When Ohioans get married, they often promise to stay together until death do they part. However, a new study suggests that older individuals may be more likely to divorce when the wife falls ill. The study, published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, followed more than 2,700 couples, aged 50 and older, for 18 years. It found that a serious medical diagnosis, like cancer or stroke, increased the chance of divorce by six percent when the illness befell the wife. If, on the other hand, the husband got sick, there was no change in the divorce rate.
There may be several reasons for the uptick in divorce rates when elderly wives get sick. Perhaps the biggest reason is that caregiving duties befall the sick individual's spouse. Though husbands are typically happy with the care they receive from their wives, women may not be as pleased with the care they receive from their husbands.
Researchers are quick to note, however, that the study only suggests a link between illness and an uptick in divorce rates. There could be other reasons for the splits that are not accounted for in the study. The study also does not account for who initiated the divorce, meaning that sick women could wish to dissolve their marriage, rather than the men who care for them.
Divorce, at any stage of live, can be a difficult situation with which to deal. Emotions can run on high and legal matters may be complicated. Property division, alimony, and perhaps even child custody can come into play. Therefore, those who are considering marriage dissolution may want to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help them fight to protect their best interests.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Couples Over 50 Are More Likely To Divorce When The Wife Gets Sick, Study Suggests," Rebecca Adams, March 5, 2015