Friday, November 13, 2009

d-i-v-o-r-c-e multiple sclerosis

Men as spouse caregivers seem to be the media piñata of the week, specifically for spouses diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or Cancer.

Feelin' Sick, Ladies? Better Hog-Tie Your Man 
“I've read a lot of depressing news about the state of marriage recently, but none more dismal than a new study …”

'In sickness and in health' has different odds for women than for men 
“Many people have assumed that men are less likely than women to stick by a seriously ill spouse. That assumption might not say much for men. Yet it appears to be true. …”

Men leave: Separation and divorce far more common when the wife is the patient 
“A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is the patient …”

Thanksgiving morning will mark my 20th Anniversary as a Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiver. This past July was our 24th wedding anniversary. In December will begin my 59th year as a male.

I am quite sure I am not the only one.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site:
musings: Patrick Ponders ...


  1. Although you became a caregiver at a much younger age, your Dad was a good role model of a male caregiver!

  2. You're not the only one. Sometime next month will be Scarecrow's 21st anniversary as a Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiver, although neither one of us knew what he was taking on back in 1988. His caregiving role has evolved from laying low when I was having a bad day, to total 24 hour care. He's been a guy for 50 years.

    I don't know how he does it (the caregiving part, not the guy part). You gentlemen are amazing.

  3. people need to hear about "success stories"; those that stick around; those that don't leave; those that caregive year after year, decade after decade. I can't imagine how difficult it is for you, Patrick, but you and others are a living testimony that it can be done. People need to see that and look beyond themselves and reflect on what it would be if the roles were reverse.


  4. I often wonder about that: that men are more likely to leave their terminally ill wives than women are to leave their ill husbands. I think how a man responds to the critical illness and death of his dog, and of his mother will be a sure predictor of how he will treat his wife in the same circumstance. An unproven theory, but it makes so much sense. It has me terribly worried.


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