When medical issues strike, they can put a lot of stress on your life. This is especially true when it’s a very serious and long-term diagnosis. A common example is a cancer diagnosis, which, even when fully survivable, could take extensive treatment for months or years to come.
Studies have found that events like this increase the odds that a couple will get divorced. Interestingly, this happens the most often when – at least in opposite-sex marriages – a wife is the one who has been diagnosed. The odds that the husband will then file for divorce tend to go up.
Why does this happen?
One reason for this is simply that it changes life and makes things a lot harder. There is the stress of the disease itself, but there could be all sorts of financial stress to go along with it. Any type of financial stress can increase your odds of divorce, and that is certainly true when it is tied to a medical situation.
Additionally, there is some evidence that people may have already had other marital problems that are then amplified by the illness. For instance, maybe the couple was already starting to drift apart. The illness forces them to spend more time together, revealing some of the previously ignored issues that they have. Conversely, the illness itself could cause them to drift even further apart, if one spouse begins to feel like they are simply a caregiver.
No matter why it happens, though, the statistical trend is clear. That’s why it’s so important for people who find themselves in this position to understand all of the legal options they have if they are moving toward a divorce.