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31 percent of spouses divorce if one has chronic illness

Making the decision to get married is often an event surrounded by joy and hope. Couples vow to spend their lives together and promise to do so through thick and thin. However, the reality is that there are many couples who struggle through such difficult circumstances in their marriage that they ultimately get divorced.

Unlike deciding to get married, deciding to get divorced often comes with a lot of fear, sadness and anxiety; and according to a recent study, couples dealing with another event that brings up these same emotions have a higher rate of divorce. The study suggests that 31 percent of couples get divorced if one of them has been diagnosed with a chronic illness.

The study looked at more than 2,700 couples over the span of 20 years and researchers identified those that were dealing with lung diseases, cancer and other chronic illnesses. At the conclusion of the study, about 842 of the couples had divorced.

Further, the study results found that couples were more likely to divorce if it was the wife who was sick; not the husband.

There are no clear explanations for why this may be. It is quite likely that the emotional toll a serious illness can take on people can be much too significant for a couple to handle. There can also be fears and concerns about the future that create a divide between two people. It is also suggested that caring for a sick loved one can be too much for some spouses to handle on their own, particularly for the men who may not be used to acting as a caretaker.

Chronic illness is just one of the serious and life-changing events that couples may never expect or anticipate when they decide to get married. Rather than try to struggle through these difficult times alone, it can be quite beneficial for spouses in California to speak with a counselor, mediator , or family law attorney who can help them navigate this difficult time and identify ways to cope with these circumstances, both as individuals and a couple.

If the decision is to divorce, then the couple should carefully investigate process options such as divorce mediation or collaborative divorce before potentially escalating into an even more difficult and emotional situation.

Source:

Time, "Divorce More Likely When Wife Falls Ill," Alexandra Sifferlin, May 1, 2014

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