Did you know that when your friend’s marriage struggles, it affects your marriage?
According a Pew Research Center study, when a close friend or family member divorces, you are 75% more likely to divorce. And if your friend’s friend divorces, it still impacts you. When a friend’s friend divorces, you are 33% more likely than other couples to divorce.
In comparison, approximately half of the people exposed by a family member actually catch the flu. Divorce is more contagious than the flu!
Here are some of the reasons why the divorce of a friend and family member has such an affect on us.
- Seeing people we love and care for go through the pain of divorce causes a grief reaction. We mourn and sympathize with what they are going through because we care so much for them.
- If it could happen to them, then it could happen to us. The busted expectation of our loved one’s marriage makes us believe that divorce is possible in our stable marriage.
- We re-assess the strength of our marriage. We double check our perception of our marriage and wonder about any possibilities that our spouse is being untrustworthy.
- We wonder if we might be happier post divorce. As the divorce finalizes, we often hear exaggerated reports of their happiness and we begin to question our own happiness.
If marriages are so impacted by the contagiousness of divorce, what can we do about it?
- Pray. Invite God into your response and into what is going on in your friend or family member’s distressed marriage relationship.
- Be supportive of healthy marriages of your family members and friends. Help them discover resources like www.LifeTogetherForever.com. Encourage them to work things out with competent Christian marriage specialists. Share what you learn about having a healthy marriage with them.
- When a friend or family member is divorcing, be careful to not take sides. Do not join in negative talk about their spouse. Be a supportive ear without joining in the negative emotions.
- Encourage your friend or family member to strengthen their relationship with God and not begin a relationship with anyone else. Help them to focus on being the man or women God called them to be mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
- Refocus your activities on strengthening your marriage relationship. Invest in a couples weekend or take a long vacation and renew your love. Do the things that strengthen your heart’s desire toward each other.
- If there is a single cell in their body of hope of reconciliation, get them into a Christian Marriage Intensive. God has used our Marriage Intensive to save over 85% of the distressed and divorcing marriages.
Let us know how you handled your friend or family member’s divorce. What do you recommend to couples who are close to someone going through a divorce?
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2015. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.