Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Divorce more likely when wives get sick

04 May 2016, 13:30

That part of the marriage vows where couples pledge to stay together "in sickness and in health" may be heeded more by wives than husbands, new research suggests.

Someone to feed you

Although divorce rates did not increase when husbands were in poor health, researchers at Iowa State University found the divorce rate was 6 percent higher in marriages in which wives were sick.

"There is a difference between feeling too sick to make dinner and needing someone to actually feed you. That's something that can really change the dynamics within a marriage," said study author Amelia Karraker in a university news release. She is an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State.

The researchers analysed two decades of information on 2,700 marriages. At least one of the spouses was at least age 51 when the study began. The researchers looked to see whether cancer, heart disease, lung disease and stroke influenced divorce rates.

Of all the marriages included in the study, 32 percent ended in divorce. The researchers noted that they did not know which partner initiated the split.

Read:5 reasons why people stay in abusive relationships

They found that divorce was more common among younger couples. Although there were slight variations, the type of illness the couples faced didn't significantly affect the findings.

Quality of care

It remains unclear exactly why divorce rates increase when wives are sick. The study authors noted that the healthy spouse must take on the role of primary caregiver and manager of the household.

Wives may be less satisfied with the quality of care provided by their husbands, who may have little experience as caregivers. Meanwhile, women may also be less comfortable than men in giving up their role as the primary caregiver in a relationship, the researchers added.

"Life or death experiences may cause people to re-evaluate what's important in their lives," Karraker said. "It could be that women are saying, 'You're doing a bad job of caring for me. I'm not happy with this,' or 'I wasn't happy with the relationship to begin with, and I'd rather be alone than be in a bad marriage.'"

Although marriage can enhance people's physical and mental health, married women who get sick are at greater risk of losing those benefits, previous studies have suggested.

"I think the research shows the potential vulnerabilities for people in society who are sick. There is an elevated risk for depression with illness, and now you're also at risk for divorce," Karraker said. "People in poor health may have less access to beneficial social relationships, which in turn can compromise their health further."

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Health24


What causes cellulite?

21 October 2016, 13:23

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
William Korir
Machakos no longer a CORD zone, M...

Machakos is now a Jubilee Party zone and no longer CORD, Governor Alfred Mutua says. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
REVEALED: Why Kalonzo attacked Uh...

There was no holding back for CORD co principal Kalonzo Musyoka as he spoke his mind during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Machakos. But why? Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
I will step down if I lose in 201...

President Uhuru Kenyatta says that he is ready to step down from office if he loses the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President renews calls for nation...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on Kenyans to instead focus on unity, cohesion and prosperity as the country approaches the campaigns period. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What causes cellulite?

Cellulite usually affects the thighs, buttocks, waist and upper arms.  Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
IEBC selection panel settles on B...

The panel appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to recruit new IEBC commissioners has picked Bernadette Musundi as its chairperson. Read more...