I want to divorce my wife because of her chronic illness – am I wrong?

I want to divorce my sick wife. I’m the breadwinner, we never have sex, and she’s always asleep… am I in the wrong?

  • A man wants to divorce his wife because she’s chronically ill
  • READ MORE: I left my husband after he had a brain aneurysm

A man is considering leaving his sick wife because her illness has caused their sex life to dwindle, she sleeps for 12 hours every day, and doesn’t contribute to the upkeep of the house.

Michael*, 41, had been married to Ella*, 40, for ten years when she suddenly developed health issues that cause frequent migraines, inflammation, and depression.

The mystery illnesses don’t show up on test results, but Michael tried to motivate Ella to go to therapy and work on her mental and physical health for six years before giving up.

‘Our sex life has been non-existent for five years. I’ve tried to do what I can to support her, but she needs to take it seriously,’ he said in a post.

‘It’s been years of me bearing the burden of running the house, doing all the chores, spending quality time with the kids on the weekend, and planning family events.’

Michael, 41, had been married to Ella, 40, for ten years when she suddenly developed health issues that cause frequent migraines, inflammation, and depression [stock image]

Michael is the sole breadwinner of the family and works a high-stress job with long hours. 

‘When my wife is awake, she’s usually lying down and watching movies by herself. She also sometimes drives the kids to and from school, and occasionally does dishes,’ the father-of-two added.

But that wasn’t enough to keep the spark alive. 

‘I want to stand by her, but I also want more. I want someone who wants to go out to eat, who supports me when I am having a bad day, who is awake for breakfast and wants to talk to me. I want someone who can help shoulder the burdens of life. 

‘I feel perpetually tired, alone, and starved for affection. I’ve told her what I need, but those hard conversations only put more stress on her and nothing changes.’

Michael revealed that he’s only staying in the relationship because he’s worried about his children growing up in a broken home.

‘I also don’t know how she would manage on her own. But if I stay, I worry I won’t be able to find a way to be happy again.’

READ MORE: I was four hours into labour with our first child when my husband asked what I had planned for dinner – it only went downhill from there

Many supported Michael in his decision to leave.

‘I was with my last girlfriend,  but no kids, no shared home. She became more and more depressed and participated less. I broke up with her and became a whole different man. Best thing I did,’ one said.

‘As someone who struggles with mental health issues, you have gone above and beyond for your wife. She refuses to accept help. Ultimately she is an adult and is accountable for taking steps to fix her health issues,’ another wrote. 

But others claimed he was self-centred for giving up on his sick partner.

‘They warn women who are given terminal or life altering diagnoses to get their affairs in order before telling their spouses because the number of marriages that end with a bad diagnosis is quite high,’ a woman wrote.

‘You sound very selfish. I get wanting more out of life but you made vows to your wife: ‘for better or for worse, in sickness and in health’ … and you aren’t upholding those now that she actually needs you,’ a man said.

*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.

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