There are all sorts of statistics about divorce among people with chronic illnesses like multiple sclerosis (MS). Although the exact numbers vary, depending on the study, divorce and separation rates are consistently higher in couples where one person has a disability or chronic illness.
A recent study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center decided to look a little deeper into the situation and found some pretty amazing things.
Looking at 515 people (about equal numbers of men and women) who had brain tumors, cancer or MS, and were married at the time of their diagnosis, the researchers found that:
- 11.6% (60) of the participants were divorced or separated within 6 months of diagnosis; however, only 2.9% of the breakups were in couples where the man was the person with the illness, whereas the rate of breakup was 20.8% among affected women
- 96% of the breakups among people with MS were a situation where the woman was the person living with MS
- It was found that the longer that people had been married, the more likely they were to stick together after a diagnosis
What has been your experience since your diagnosis? Has your marriage suffered or grown stronger in the face of MS adversity? Share your story in the comments section below, or tell it here (as well as read about the experiences of others) - Readers Respond: How has MS affected your marriage?