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Hi my hubby bashed his head 7 wks ago, didn't pass out just cut his head. 3 days later calls me to say he needs space not sure if he loves

Me any more! Massive shock as we were planning out summer trips away & planning to buy a new caravan & remodel our bathroom the week before he hit his head!!

He's moved out of the house to get his 'space' calls me texts me, says he cares for me, wants to stay friends as we are soul mates but feels completely empty of feelings for me! There is just nothing there. I tried to explain that caring is love! ( he also said he doesn't know how he feels about my daughter who he's live with for 7 yrs!)

Finally got him to go back to the doctors a as he has headaches everyday who diagnosed PCS which fits with everything he has being saying. I was just wondering if this empty feeling will go soon or have I lost him forever? Knowing more about PCS has helped me understand but isn't really helping with the uncertainty. I'm willing to fight for our marriage & get all the help needed I just need to convince him that the feelings will hopefully come back.

Thanks for reading.

21 Replies

This lack of empathy/emotion is so common after head injury. I've read many accounts from members here about their loss of emotional connection with just about everyone after a TBI.

And the common theme amongst them is the help they received from CBT and how it saved their relationships. It could be a long haul, but you sound like you're prepared for that so long as there's hope for a reconciliation. Is it possible for you to persuade your husband to seek a referral for therapy ?

Cat x


Thank you for your response. What its CBT? Sorry new to this! I've managed to get him to agree to talking to a Counseller as he is only now just believing that it is to do with the PCS. It's taken me weeks to get him to see that his actions don't match what he says verbally. We are trying to spend time together as my number one priority is getting him better & our marriage but he's saying as he feels empty towards me I'm not a priority! It's so frustrating!

I understand the symptoms can last for a long time & reading on here it does seem to be a mild case as he's worked most days since it happened so that at least is a small mercy.

Does the lack of empathy wear off sooner than other symptoms? I'm just worried he'll push me away completely before he's better. It's all on his terms at the moment as I don't want to push him to hard that it annoys him more than it is at the moment!


I am sorry to hear what you are going through. CBT is cognitive behavioural therapy - a type of counselling that is being used a lot in the NHS - helps to deal with changing the "here and now" attitudes that influence behaviour. I know people who have found it helpful - but of course like any therapy depends on the therapist and if enough sessions are funded to be effective.


CBT is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. But apparently it's important to seek treatment from a qualified therapist as there are lots of people practising under the guise of CBT who are not qualified and are therefore delivering only a sort of 'watered down' version.

The emptiness TBI sufferers experience isn't so much a curable symptom as a condition which a therapist can teach the sufferer to recognise and manipulate to serve their best interests and those of their families.

The change of personality which so often follows a head injury is invariably shocking for partners & other family members to deal with and it will take a great deal of mental acrobatics to reach eventual acceptance. Acceptance really is the 'holy grail' for all parties because, although it's the beginning of a whole new way of life for all concerned, it's the point where understanding and harmony can start to be rebuilt.

You will need to be strong and probably put your emotions on the back burner for a while. But others do come through this, and you can too. My personality has changed so much (I'm told) since a brain haemorrhage two years ago but we (family) have survived the fall-out with patience and determination. It's hard, but do-able (and worth it) and if it all feels overwhelming at times, please come here and talk about how you're feeling and someone will always be here to listen, and maybe offer advice from their own experience.

Please stay in touch. Love Cat x


PS I need to emphasise how this is very early days in terms of recovery and that the brain has some surprising capabilities for rehabilitation.



He is only just realising it is part of the head trauma. He was adamant that he just didn't love me anymore. Says he feels empty of feelings. He was working away & chose not to come home when he should have.

The doctor confirmed that is is most likely the PCS. But he hasn't really read that much about it really. I'm sending him things I find & Headway have emailed some info that I've forwarded to him it's just trying to get him to see that his actions are the opposite of what he's saying.

He's agreed that counselling could help him figure everything but living ins small town we have a couple of counsellors & they said that they wouldn't be able to help him as they haven't dealt with head injuries before.

I'm trying to get him to spend time with me to show he does still love me but I feel like I'm fighting a loosing battle as I just end up crying again when he leaves.


I know it's really hard to stand back, but your husband probably hasn't had time yet to process his feelings. They're probably feelings he doesn't even understand himself because head injury can cause a significant personality change which is distressing for partners/familiars but equally so for the person themselves.

I think it would be beneficial for you to get some professional advice from the Headway helpline on 0808 800 2244.

