Divorce is contagious

Divorce is contagious

As a Sex and Relationship Coach, I have a mantra: ‘It’s all about energy.’

We know that yawns are contagious.
Do you know why? My curious mind has read a number of contradictory scientific findings over the years and now I’ve decided to just let that one go.

But, there are other contagions to be wary of – insidious, lurking, destructive contagions. They can wreck your day, wreck your health, and even wreck your marriage. And, there are scientific findings.

Have you ever felt uneasy while talking to a friend whose partner is having an affair? Or with a friend who is divorcing? Apart from the empathy aspect, isn’t there a little voice warning ‘Stay away, this could be contagious, you could be next.’

According to *recent scientific research, that inner voice speaks the truth.

A split up between good friends will increase your own chances of getting divorced by 75%. Wow! Given two degrees of separation between you and the divorcing couple, your chances drop to 33%. Phew! At three degrees of separation, the effect is negligible.

The more divorcees you know, the higher your chances are of joining them. (Add ‘divorce clustering’ to your urban vocabulary.) So divorce, rather than being a private upheaval, is now considered a collective phenomenon with far reaching tentacles.

We know that laughter is contagious.
Do you know why? Me neither. As I mention in Sex Humor from the Sex Coach:

‘A good mood is contagious, according to research. When you feel bliss, a friend you hang out with regularly will have a 25% increased chance of being happy; a friend of a friend has a nearly 10% greater chance; and a friend of that friend has a 5.6% greater chance.’
I am a laughter and bliss advocate. So, let it spread!

Consider who your friends are:
A recent article in Psychology Today reports ‘The basic concept is that you can use the energy of other people and leverage the interconnected nature of the human spirit to increase your energy and your ability to heal and stay well.’

Woodson Merrell, integrative physician, explains how the influence of others may work: 'Where most of us see empty space separating one living thing from another, physicists have shown all these empty spaces to be filled with energy that allows for continuous sharing of energy and information across space...

This very real energetic web tying together all matter allows for a cause and effect relationship between consciousness (the energy of thought) and healing (the returning of physical processes to normal). The transformative power of our own thoughts and intentions and of the thoughts and intentions of others involves an energetic process that transcends space.'

Spiritual seekers, philosophers, and sociologists proclaim the ‘oneness of humanity’ and our connective matrix. Personally, I don’t need further scientific research. I’ve witnessed that energetic web work it wonders.

After all, it’s all about energy.

*The study, called "Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Unless Everyone Else is Doing it Too: Social Network Effects on Divorce in a Longitudinal Sample Followed for 32 Years," was done by political scientists Rose McDermott of Brown University and James H. Fowler of University of California, San Diego and sociologist Nicholas A. Christakis of Harvard University.