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Why illness can sometimes lead to divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | Blog, Divorce

Some New Jersey couples might find themselves considering divorce when one of them is suffering a serious illness. They might wonder if the illness itself leads to the end of the marriage. However, while the complications brought about by illness can be a factor when a couple decides to end their marriage, often, it only brings to light or exacerbates issues that were already present.

How illness can change marriage

A serious illness will cause both spouses to stress, worry and fear for the future. This can have a deep emotional impact, and each spouse might handle it differently. It can also affect the spouse going through the illness physically, during and after the illness, subsequently affecting the physical interactions between the spouses. Financially, an illness might also threaten the couple’s stability. Roles can also be reversed, as one spouse might need to assume the caretaking role and the other spouse might feel too dependent. If the spouses are also struggling to communicate through this time, their relationship might be headed towards divorce.

Many factors were already present

For couples who end up ending their marriage, many of the factors that led to the decision were already present. The relationship might have already been struggling for a long time and the illness just brings the issues to the forefront. Some of these factors are common for divorce in general, including:

  • Emotional distance between the spouses
  • Struggles with communication
  • Financial issues
  • Resentment that has been growing over time

Both spouses will also need emotional support during and after the illness. They might depend on family and friends who offer this support, but they can also seek it through counseling with a mental health professional. While some couples can overcome the challenges of a serious illness, other couples will decide that they have no option but to seek a divorce.