The New York Times has an excellent article on the challenges faced by couples after one member survives brain injury.
Carers sometimes say that, after brain injury, their partner is emotionally unresponsive, emotionally unstable or that their ‘personality has changed’.
This can lead to a strain on the relationship that far outlasts the ‘obvious’ effects of the injury and, unfortunately, the problem is not widely recognised.
Mrs. Curtis, 60, was once drawn to her husband’s “sparkle,” she said. After the injury, he “flat-lined” emotionally, and he suffers from depression, anxiety and a lack of motivation.
Her husband sometimes makes erratic decisions, she added, like the time he decided to take a do-it-yourself approach to the plumbing at their home in Coralville, Iowa. “Not a good picture when I got home,” Mrs. Curtis said. “And you can yell at him like a little kid, but he didn’t know any better.”
Once a software programming analyst, Mr. Curtis, 57, has “a lot fewer interests” than he did before the injury, and he estimates he has lost 90 percent of his friends.
“It’s a new you,” he said, “and they just can’t cope with that.”
Link to NYT piece on relationships after brain injury.