Two of the most significant challenges a couple faces after one sustains a traumatic brain injury are financial and medical. However, those who have a spouse with a brain injury know how much it can tax a marriage. Couples might need to spend the rest of their lives working on their relationship, and it’s crucial that they know they are not alone.
How Do Brain Injuries Change Marriages?
A brain injury survivor might exhibit a drastic change in behavior and seem like a different person after their brain injury. To work through these problems, both spouses must identify changes and discuss how they’ll work through it together.
After a brain injury, survivors might show any of the following:
- A lack of emotion
- Inappropriate behavior
Brain injuries can change a spouse’s role in a marriage drastically. Suddenly, the spouse of an injured person might find themselves with all the responsibilities that their spouse formerly had. While many couples hope that these changes are temporary, it’s important that they know the changes might be permanent. Whether changes are drastic or minor, both people should be prepared to support the other in any way possible.
To adjust to role changes, couples should do the following:
- Learn how each other will operate in their new roles through talking about them
- Understand that there will be a period of adjustment for both people
- Avoid criticizing each other
- Remember that both people are feeling scared and uncertain about the future
Dealing with Friends & Family After a Brain Injury
Asking how to cope with a spouse’s brain injury is normal, and no one should feel guilty for seeking help from loved ones. However, some friends and family might fail to understand the situation and offer frustrating or impractical advice. It’s critical to remember that they might not understand the intricacies of your spouse’s injury or recovery. To fix this, be open with your family and friends about what your spouse needs for recovery. This will help them understand more about you and your spouse’s situation and will help them work with both of you positively. Doing so will give both of you a much-needed support system consisting of friends and family.
Changes in Intimacy
Couples might fear divorce after a brain injury, especially if one changes their intimacy. Brain injuries impact sexual relationships because of their wide range of side effects and challenges.
Brain injuries might change sexual relationships because of the following:
- Changed self-confidence because of appearance
- Different hormone levels
- A change in roles between partners
- Different post-injury sexual interests
- A change in physical functions caused by the brain injury
While a couple’s intimacy might be one of the most challenging things for them to talk about, discussing it can save their relationship. Reaching out to a therapist or finding a support group of couples going through the same way can be a great way of working through sexual problems after a brain injury. Additionally, couples might try scheduling date nights to make sure they’re continuing to strengthen their bond as a couple; it can be useful for couples to use date nights as a way of getting to know each other all over again.
If you or your spouse are suffering after a traumatic brain injury, call HHR today at (888) 498-3023. Our attorneys help people find answers and the care they need after brain injuries change their lives.