According to researchers at two Midwestern universities, couples are more likely to get divorced when the wife is suffering from a serious illness, while this result is not true in cases where the husband is seriously ill. Researchers could only speculate on why this is the case, but the study shows that couples in Arizona should take good care of their health not only for their personal well-being, but also the sake of their marriages.
The researchers utilized the Health and Retirement Study, which was carried out between 1991 and 2010, to analyze the impacts cancer, heart problems, lung disease and strokes had on marriages. More than 2,000 marriages were examined, and every couple in the study had at least one spouse age 51 or older. The study showed that when a wife was seriously ill, the marriage was 6 percent more likely to end in a dissolution. Out of all the marriages analyzed, 24 percent ended in widowhood and 32 percent ended in divorce. The chance of widowhood increased as couples got older, while divorce was more likely among younger couples.
One of the authors of the study noted that women are typically less satisfied with care from their husbands. Since women are often socialized to become caregivers, while men generally are not, this difference might help explain why divorce is not more likely when the husband is seriously ill.
When a person wants to bring their marriage to an end, many options are available, including going through litigation as well as attempting to resolve the situation in an amicable matter. As the issues can be complex, many find that obtaining the advice and counsel of a family law attorney is advisable.
Source: Deseret News, “Divorce more likely when wife has serious illness”, Lois M. Collins, March 6, 2015