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Love me, love my friends -- or face the possibility of divorce

It's impossible to please all of the people all of the time, however hard one might try. Many California residents are familiar with the tensions that can arise when they meet new partners, especially if he or she doesn't get along with the people closest to them. While much has been written about the difficulties experienced within families when such things happen, recent research has focused on what happens to divorce rates when one's closest friends don't get along with one's husband or wife.

Research was conducted by the Adelphi University in New York, using data collected from 355 couples who participated in The Early Years of Marriage project in Detroit. The project has been following the couples since they first married, from as far back as 1986. Each couple was surveyed individually every year during the first few years of marriage. Questions included whether one's spouse had friends with whom he or she would prefer the spouse not to associate, and whether the spouse's friends interfered in the marriage.

In the main, when the husband disapproved of the wife's friends, the divorce rate was higher. It was also significantly greater if the husband perceived the wife's friends as interfering in the marital relationship. It may come as a surprise to note that the attitude of women toward their husband's friends had little or no effect on divorce rates. More research will be needed in order to fully understand the significance of these findings.

A California resident's decision to divorce is very unlikely to be solely influenced by the opinions of others. However, there are times when a good friend's perspective on marital strife can give one the opportunity to take a step back from the marriage and view it with more objectivity. Seeking the most appropriate advice can help one to make an informed decision about how one wishes to move forward.

Source: livescience.com, "Hubby's Dislike of Wife's Friends Linked to Greater Divorce Risk", Stephanie Pappas, May 16, 2017

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