When you and the love of your life committed your futures to each other, you may not have understood the full depth of traditional vows such as “for better, for worse” and “for richer, for poorer.” Like countless other couples, your marriage has probably experienced numerous challenges since your wedding day.

For as much as you try to support and encourage one another, some circumstances can take a significant toll on your relationship. Many visible temptations draw spouses away from each other. Meanwhile, studies suggest staying together “in sickness and in health” can be too much to expect.

Chronic health conditions may increase divorce rates

Caring for your partner can take a physical, emotional and financial toll.

Women are caregivers by nature and are inclined to remain committed despite chronic illness. Men, however, may be likely to file for divorce for reasons such as:

  • Rather than opening himself up to the possibility of being abandoned by the death of an ill spouse, your husband might withdraw to save himself from the pain of watching disease claim the life of the woman he loves.
  • Men often lack the emotional support networks that women naturally develop with those around them. Sickness could make your husband feel alone.
  • Expectations may go unmet when you do not feel well. Whether you lack the energy for a night on the town or do not feel well enough to share intimacy, your spouse’s disappointment, turned into frustration, may be a catalyst for looking for love elsewhere.

Hiring help around the house or encouraging your husband to spend time with his friends may make coping with your diagnosis easier to handle. Additionally, your providers may be able to suggest ways for the two of you to make the most of your situation, while keeping your focus on building a future together once you are well.

Unfortunately, some people find that despite their best intentions, there are promises they cannot keep. You can develop a healthy lifestyle with your spouse and work to maintain a positive connection. However, if illness enters into the equation and your relationship does not continue as planned, your focus may need to shift to doing what is best for yourself.