Mar 27, 2023

Is it right to leave your partner when dementia has changed them?

porsche divorce
Claudia Huebner and Wolfgang Porsche. [Source: Dominik Bindl/Getty Images]

Billionaire Wolfgang Porsche has filed for divorce from his wife, Claudia Huebner, due to changes in personality from a “dementia-like” illness – is it right or wrong?

Last week, a source allegedly told German news site, Bild, that Ms Huebner, a 74-year-old former German Government advisor, has a “dementia-like illness” that has changed her personality and led to the marriage breakdown.

In America, the world has watched the actor, Bruce Willis, his wife and even his ex-wife grow even closer following his dementia diagnosis last year. 

Ms Huebner has not been able to move independently for months and her mental health has rapidly declined.

She allegedly has four carers who look after her 24 hours a day.

‘’Til death do us part’ is the marital vow – so is it wrong for Mr Porsche to file for divorce when things get tough? 

Dementia Australia has researched the impact of dementia on intimate relationships, and it is common for partners to fall out of love with someone as they change because of the condition. 

“Dementia impacts significantly on emotional intimacy. Alzheimer’s Europe observes carers can feel that the heart of the relationship is lost and they have lost their life companion and confidante, they found

As a result of communication difficulties and memory loss it can become increasingly difficult to share experiences and memories.”

Given these changes, partners who are also carers for their significant other may need to consider whether they want to remain in that relationship and whether their caring duties are sustainable. 

It is hard to know for sure what happened in the Porsche- Huebner marriage, but German news outlets have already speculated that Mr Porsche is already starting to move on, having spent some time with 59-year-old former model, Gabriela Prinzessin zu Leiningen.

Mr Porsche was born in Austria and is the youngest son of Ferry Porsche, who founded the famous sports car brand in 1930.

The Porsche family’s total assets is estimated to be worth around $34 billion.

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