It turns out that the hilarious British spoof on the horrors of the Man-Cold might be more true than we ever imagined. The
joke reality here is that when a husband gets sick, his wife is naturally expected to become his doting caregiver, but when a wife gets sick, she may feel distinctly on her own.
A study presented last month at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America actually reported that the risk of divorce among married couples rises when the wife – but not the husband — becomes a heart patient.
Study author Dr. Amelia Karraker, a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, examined how the onset of four serious illnesses – cancer, heart disease, lung disease and stroke – affected the marriages of couples over a 20-year period. Dr. Karraker explained:
“We found that women are doubly vulnerable to marital dissolution in the face of heart disease.
“They are more likely to be widowed, and if they are the ones who become ill, they are more likely to get divorced.”