May 02, 2014
By Jane Brown
In sickness and in health is a marriage vow that is often broken, especially when it’s the wife who becomes sick.
A new study from the University of Michigan included analysis of 20 years of data on nearly 3000 marriages. Researchers reviewed how serious physical illnesses, including heart problems, lung disease, cancer and stroke impacted a marriage.
The study reveals that more than 30 percent of marriages end in divorce when a chronic illness hits the female spouse, even though more husbands typically develop serious health issues. Lead scientist Amelia Karraker says, “women are doubly vulnerable to marital dissolution in the face of illness. They are more likely to be widowed, and if they are the ones who become ill, they are more likely to get divorced.” Karraker says one prime reason is that wives are more comfortable and able to deal with a care taking scenario in a marriage.