“I Love You, Not Your Friends”: Links between partners’ early disapproval of friends and divorce across 16 years

Katherine L. Fiori, Amy J. Rauer, Kira S. Birditt, Christina M. Marini, Justin Jager, Edna Brown, Terri L. Orbuch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research on the merging of social networks among married couples tends to focus on the benefits of increased social capital, with the acknowledgment of potential stressors being limited primarily to in-law relationships. The purpose of the present study was to examine both positive (i.e., shared friend support) and negative (i.e., disapproval and interference of partner’s friends) aspects of friend ties on divorce across 16 years. Using a sample of 355 Black and White couples from the Early Years of Marriage project, we examined these associations with a Cox proportional hazard regression, controlling for a number of demographic and relational factors. Our findings indicate that (1) the negative aspects of couples’ friend ties are more powerful predictors of divorce than positive aspects; (2) at least early in marriage, husbands’ negative perceptions of wives’ friends are more predictive of divorce than are wives’ negative perceptions of husbands’ friends; (3) friendship disapproval may be less critical in the marital lives of Black husbands and wives than of White husbands and wives; and (4) the association between disapproval of wives’ friends at Year 1 and divorce may be partially explained by wives’ friends interfering in the marriage. Our findings are interpreted in light of possible mechanisms to explain the link between partner disapproval of friends and divorce, such as diminished interdependence, less network approval, and increased spousal conflict and jealousy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

Divorce
Love
Spouses
Merging
divorce
love
wife
Hazards
husband
marriage
Marriage
jealousy
married couple
interdependence
friendship
social capital
Jealousy
interference
social network
regression

Keywords

  • Divorce
  • friendships
  • interdependence
  • marriage
  • networks
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

“I Love You, Not Your Friends” : Links between partners’ early disapproval of friends and divorce across 16 years. / Fiori, Katherine L.; Rauer, Amy J.; Birditt, Kira S.; Marini, Christina M.; Jager, Justin; Brown, Edna; Orbuch, Terri L.

In: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 01.01.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fiori, Katherine L. ; Rauer, Amy J. ; Birditt, Kira S. ; Marini, Christina M. ; Jager, Justin ; Brown, Edna ; Orbuch, Terri L. / “I Love You, Not Your Friends” : Links between partners’ early disapproval of friends and divorce across 16 years. In: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 2017.
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