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Debating Divorce with Multiple Sclerosis

December 11, 2017

Marriage and multiple sclerosis aren’t always a match made in heaven. In some cases, having the support and assistance of your spouse is comforting. On the other hand, disability can wedge a gap between relationships.

A study back in 2009 was done which concluded that “A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer of multiple sclerosis.” Some numbers show that 75 percent of couples dealing with chronic disease actually end in divorce.

Raising a family requires an exhausting amount of work, and caring for a spouse that is suffering a disease such as multiple sclerosis can add a lot more work and stress onto one’s family. With divorce rates in American families in general being so high, debating divorce in a situating of such high intensity adds even more pressure to a relationship.

To make matters even worse, the stresses of custody or divorce in general can exacerbate symptoms of MS. This makes the situation even trickier—does one stay in a marriage they are unhappy in and let their partner suffer? Or stick it out and care for the person you’ve created a family with? There is no easy solution in a situation like this.

Marriages are either strengthened or weakened by such a disability. Sometimes, the MS patient in the relationship may feel neglected or a burden, or simply feel like they are not getting the support and comfort that they desire from their partner. In most cases, healthy partners do stay in their marriages through a sense of commitment or obligation.

The financial aspect of battling MS is another large contributing factor to the debate. Sometimes a couple will stay together for insurance purposes, as MS is fairly costly.

If in doubt about your relationship, The National MS Society has compiled a brochure in order to help those with MS navigate their legal options. Topics such as divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, alimony, maintenance as well as other familial law topics are included here.