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Illness in wife could lead to divorce

Georgia residents might be interested to learn about a study examining the relationship between divorce and illness. Researchers at Iowa State University determined that couples with a seriously ill wife were more likely to get a divorce than couples with a seriously ill husband. However, no information was available about whether it was the husband or the wife who usually initiated the divorce.

Data for the study was gathered from 2,701 married couples that were surveyed between 1992 and 2010 in the Health and Retirement Study. Researchers examined the onset of cancer, lung disease, stroke and heart problems in the marriages and then looked at whether or not the spouses divorced later on. The onset of illness in the wife was found to increase the chances of a marriage ending in divorce by 6 percent, while the onset of illness in the husband had no measureable impact on the potential for divorce.

The lead author of the study speculated on why she thought illness in a wife might increase the likelihood of a divorce. She said that a serious illness can add stress to any marriage, but wives are usually less satisfied by the care that they receive from their husbands while they are ill. A change in relationship dynamics combined with a financial strain could be the cause of higher divorce rates.

Going through a divorce can be stressful for anyone. When one spouse is seriously ill, the process could become even more overwhelming. A person who is going through a divorce while suffering from a serious illness might want to seek help from an attorney. An attorney may help to represent the spouse's interests at negotiations and court hearings when they are unable to represent themselves.

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