Severe diseases, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, can destroy the family and the marital community. However, women are abandoned six times more often than their male partners with the same diagnosis, according to the results of a study conducted at the Cancer Association in Seattle.
The study confirmed earlier data that divorce or abandonment ends 11.6 percent of marriages and relationships in which one of the partners gets cancer, but it was found that that percentage rises to 20.8 percent when it comes to a sick woman.
If one of these diseases is diagnosed in a male patient, the percentage of divorces is only 2.9 percent, which is much less than in the general population.
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Researchers say that the explanation for why men leave a sick partner more often may lie in their inability to quickly adapt to the role of the one who takes care of the home and family.
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The study also established a connection between the length of the marriage and the age of the partner and the probability that it will end due to a serious illness.
Longer marriages had a better chance of survival, but older women were more likely to be abandoned.
The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Utah Cancer Institute and Stanford University School of Medicine on 515 patients between 2001 and 2006.
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The reason for the research was the fact that doctors noticed that in their patients with neuro-oncology, divorce happens almost exclusively when the patient is a woman.