We all know that choosing our friends is important, because they affect us in many ways, but it might surprise you to learn just how far the influence can extend. It’s not unheard of for a friend to suggest a TV show or book that gets you hooked, but what would you say if a friend’s divorce influenced the state of your marriage? A study from a few years ago hinted at just that possibility, claiming that a social contagion effect may cause divorces to infect friends.

According to the findings from the 2010 study, having a divorced friend increases your likelihood of divorce by nearly 150 percent. It also found that having a co-worker who is divorced can increase your divorce likelihood by 55 percent. The study claimed that even second generation friends can feel the effects, meaning that a friend of a friend’s divorce could have impacts on your chances of divorcing.

One of the researchers behind the study claimed that there were many reasons that could contribute to this phenomenon, one reason being that when people see their friends going through a divorce, the process may become less foreboding and they may begin to see some of the benefits that divorce can bring. In a society where divorce sometimes carries a sense of taboo with it, it’s not too surprising that the potential upsides to a divorce sometimes get lost.

Some people view divorce as admitting your marriage failed, but that’s not the way it has to be viewed. It could instead be viewed as meaning you have accomplished all that you can accomplish in your current circumstances. You can take what you learned from the marriage and apply it to future relationships, for example. If your marriage is no longer a positive thing for you and your spouse, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life without love. Divorce laws vary by state, however, so if you do decide to divorce in Georgia, it may be a good idea to seek legal counsel that is familiar with the applicable state laws.