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How a severe TBI can affect your marital relationship

When your spouse is in a severe traffic or work accident, your primary concern immediately following the incident is your beloved’s medical care and recovery. Great relief and happiness usually come when your spouse leaves the hospital and comes home.

In some cases, life goes on after that. In others, injury is permanent and can lead to a lasting lifestyle change for your family. One of those circumstances is sustaining a severe traumatic brain injury. Long-term changes to physical, mental and emotional health ensue, which, in turn, affect your marriage in the following ways.


One of the biggest changes in your relationship is adding the role of caregiver. Even if you employ in-home assistance, you may still need to provide care for your spouse in ways you never had to before. Caregiving often leads to burnout and can even sow seeds of resentment, including in your spouse due to the increased dependence on you. It is important to ask for help and take breaks when needed to limit the effects of stress.

Daily responsibilities

With your spouse not at full physical and mental capacity, you may have to take on his or her former duties, such as

  • Working full-time
  • Managing finances
  • Caring for children

It can help to still include your spouse as much as possible in making decisions and ask for his or her advice. Patience and compassion are essential in minimizing criticism that hurts the relationship.


You may find it more difficult to connect with your spouse with so much on your plate and your spouse not the same as before. This can be especially challenging if your spouse suffered dramatic cognitive and behavioral changes. Communication and physical intimacy are often obstacles. Seeing a marriage therapist may be beneficial.


All these changes may put a strain on finances. This is why it is imperative to seek all avenues of restitution for the accident. One less worry can make a significant difference.