Life has a way of making changes when least expected, and they can have a profound effect on a long term relationship. One partner might be the sole breadwinner in the relationship, and the other might have all the domestic duties as their area of responsibility. For these couples, their roles have been very defined. When life throws them a challenge, they might find that updating the marriage is easier than learning to cope in their current situation. The breadwinner and domestic partner might find they are changing places, or they could split their responsibilities to form a new working relationship.
Change is often difficult for people in any circumstance, but those who have chosen a specific way of married life can find it truly disrupts their view of the world. Their original agreement was one they both held, but now circumstances have given them a choice. They can survive if they are willing to make changes, or they can sink together while staying with their original agreement. Few of them are willing to sink.
The major change could be thought of as temporary when the domestic spouse is able to find work while the breadwinner tries to carry on at home. Each of them may struggle greatly at first, but at least their partner can give them helpful tips to get through their days. One or both of them could find their new role satisfying as the temporary situation becomes permanent. Some couples have found they function well in these circumstances, but others have been torn apart by them.
Making major life changes due to unexpected challenges can be a time when two people strengthen their bond, but it will take hard work to keep their relationship. Being able to adapt to the new circumstances will be a trial, but an upbeat outlook and a good sense of humour could help them overcome their new circumstances.