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"Copycat" divorces may be ok

By observing how their divorced friends are positively thriving after their marriages have ended, others too may be convinced to let go of a failing marriage. In fact, a combined study by the University of California and Yale University reported that individuals are 75 percent more likely to have gone through a divorce themselves, if at least one colleague is also divorced.

In what has been termed a “copycat” divorce, people often follow the leads of their friends. It takes a certain amount of bravery to end a marriage. People may have developed reasons to stay married, despite their marital problems. However, by seeing the positive side of divorce, as exemplified by their friends, those contemplating divorce may become convinced that getting a divorce is in their best interests. Having friends who are divorced also can provide an individual with the support necessary to go through the divorce process.

Those going through the divorce process may feel conflicted. They know their marriage is over, yet they still want to protect those whom they love, such as their children. However, sometimes severing the ties of marriage may be better for their children, rather than forcing the children, in some circumstances, to continue to bear witness to fights and other confrontations between the spouses.

It goes without saying that parents want to keep their child’s best interests at heart. After a divorce, parents may be able to share child custody with their ex-spouse, whether it is through co-parenting or through a fair custody and visitation schedule. This may allow each spouse to maintain a cordial relationship with each other, while providing two separate, but strong and supportive, homes for their child.