Many older couples in Minnesota are no longer honoring their vows once illness strikes. According to Tech Times, there is a link between older married couples, illness and divorce. In a study involving 2,717 older people, at least 75 percent of the marriages were impacted by the onset of chronic disease and serious health complications, such as stroke, cancer, lung disease and heart disease.
This study monitored the health of the participants and their marriages for a period of 20 years. During that time, it was noted that when the wives became ill, divorce was more likely to occur. The costs of health care and the severity of health conditions often resulted in women needing more care than their male counterparts were willing to give.
The women in the study who became sick felt more comfortable relying on friends and family for support throughout their illness than on their husbands. Many of them also felt that their spouses were not capable of providing them with the level of care and support they deserved. Men, on the other hand, did not feel as qualified to take on the role of caregiver and were not capable of living up to the social expectations of the job. Men also tended to fall ill more often than their female partners.
According to Science Daily, many spouses would rather divorce their partners and be alone instead of having to deal with the poor level of care they would receive from their significant others. Many married couples tend to reevaluate their priorities when there is stress from serious illness and life and death experiences. Many of them find that they would rather not be married in their time of need. In another study, it was found that the risk of divorce was unaffected by the health or illness of the male spouse. Financial strain was a leading factor in divorce. However, marriages involving healthy women had a six percent lower risk of failing when compared to marriages where the wives were sick.
Sickness can affect married people at any time. However, old age, illness severity and the financial and emotional toll of the situation can increase an older couple’s risk for divorce.