Show me a man’s friends and I’ll show you the man.
Who you hang out with and even the friends of the people you hang out with can have a real effect on you. It’s not just a hunch, but there’s been some interesting studies recently that have mapped out the socially contagious effects of depression, obesity and divorce.
In plain English, if your friends, or even your friends of friends, are fat, unhappy and divorced, it increases your chances of also becoming fat, unhappy and divorced. And yes there is an element of “like wanting to hang out with like” at work here, but even adjusted for that effect there is still a causal effect at work by the social contagion.
Being most interested in divorce rather than depression or obesity, here’s a few quotes;
“Fowler’s research on divorce contagion didn’t examine whether the decision of parents to break up affects their children’s relationships. But his study did analyze the effect of divorce on siblings. People with a divorced sibling are 22 percent more likely to get divorced than people who don’t have divorced siblings.
Friends have even more influence than siblings when it comes to divorce, according to Fowler’s study. People who had a divorced friend were 147 percent more likely to be divorced than people whose friends’ marriages were intact, the study said.
The study also revealed a divorced co-worker can increase the likelihood of another employee divorcing by 55 percent compared to an employee who works with non-divorced employees.
Marriage therapist Gerry Lane in Georgia said he agrees divorce can be contagious. He said his clients’ friends have triggered their desires for a divorce — even among previously happily married couples.”
So to take away…. anytime you or your wife have friends, coworkers or family divorcing, that’s also a critical point for your relationship to negotiate safely past. Her best friend divorcing is particularly serious. Same if it’s your best friend. I’d take the time to at least have a conversation about “do you think that will happen to us?”
The answer to that question being…
“Well we have our ups and downs, but I can’t really imagine us divorcing ever. Well… not as long as you keep putting out for me anyway.”
Do NOT let the idea of divorce roll around in her head unopposed. Deal with that while it is still a small little passing thought or worry rather than letting it go full blown. It seems far too simple a tactic, but sometimes all a man has to do is just gruffly state that he is committed to the marriage and the wife’s feathers all settle down.
“What are you talking about? We’re good together, always have been, always will be. You get like this when we go too long between spankings I think”.
Anyway, I’m not particularly worried about divorce. If Jennifer wants to downgrade to just being a booty call she can. It just seems like an awfully large effort to have sex with me less.