After suffering from a moderate or severe head injury – or a mild but complicated one – you will likely see many changes in your life. Some of them will come and go in a few weeks or months, while others may last for years or even remain with you forever.
These changes can affect every area of your life as well, including your interpersonal relationships.
Relocation of responsibilities
The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center takes a look at the impact of head injuries on your relationships. Due to the many changes your life will undergo during the post-injury and healing stages, you can expect your role in the relationship to change, as well as how much responsibility you handle.
It is up to the recovering person (you) to focus on health and wellness in this time. This may last for months or even years, and some responsibilities end up permanently reallocated to your significant other or the family members you live with due to an inability to handle them. The adjustment to new responsibilities or loss of old ones can cause stress for both parties.
A change in your roles
Your role may also change, especially in a relationship with a significant other. In many relationships, each partner will often play a certain role, such as homemaker or bread-winner. Of course, a brain injury will make it difficult to keep up with your role’s tasks. Partners going through changes in life phases – i.e. recently married, recently having a first child, or recently an empty nester – will have a harder time adjusting to role changes in many cases.
These new changes and adjustments will take some getting used to and come with a fair amount of anxiety and tension in the meantime. You will want to do what you can to avoid this developing into a marital-threatening problem.