"In sickness and in health."
That is one of the most recognizable tenets from the standard wedding vow that's said hundreds of thousands of times a year. The belief that your new spouse will love you forever, regardless of the circumstance. Well, according to a new study to come out of Iowa State University, it looks like that's not always the case.
That's because when a wife gets a long-term illness, there is a six percent greater chance that a later-life marriage will end in divorce than there is if she remains healthy. When a husband becomes sick, there is no impact on the odds that the couple will divorce.
However, before men are charged as culprits, the new research "is not a comment on either gender's character," said Amelia Karraker, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University, the lead author of the paper.
The study used data from the Health and Retirement Study at the University of Michigan on marriages from 1992 to 2010. They chose four serious illnesses: cancer, heart disease, lung disease and stroke to examine because they are common in people of that age.
Karraker and colleague Kenzie Latham concluded in the study that "married women diagnosed with a serious health condition may find themselves at increased risk of divorce and may have to manage disease sequelae while experiencing the stressors associated with divorce. These women may be particularly vulnerable for further health declines considering the negative health consequences associated with marital dissolution."
In sickness and health: Wife's serious illness increases chance of divorce later in life; husband's doesn't (Washington Post)
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