Divorced women do care for ex-spouses in illness

February 11th, 2011 - 6:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 11 (IANS) Divorced women do care for their former spouses, offering support, assistance with daily tasks and management of health needs, says a new study. “Some women reported caregiving as a turning point in relationships with their ex-husbands,” said Teresa Cooney, study author and associate professor at the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences.

“We didn’t expect to find this in a study of ex-wife caregivers. Several women noted that their ex-husbands had ’softened’ during illness and there was less conflict.”

Cooney and Christine Proulx, at the Missouri Department of Human Development and Family Studies, conducted phone interviews with caregivers throughout the U.S, according to a Missouri release.

“A surprising number of the women reported continued involvement with their ex-husbands post-divorce,” said Proulx. They strongly desired to maintain relationships, not with ex-husbands, but typically with their children.

“It appears that having shared children with an ex might facilitate emotional attachment. Women also might try to shield their children from the demands of caregiving.”

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