Original story in The Daily Mail | Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Researchers working on a well known, ongoing study of more than 12,000 Americans living in Framingham, Mass., since 1948 have found that divorce is contagious. The researchers, led by Brown University’s Dr. Rose McDermott, “have discovered that divorce is catching and spreads like a disease through families, work places and groups of friends,” the Daily Mail reported. If an immediate friend—or even a colleague—gets a divorce, the chance that you will also get a divorce jumps by 75 percent. The likelihood that you will divorce increases by a third if a friend of a friend’s marriage falters. The researchers describe the effect as “divorce clustering” and “believe that break-ups within friendship groups force couples to start questioning their own relationships,” said the report. “They say that a friend’s divorce can also reduce the social stigma of splitting up, even when children are involved.”
Oh, divorce is contagious my ass! Boy, if that didn’t just make excuses ten times as communicable! C’mon people, must we first look at the person next to us to know what our own reactions should be, or can we think for ourselves? “Ooh, that Davis guy in accounting left his wife because he feels trapped. Wait, is that what I’m feeling?” Shut up! Are there no squirming young Americans even conscious of how difficult it was to get a divorce only 30 or 40 years ago? In those days, divorce made people look like the quitters they were. It exposed creepy family secret, lies, cowardice, hidden orientations, and, ta-da! Excuses galore! Most couples divorcing back then would’ve genuinely needed to – and no, not like you need that new iPhone app. Today, divorces happen over BMWs and dry skin. And now, with this study suggesting that just knowing divorced people can be bad for your marriage, the easy way out just got a red carpet.