Will your spouse be there in sickness and health?

When two people pledge to share their lives together and marry, many utter wedding vows promising to be together during good and bad times and in sickness and health. However, the results of a recent study indicate that married couples are more likely to divorce when the wife falls ill.

The results of the study are discussed in the most recent issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. For the study, researchers from Iowa State University tracked the marriages of more than 2,700 couples, where one spouse was at least 51 years old, for nearly 20 years. Findings indicate that instances of divorce did not increase in cases where a husband experienced serious health problems. However, in cases where a wife developed health problems, researchers noted that couples were six percent more likely to divorce.

Researchers are quick to note that the increased divorce rate doesn’t necessarily mean that husbands are abandoning their sick wives. For example, it may be that women who are dealing with a serious medical illness or condition realize their spouses can’t provide the care they need or perhaps they suddenly realize they simply aren’t happy.

Major life events like having children, moving and losing a job, can be stressful and take a toll on a marriage. For couples of the baby boomer generation, a spouse’s cancer diagnosis or sudden stroke can have numerous and significant personal and financial repercussions that may serve as the impetus for divorce.

At any age, going through a divorce can be stressful. However, for individuals age 50 and older, the financial repercussions of divorce are often much more immediate and significant. It’s wise, therefore, to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney who understands the unique challenges divorcees in this age demographic face and who can help devise strategies to ensure for one’s future financial security.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Couples Over 50 Are More Likely To Divorce When The Wife Gets Sick, Study Suggests,” Rebecca Adams, March 5, 2015

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