Phone them tomorrow Suze; they have helped so many people who aren't sure where to turn, and it could be the starting point for you and your husband to begin understanding the issues involved in brain injury e.g. personality changes, memory problems and so much more.

It's free to call and you'll be treated with patience and sympathy. Let us know how you get on. Cat x


I will I have been thinking about calling it but thinking that it's probably him that needs to call.


As a partner & potential carer, you are just as entitled to help and information as your husband. Often the injured one is oblivious to many of the issues and it's the partner who has to make sense of a new and very strange situation so they need every bit of available help. None of us are equipped to deal with such sudden and shocking events. Make the call Suze, there's nothing to lose but, potentially, so much to gain. xx


What's PCS?


Post concussion syndrome


Thanks Suze; never heard of it before. Hope your husband makes a good recovery.


Nor had I until 4wks ago. :(


Suze, I hope you have got someone to give you some support by now. Even people with 'mild' head injury can be in a brain fog stage for weeks where nothing makes sense in a crazy world. I couldn't understand why my daughter was so worried about me and I just tried to carry on as normal. Two years down the line I can still say or do hurtful things without realizing I've upset someone or not put enough effort into their birthday or forgotten my wedding anniversary. This site is good for advice about problems.


Hi a little update.

My hubby has been to the doctor & asked for a referral to see a neuro psycologist...... While we are waiting for that to come through we went to a marriage counselling session............ So he can't remember any reason why he doesn't love me.... Can't think of any time that he thought about leaving before he hit his head... But he still doesn't believe that it is fully to do with the head injury!!! He won't believe until he gets a proper diagnosis from a specialist. He said afterwards that he wished I'd just leave it & let it go. I asked what would happen then when he got his feelings back & he said that would just be tough s**t. He has told a few of his pals who have all just offered him a place to sleep & said he has to follow his thoughts!!! Nobody other than me is trying to get him to see the that he isn't helping himself!

I'm trying really hard to keep him coming to spend time with me & he is coming a couple times a week & when we are together it's mostly ok I'm really worried that he will just decide it's bit worth the work & decide to finish the relationship. I know we are relatively early days but I am absolutely terrified that he won't come back to me.


Suze, I'm glad to hear about the neuropsychology referral. Hopefully, in time, you'll both benefit from the clarification it should bring and begin to find a way back to some kind of harmony. But I doubt things will ever go back to the way they were so perhaps you need to be thinking in terms of a new start.

I know you're feeling overwhelmed with the upheaval between you, and fearful for the future, but gradually I believe you'll adapt to this challenge if you can push your way through the fear and reach a level of acceptance.

Acceptance seems to be the biggest hurdle for just about everyone, whether injured or partners/carers, because it involves change and disrupts our safe routine. But with head injury the change has already taken place so trying to hang onto the past is futile.

You'll need strength and patience Suze which I hope you can find from somewhere. And as much support as possible. (Headway ?)

Best wishes...........keep posting. xx


Hello, I dont' know that I can help, but I can share. My husband had a bang on the head. A big one, but nothing dramatic, we went to the hospital and he got sent home. It was last August. It's changed him too - we are going to the doctors on May 8th to try and get a referral, because I'm hoping he can 'learn' some awareness of how I might be feeling in situations.

It seems small compared to the struggles some people face after a brain injury, but I too am struggling - if you look at my posts (if you can) he went to France for a week and never phoned me when he broke his mobile. Turns out every phone box he tried wouldn't work (for that read he no longer has the capacity to work out how to work them!) - I didn't know if I was now married to a completely selfish so and so, or if the brain injury had altered him so much.

When he came back I started looking at what he did more - so I'm not leaving :) - but I'm afraid we have more than shades of what you are going through.

The hardest thing is that he says he's 'fine' and just can't see it. 'Everyone forgets things' or 'I was focussing on what I was doing' etc etc - there is always an excuse.

I was stood in a room with him the other day and he was moving some furniture - there were a pair of hiking boots in his way to put it down, so he picked them up and threw them across the room - and hit me. At that point he didn't even know I was there, it hurt me, but he never said sorry, he was just furious that they were in his way. They were his, he put them there, and he picked up the furniture without checking there was space to put it down when he arrived at his destination.

I know it doesn't compare - but hopefully that as an example can show you that he is no longer a caring man on the surface - I live with a man who doesn't even know I'm in the room a lot of the time - and says he's fine if I challenge that.

It's hard.

I hang onto the fact that this is 'sickness' - I promised to be the one that was there if anything like this happened to him, no one else, it was me who took the decision and made the vows to walk shoulder to shoulder with him no matter what. Of course, you don't expect this when you sign up - but then who does. I know had things been reversed he'd have done his best for me.

