marriage and friends tug of war

As a Las Cruces divorce lawyer, I often have clients who are on the fence about a divorce. Maybe they—or their partner—can change. Perhaps a couple hopes to stay together for their kids. There are a number of internal and external forces that determine whether a couple splits up.

But did you know that your friends are a reason to divorce? Researchers from Yale University, Brown University, and the University of California at San Diego did a survey that found that 75% of people are more likely to divorce if a friend has had a divorce. They even took things a step further and found that the odds of getting a divorce if a friend of a friend divorces is roughly 33%.

“One person starts doing it, and others look at their own lives, and they assess their lives: If he can do it, I can do it,” said Helen Fisher, a senior researcher at the Kinsey Institute.¹

Findings of the Divorce Study and Researchers

Here are some of the more telling and interesting findings from the study’s respondents and researchers:²

  • One researcher says that people pick up on the possibilities when they see other friends divorce.
  • When one friend gets a divorce, other friends take a look at their own lives and start making comparisons.
  • Another typical reaction is: “If they can do it, then I can do it too.”
  • One typical response say respondents is friends who are still married will keep some distance from the newly divorced friend in a sign of guarding themselves from divorce.
  • It’s also a natural reaction when someone starts saying negative things about their spouse that their friend jumps on the bandwagon to share something negative their own spouse.
  • Of course, one of the appealing factors of being newly divorced is experiencing the company of new love interests, which seems exciting compared with long-term marriages.

Top 6 Reasons People Divorce

Is your marriage on the rocks? Well, here are some of the most common symptoms or reasons people get divorced, according to

  • Cheating Spouse – The top reason folks get divorced is when one spouse goes out and has an extramarital affair. Some of the main reasons people cheat is because of anger and resentment. Interestingly enough, most affairs start out as harmless friendships.
  • Money – Many married couples fight over money. When married couples are not in lock-step with one another about spending or financial goals, it can lead to bigger problems. It can lead to stress, anger, and resentment, which are not healthy things for a marriage.
  • Crumbling Communication – Communication is a two-way street. Arguing or the lack thereof can lead to very heated situations, which don’t help relationships. When a pattern begins to emerge that someone in the relationship can’t understand another’s point of view, then you begin to see a fundamental breakdown of the relationship.
  • Someone Gets Fat – Everyone knows marriage is supposed to be forever, through thick or thin, right? Well, sometime if a spouse puts on too much weight, the other partner can lose interest. This will also factor into the ability of the couple to have an intimate relationship.
  • Intimacy Issues – When couples begin to lose intimacy, they begin to lose interest in each other. It can also be more than just about sex. It can be emotional too.
  • Abusive Partner – Nobody wants to be abused. Abuse relationships are very destructive and can build up to be much more dangerous than anyone can imagine. Victims have been known to kill their spouse because of abuse.

No marriage is perfect and they all need work. Every marriage has its own unique challenges. But, a long fulfilling marriage can lead to long-term happiness and security for both spouses.

Contact a Las Cruces Divorce Lawyer at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC

Are you beyond the contemplation phase of wanting a divorce?  We know a divorce can be a painful event, which is why we are compassionate and experienced at helping not just navigate the complexities involved with filing for divorce, but helping with healing. Reach out to our Las Cruces divorce lawyer at (575) 205-1328 or email us.


1“Got a Friend Who’s Divorced? You May Be Next, According to Science” published in Chicago Tribune, Aug. 2018.

2“10 Most Common Reasons for Divorce,” published in, Aug. 2018.