Changing who you hang out with could actually improve your marriage. People who socialize with divorced individuals actually have higher chances of getting divorced themselves. Researchers from 3 North American universities studied groups of individuals over a 32-year period. They looked at the effect of divorce among peer groups on an individual’s own risk of divorce and found evidence of a pattern called “social contagion.” They found that the participants were 75% more likely to get divorced if members of their social group divorced.

Divorce is often depicted as being glamorous, and is even celebrated now, with trends such as divorce parties. If you are married and have divorced friends, and you see them living the single life, taking great care of themselves, and having tons of free time or new hobbies, it is easy to become envious. These jealous feelings can often trigger thoughts of separation, and when combined with existing relationship issues, can break up a marriage. Divorce starts to look like another option, whereas you may not have considered it before.

Individuals who have grown up with divorced parents are more likely to repeat the pattern. Children of these families view negative or stressful times in a marriage as the catalyst for divorce, instead of part of the ebb and flow of long term relationship.

If you are contemplating divorce, take a look at your social group. If many of your friends are divorced, try spending time with people who are happily married. The more that you surround yourself with positive healthy relationships, the more hope you will have of maintaining and repairing your marriage.