Mum or dad, who copes better?
When a parent is seriously ill, the other has to pick up the load. But some men seem to struggle with the challenge.
Being a parent is tough enough when you’re healthy. But when one partner is seriously sick
, the other is under pressure to take care of the ill patient and the children.
How the healthy partner reacts in such a situation will have a profound effect on how the children will be affected. A parent with good coping skills will try to shield the children from the stress of seeing their ill parent in pain or facing death.
In such a situation who copes better, the man or the woman? According to a study
quoted on UK Times online: ‘…a man is 7 times more likely to leave than his wife if the other becomes seriously ill.’
How do the women fair? The same news report published the results of a research on divorces
due to illness. The results showed that, ‘Of the 23 divorces among multiple sclerosis patients, 22 occurred when it was the woman who had fallen ill, and only one where the man was the patient.’
As a man I found these findings disturbing. Why do men duck out of a relationship at a time when they are needed most. The same report says, ‘You stop being partners as you knew it and move to being patient and carer. That can lead to feelings of fear, not just about the disease, but about the relationship and the well partner’s ability to cope. Feelings of anger and resentment about life and the situation can quickly arise.’
Reading these hard facts gave me a chance to do some self examination. I found myself asking: because I am a man does it mean that I’m predisposed to abandon my partner and kids in time of sickness? Am I inherently selfish, rushing into the arms of another if my partner is facing death?
I answered these two questions with a big NO! I believe I’d never leave my partner and family at a time when they need me the most.
In my opinion the men mentioned above, who abandoned their sick partners have one thing in common - an acute lack of love and I sincerely hope that the fact that they happened to be male was purely coincidental.
Do you agree that women cope better with their partner’s illness?