After traumatic brain injury (TBI), many couples find that their relationship with each other changes dramatically.
These changes have led many spouses to say they feel like they are “married to a stranger.” The intimate partners of survivors may have new concerns or fears related to both the incident that caused the injury and the new behavior traits of the survivor.
Also, partners often change the focus in their lives in order to manage the multiple challenges that arise for their family after an injury.
This means that everyone in the family is involved in learning new skills and taking on new jobs.
Back to top In all families, people take on roles that often define how they behave.
These changes in the survivor’s personality and the life focus of both partners often result in a feeling that partners do not know what to expect from one another.
Uncertainty can increase stress and anxiety within the home.
Many people think only of talking when they hear the word “communication,” but couples are actually communicating through gestures, facial expressions, emotional reactions, and physical interactions as well.
In studies on relationships after brain injury, communication is often reported as the biggest change people notice.
For example, a husband may make decisions about child care that his wife usually makes, or a wife may calm the family when everyone is upset, although that is something her husband has always done.
Back to top Communication is the foundation of a relationship.
These groups are an excellent option when in-person groups are either too far away or when transportation is a challenge.