Relationships after TBI – the road back

Coming to terms can be difficult

Here’s something a reader just shared — a web page full of informational videos on Relationships after TBI from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center – a site which shares information on TBI and how to address and recover from it.

The featured video is a great one – about a couple who have made tremendous progress since the husband’s TBI. It’s truly inspirational to see them, and it’s clear that things haven’t been a bed of roses for them.

One of the great things about this is that there’s actually work being done on helping couples to handle the changes and challenges after TBI. It’s absolutely true that TBI affects everyone, not just the survivor, and having people out there who can share the information and help others to do something meaningful with it, is very heartening.

The road is long, but it can be so rewarding
The road is long, but it can be so rewarding

It’s also very heartening when I see and hear stories about spouses who step up and really work at things, instead of just giving up. This varies from person to person, of course, and everyone’s resilience level is different, but TBI doesn’t have to be a death sentence for marriage.

I encourage you to check out the videos at the MSKTC

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

4 thoughts on “Relationships after TBI – the road back”

  1. Excellent video! I haven’t found much when the family and spouse remain dependent upon the TBI survivor. This occurs more often than we might believe. There need to be measures when dependents are disabled i.e.: cerebral palsy and the primary caregiver is the TBI survivor. A fresh look at the spouse may identify significant medical issues that have been overlooked.

    Even though it’s a difficult challenge, it’s not impossible. All the stress continues to become the TBI survivors problems from personal relationships to federal and state income taxes. It certainly keeps the brain active! Help is crucial to help others within the immediate family.

    Take care and stay safe.


  2. Thanks – yes, it’s almost like the folks who do the research and set up the rehab have a bit of overwhelm, when it comes to dealing with boots-on-the-ground, everyday TBI survival issues. It’s not just about the injury, anymore. It’s about the chain reaction of events that get fired by TBI, which translate into so much more pain and suffering down the line.

    Watching the video, I can see how much it can help for family members – especially spouses – to be educated up front about what TBI can do to a person, even (especially) in the small ways. Getting good education up front can be so key. And yet it happens so rarely – if at all.

    So, it’s up to us. As usual.



  3. This can be a very tough situation. The thing that helped me, was to discuss the things I was planning to do, and then follow up afterwards to see how they went… and get some help with changing some of the things that went wrong and prevented me from doing what I intended to do.

    It can be a fine line, because you don’t want to make a person angry, which just makes it harder. But you also don’t want to let them just keep going on doing things that are holding them back.

    Good luck to you and your husband!


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