What with Tiger Woods and Al Gore and even all those humdrum average people who live in your neighborhood calling it quits, Time magazine wants to know, “Is Divorce Contagious?” And while they don’t really come out and say it’s at swine-flu levels, yet, they do quote a study that estimates that your odds of getting a divorce increase by 75% if a couple in your social circle decides to call it quits. This is so why we’re not friends with any married people!
The research, led by Brown U. psychologist Rose McDermott, examined over 12,000 residents of Framingham, Mass. since 1948, found that divorce can spread like a virus. Deemed “divorce clustering,” it also extends to friends-of-friends, but the odds then drop to a third.
Peer pressure! Of course, the study only proves the obvious, which is that people get divorces because they can, which is why famous people get the most divorces, and the more people who get divorces around you, the less judgment will be transferred to you if you should get a divorce. Which makes everything so much more pleasant.
Not to mention, if that hunky former husband of Mrs. So-and-So is back on the market, well, maybe it’s a good time for you to end your loveless marriage, too! But the goody two-shoe communities don’t engage in this sort of free-for-all, and that’s why they never want to hang out with us.
More important questions than “Is Divorce Contagious?” might be “Should you really marry that politician/pro-athlete/aspiring actor?” “What makes marriage sustainable in today’s world?” “Why are heterosexuals allowed to divorce to their heart’s content while gay people still can’t legally marry in the majority of states?” and “Do you like my hair this way?” (We do.)
Also, FYI, just because you have babies doesn’t mean they’re going to save your marriage: Children reportedly have no influence over the fate of a marriage, says Time.