When a Serious Illness Leads to a Divorce

 Posted on March 07, 2019 in Divorce

When a Serious Illness Leads to a DivorceAs cruel as it may seem, a spouse developing a severe or chronic illness can increase the risk of divorce. Husbands, in particular, are more likely than wives to request a divorce, whether it is during treatment or recovery. Diagnosis of serious sicknesses, such as cancer, puts stress on a marriage, and a relationship that was already weak may not survive. It is important to seek help if you are going through a divorce while also fighting against major illness.

Sources of Stress

Treatment for a serious health problem puts pressure on both spouses. In some cases, the sick spouse may never fully recover, which will permanently change their marriage. Though the supporting spouse may try to remain loyal, he or she may be unable to handle the stress of:

  • Taking on new or increased responsibilities in their marriage;
  • Growing medical expenses related to the illness;
  • The constant need to take care of the sick spouse; and
  • The loss of intimacy and emotional support from the sick spouse.

The marriage may not survive even if the sick spouse makes a full recovery because the experience showed the weaknesses in the marriage. The sick spouse may be the one who asks for a divorce. Surviving a life-threatening illness can motivate people to change their lives in ways that make them happier.

Men’s Reaction

Several studies suggest that a husband is more likely to end his marriage with his sick wife than when their roles were reversed. Analysts point to traditional marriage roles as reasons for this disparity. Wives are typically the greater caretakers in a marriage, which husbands benefit from. The husband may be uncomfortable with switching roles and question whether he wants to continue the marriage. Husbands also tend to rely on their wives for emotional support, while wives are more likely to have outside sources of support. A husband may seek that support from another relationship if he can no longer receive it from his wife.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

Divorce is stressful enough without having to deal with a chronic or severe illness. Because your health is your highest priority, you may need to rely on others for support during your divorce. You should also be willing to take your time with the divorce instead of making important decisions while you are distracted by your illness. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can handle many of the stressful aspects of your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.



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