In Sickness and in Health: How a Traumatic Injury Can Affect Your Marriage
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By Katherine Webre
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has the power to permanently change a person’s life in minutes. Whether you or your loved one has been in a devastating car accident or has suffered a long fall, TBI is guaranteed to affect everything about your existence, including your relationship.
According to research, severe brain injuries place a tremendous amount of strain on marriages and often result in separation or divorce.
For couples who are committed to honoring their vows to comfort, honor, and keep one another through sickness and in health, understanding how TBI can impact marriages is important. This is the first step to mitigating the challenges and stress that can be most detrimental to these unions.
Spouses Often Feel Like They’re Living With Strangers
Personality and behavioral emotional changes are incredibly common among those living with TBI. In fact, if asked to consider it, many people suffering from TBI might say that their thoughts, actions, and behaviors are often unrecognizable to themselves.
While dealing with the stress and pressure caused by their injuries, many are also living with extreme social anxiety and depression. This can cause them to be:
- Easily frustrated
- Angry and aggressive
All of these changes can make it incredibly difficult for uninjured spouses to act as loving and supporting partners.
The best way to mitigate these challenges is by seeking counseling. Individual counseling, marriage counseling, and grief counseling can all be beneficial at this time.
Unfortunately, few insurance companies are willing to cover the costs of therapy. To learn more about what insurance companies will and will not cover, you can always reach out to your attorney.
According to Las Vegas personal injury attorneys, you may need your attorney’s help to pursue compensation to pay for therapy (source: https://www.bernsteinslaw.com/personal-injury/car-accident-attorney/).
The Financial Impact of TBI Can Be Overwhelming
TBI makes it impossible for victims to return to work. Moreover, given their constant need for care, their partners often struggle to maintain consistent work schedules as well. This comes in addition to extremely high medical bills and the often exorbitant costs of personal care services.
Financial stress can ruin any marriage when couples are not proactive in their efforts to address and resolve it.
Pursuing legal recourse is always the best choice in these situations. Personal injury attorneys can work with couples to determine the full measure of their personal and financial losses, even as they account for the ongoing costs of managing TBI.
Future Plans Will Necessarily Change
You and your partner may have had extravagant plans for your retirement years before a traumatic brain injury was sustained. You may have been planning to have more children, or you might still be raising young children that you already have.
Uninjured parties will have to deal with many parenting responsibilities on their own due to changes in their partners’ behaviors, physical abilities, and cognitive abilities. Both parties will have to accept and grieve the loss of future life plans that are simply no longer feasible.
Couples who are able to make their marriages last following TBI tend to be the most flexible in this respect. They’re able to grieve their losses together and can move on to make new and more abilities-specific plans.
However, when a traumatic brain injury is severe, uninjured partners must often accept that they will spend much of their marriage dealing with the challenges of parenting and life alone.
Caring for someone through sickness as extreme as TBI can be both challenging and lonely. This makes it important for both TBI victims and their spouses to seek out support groups.
The sense of community that these groups provide can be incredibly uplifting. For those dealing with social anxiety, these groups can also provide a comfortable space for sharing challenging emotions and venting.
TBI is among the most devastating auto accident injuries that people can sustain. Sadly, the effects of these injuries extend to the spouses, children, and marriages of those living with TBI.
With diligent efforts to seek legal help, financial support, and needs-specific options in counseling, TBI sufferers and their loved ones can mitigate their losses and begin salvaging their lives.
About the Author
Katherine is a part-time freelance blogger from Phoenix, AZ and a full-time momma of three who likes to keep it real about motherhood both in the real life and in her blog entries. Remote working for busy moms, juggling career and family life, along with tips for new parents with disabled children are just a handful of her favorite topics to blog about. She’s a regular contributor to birthinjurylawyer.com, but you can drop her a line here too.