Wives More Loyal When it Comes to "in Sickness and in Health"
A new study revealed that, in older couples, the divorce rate increases when the wife becomes seriously ill; however, not when the husband becomes ill.
The study was done by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the University of Michigan. Researchers pulled 2,717 marriages from the Health and Retirement Study. The data they pulled was from 1992 to 2010. The study examined how illness impacted marriages over the course of time.
In each of the marriages, gender played an extensive role in whether or not the couple was able to maintain the marriage while dealing with the spouse’s health crisis. During the study period, 31 percent of the couples divorced. In 15 percent of those divorcing couples, the wife had become seriously ill. However, more husbands in the study faced serious illness, such as heart problems, cancer, stroke, or lung disease, than wives. And by the end of the survey period, 41 percent of the couples became widowed while 47 percent faced a new serious health issue.
According to one of the researchers, Amelia Karraker from the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, 50 percent of the marriages ended in divorce when the wives became ill. “We have strong prior [evidence] that there would be a gendered component to this, that it would be more likely that a wife's illness would be more strongly associated with divorce than a husband's,” said Karraker.
The study did not have information available as to which spouse had initiated the divorce. Prior studies have shown that in two-thirds of divorces, it is the wife who initiates the action.
If you are considering a divorce, please contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney to find out your options and what will best suit your needs. Our experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick offer quality legal counseling for you and your family. Call us today at 630-232-9700 to schedule an appointment.