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Divorce rates go up when the wife gets sick

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2022 | Family Law |

When Kentucky couples get married, most vow to stay by each other’s sides in sickness and in health, but research indicates that major health concerns can result in divorce. Statistics show that men are more likely to leave their wives than women are to leave their husbands in the exact same situation.

When a major illness leads to divorce

Some couples become closer during a major illness as they think about how much the other one means to them. Unfortunately, if there are significant problems going on in the marriage already, the illness can be the final brick that tips the scales toward divorce. Sometimes, it’s underlying, unresolved issues are brought to a head by the illness. The sickness of one partner can make the problems that already existed within the marriage even more intense.

Divorce is more common when the wife has a major medical condition. In fact, it’s six times more likely that the couple will divorce or separate after the wife is diagnosed with cancer or multiple sclerosis than if the man is the one who becomes ill. A study in which 515 married people who became sick were followed for four to five years, and within that amount of time, of the people who got divorced, 90% of them were women, indicating that it’s much more likely for couples to divorce when the woman gets sick.

Potential underlying factors in divorce when one partner gets sick

There are a number of potential underlying problems that could cause a divorce. For instance, communication problems are one of the top reasons that people get divorced. Additionally, attitudinal differences and verbal abuse often contribute to a divorce. Financial disagreements and infidelity also rank high as reasons for divorce.

While it’s not entirely clear what the underlying causes of divorce when one spouse gets sick are, it’s useful to know that marriages are often at a pivotal point when a major medical illness occurs.