Monday, August 16, 2010

Brain Injury and Marriage: Education, Understanding and Knowledge is the Key

Good Tuesday to all. Here we meet again. Hope everybody is doing well today.
Today I will be talking about marriage after a Traumatic Brain Injury. I have been married for 10 years and the relationship with my wife gets better with every second that goes by. She is the biggest blessing in my life. Her love, care, and understanding, among many other things make her the perfect wife for me. So how have we managed to keep living our life together after me having a Brain Injury? All I express here is based on my personal experience.
First of all, Roxana and I we have always communicated very well since before the injury. We have no secrets in between us. We talk about anything at any given time, even when we know it will make the other upset. We have gotten educated on Traumatic Brain Injury together and we share our thoughts about it openly. Having the knowledge about this condition brings peace to each other because it prepares us on what to expect. The Brain Injury is as hard for her as it is for me. She gets sad at times when she sees me struggling with the things that come with the injury. She says I am a totally different man, some changes good and some not as good. She has lived our vows when we got married “in sickness and in health”, her support to me has been tremendous.
Suffering from a Brain Injury brought such an abrupt change in our lives. A change that if not properly managed by us as a couple, could have potentially damaged our relationship permanently. It is those changes that have to potential to bring out anger in both parts. It takes knowledge and guidance to help understand the condition. I learned that anger was one of the problems I was going to be facing. The anger I experienced was because of the frustration I had in me. I got educated on anger management. I never took it out on Roxana, even when anger is there. I use other coping mechanisms to deal with it. But since the frustration reflects on our emotions, she can tell when I am upset. Please know that my anger is more like an upset feeling. Roxana always understood what I am going through. The memory, concentration, and attention deficit were things that she would notice. Thanks to her education on the condition she always knows that if I space out while she’s talking to me or if I can’t follow a conversation or if I forget something, it’s not because of her but instead because of the injury. Things like that if the couple is not educated on it might potentially damage the relationship permanently. Like Roxana does, it cannot be taken personal. There are many areas the injury affects like communication, responsibility, sexuality, roles within the household, among many others. The couple has to learn how to manage all without being personally offended.
Like Roxana says I am not the same man she married. All result of the brain injury. I do remember I promised when we got married that I would take care of her no matter what. I would be very painful for me to feel that she does not love me anymore. Every day I make my wife fall in love with me. I have details for her that I know that will make her fall in love all over again. Those details are not big or expensive things. I know she likes coffee, so every morning when I wake up I make coffee for her the way she likes it, and bring it to bed. Love is in the little things.
I know there are a few things left out kind of unexplained in this post. I will cover them In more detail in future postings.
My message to you today is: Communicate with your partner, even if you know he/she will get upset. Be open. Get educated as a couple. Your partner is a vital element of you support. NEVER, NEVER TAKE IT OUT ON YOUR SPOUSE!!! They are not at fault for what happened. Learn how to manage your condition. And remember: IT WILL ALL GET BETTER.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for recognizing the sacrifices. It would not be the same or easy at all if it is not because of your determination, kindness and love. It had been difficult but like you always say "It will all get better" and we will do this TOGETHER as ONE TEAM. I Love You!

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