So, we are off the doctors, and then hopefully off to a neuropsychologist.

To be honest, if all I get is a professional say to him 'you may appear unreasonable at times to her, it's your brain injury' then I'll be happy, because at least on those occasions I can SAY 'that is an unreasonable thing' and he MAY review his behaviour.

On the up side I've almost managed to make him stop swearing every fourth word :) It was getting embarrassing going out!

Hang in there, phone the helpline then I don't have to feel so bad for keep bothering them - at least there are at least two of us...... and keep us informed? You aren't alone you know - it's hard. I spent one afternoon working out whether I would get the keep the car, or if he'd take it with him. I gave myself a mental kick and bucked up - but I was working on the exit plan.

last weekend we rowed about his son (he lives with us) - because I wanted OH to PARENT the damned boy (he didn't do a lot of it before to be honest, but he does none now) - and he just kept saying 'but what do you want me to do' - I had to spell out what he had to say, how he had to behave to him. I stood in our garden shed and cried at the responsibility I've been left with.

Your husband needs you to love him now - I believe from your posts it's as a result of the head injury - it isn't something that he was already thinking, it isn't something this made him realise he had to do now - my husband has more than shades of this 'not feeling' you are describing. Although he also sometimes has overwhelming feeling. But you are doing the right thing for your marriage, the right thing for your husband, and hopefully, eventually, the right thing for yourself.

It's hard though huh?


So sorry you're still having an uphill struggle Corris and wish you all the very best in this tough challenge. I hope your husband gets the help you both deserve, and soon. xx


I hope all goes well with your family. We're rooting for you!


hi. yes as other says it is very early days, but it was a great shock for me when I found this out. It hard to accept brain injury is very slow. I had a bleed on on9 July 2011. yes it does change you, your personality becomes heightened. your husband is still probably in shock, I.e called the numb/denial stage. it is a very confusing time. Men tend to be angry and show lack of empathy, women tend to cry, but I did become very angry. get help now from a neurophysiologist. Unfortunately, nobody told us about this and 2 1/2 after another meltdown My partners and step daughters who lived with me for 5 years, have had enough. he said he would never give up, but he has. I guess what I am trying to say is get the help now before the ball of knitting problems gets bigger. I know it's hard but try to step back from his behaviour. if you push him hewill become very insular and not want to visit. it's hard but he needs space. he needs to come to terms with what has happened to him and his brain is not connecting the same way. yes as you say contact headway, get the referral to neurophysiologist, and you will receive support from Headway to support you and your daughter. They really are the people who understand. a headway staff said to me once with a head injury it gives the ripple effect in the pond, chuck the stone in the pond and the effect of brain injury not only affects the victim but family and friends. You have the want to stick with it so you will give it your best shot, and you cannot say you didn't try. Good luck and be strong. he is a very lucky man, he is just in the fog of brain injury now and does not realise it.


Hi, this post made me burst into tears reading it! I'm so sorry that this has happen to you. I know how you are feeling.

It was 11wks yesterday that he moved out so just over 11wks that he hit his head.

He said he would take some time off work ( we have our own business & he is really busy) to spend some time with us then said he couldn't as was too busy but them spent 2 days & nights out drinking with strangers! He then came here last night we went out for dinner & came home watched a movie with my daughter, he was actually really nice to her ( used to get quite annoyed & hardly spoke to her as they were both pretty tired when he got home from work) said he wants to keep in touch with her as he doesn't see his own kids ( messy split) wanted to stay in get life. I love this as I was worried he wouldn't want to. Down side he saying he wants to be friends with me wants to stay in my life as we've been best friends for 7yrs. I've been hoping & preying that he will miraculously wake up & realise he loves me as suddenly as he realised he didn't! He's saying there still no feelings there for me & also now no chemistry. I'm finding it hard to try have nice happy conversations when a lot of the things we talked about I can't say now ( things we were planning in the future, trips, holidays, events, ect are all never going to happen!)

He is still waiting for a neuro referral from the doctors, but seems to have decided it's over properly I am absolutely heartbroken. I can't believe my marriage is over due to small bump to the head I could understand if it was a major car crash or something but it was a bump & cut to his head!!!

My next door neighbour said she'd seen him & he seemed really different but his 'friends' haven't seen that much of a change!!!! One of his friends told me on Friday that he'd only told him that day the real reason he left me. So most people don't seem to know the truth. I have said I won't give up on us but seem to be fighting for this on my own. I'm not sure how the headway helpline can help in this situation as he seems to think he knows its over.


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