Can Illness Lead to Divorce?

When couples exchange their wedding vows, one of the things they typically promise to do is to love and care for each other “in sickness and in health.” The notion that two people will be there for one another in the worst of times is comforting and integral to the foundation of marriage, but do married couples really honor these vows? What happens when one spouse gets really sick and develops a chronic, possibly even life-threatening disease? Unfortunately, when this happens, the odds for divorce often increase.

The sad truth is that illness can wreck a marriage. A serious illness is hard to deal with. It can change a person, create mountains of debt, and force the other partner to go above and beyond to care for their spouse. All of this stress can affect the health of a marriage. In fact, one study from Iowa State University revealed that divorce rates were 6% higher in marriages in which wives suffered from a serious illness, like heart disease or cancer. Interestingly enough, however, the study found that divorce rates didn’t increase when it was the husbands who got sick.

Simply put, a major illness can eat through a marriage and lead to divorce in many cases. It’s a sad reality.

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