go” stage of your relationship and looking for more support? Check out these other blogs:

More Resources:

Are you are ready to join our online Communitywe would love to have you! We have several experts in there waiting to help. Plus other divorcees you can connect and share stories with. Remember that you are not alone, even though it might feel like it at times. There are always people ready to support you- simply reach out your hand (or finger if you’re scrolling online!)

We get your struggles… We welcome you to visit our Support hub where we have created an informative and nurturing space using various modalities for you to get educated, emotionally supported and find your way. Our complimentary support groups like Coffee Talk and SOS: Support on Saturdays can be found here, along with many other helpful tools and resources.

Get more of! Straight to your inbox weekly. You’ll be the first to know the best divorce resources, professional advice, upcoming digital and live events, supportive insights, and current divorce pitfalls to avoid. Better ways to live apart are right here. Sign up for the Newsletter.

Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Resources Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


323 San Vicente Blvd., Unit 1
Santa Monica, 90402

Have a question for us?
Please visit our contact form

Coffee talk:
join our weekly divorce support group hosted every Friday morning at 9 am PST.


Follow Us

Splitfyi, Inc. DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. All information provided should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice. Individuals seeking legal or tax advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal or tax professionals knowledgeable about the divorce laws in their own geographical areas.

Copyright © 2022 | All rights reserved


Install our App!

Click the share icon in your browser toolbar, then click “add to home screen” to install our app.