Worried about my brother: 4 years ago my brother who... - Headway


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Worried about my brother


4 years ago my brother who was then 44 had a bleed on the brain. He had a 10 hour operation 2 years ago and since then he is unable to walk unaided and his speech is so bad that no one can understand what he is saying. His wife was brilliant at first but he had another bleed recently and is going to have another operation in 6 weeks time. However now she has no feelings for him and wants him out of the house because she says he is ruining her and the children's lives. They are 14 and 12. He is obviously depressed and doesn't want to go out anywhere which she resents and she phones me and my other brothers all the time complaining about him. She says she needs to put the children's happiness first but what about him? I know it must be so difficult caring for someone who is not the man she married but the thought of her putting him into a home or whatever is very upsetting for us as a family and also for him because she has told him that she doesn't want him at home any more. It has totally split them as a family yet you hear so many stories of families who have become closer when tragedy has hit them, so why does she feel like this?

10 Replies

What a bitch didn't she say in sickness and in health when she got married! Yes maybe looking after him is stressful but I glad she's not my. Wife I admit that after when I had my brain bleed I couldn't have done if with out the help from my wife and family members! I truelly hope the roles are never reversed because she will not know how hard it is for a person who survives a brain bleed get a life or she will end of a lonely old women! I hope he gets well no matter what she does!

Its very difficult for anyone to step back and look at a situation like this objectively.

We cannot put ourselves into this womans shoes so we should not judge her.

There will be people - organisations/ counsellors who can be approached for help and guidance to make the best decision for all concerned.

It cannot be a happy environment for those children to live in and their needs have to be considered too.

Your brothers wife should be encouraged to speak to Headway and receive sone guidance from them

I do hope this can be resolved to everyones satisfaction.

Janet x


I am so sorry this has happened to the family. However, as the wife of a bi sufferer I can sympathise with her, it is so hard when something like this happens to someone you loved. The new person can be like a stranger - and someone you would never chose to spend your life with, It is especially difficult where children are involved. If they do split, I hope she will still encourage the children to see him regularly. Just try to support them both as much as you can. Hopefully they can still stay close, even if not living together.

It must be awfully hard for all concerned. The wife, the teenagers, the siblings of and the brain illness sufferer himself. None of the roles are easy.

I note that you mentioned "putting him into a home or something"

Couldn't there be some rota system of the caring role? A few weeks of respite every couple of months may be what is needed, and you siblings may find out how exhausting it is. Having been a single parent of teenagers in the past I can say that that alone is enough for the strongest of us.... Let alone having to deal with a brain injured husband.

I do think the rest of the family could step up to take care of him on a rota basis.

Hope there is a workable solution

It's easy to criticise but hard to no the full story. People do change especially after a bi. He may not be the man she fell in love with.

To stay out of loyalty is not the right decision for all of them.

On a personal level my wife and I split to give her time to try and say goodbye to the old me and be certain she loved the new me.

It also made me realise how much I loved her and it was not just gratitude for her help.

There are only two people who know the full story here and they alone know what is best for their futures.

All you can be is supportive and ease any pain the family may feel at this time.


My husband is divorcing me after 24 years. I developed tbi 21 years ago. My daughter was 18 months at time of accident. My husband has coped all this time however he was involved in the New York shooting episode. He cannot cope any more. I do not understand why. If she wants to leave him it will be better for him to get it over and done with now not later down the line when he is use to her being around. It is heart breaking down the line and makes me realise he has just put up with me not been happy at all. It would of been better for me with my tbi if he has left years ago so I could of began a new life then. Not sure how I am going to start a new life at my age having tbi with physical and mental problems.

Sorry I cannot be more positive. I do have my good family around so make sure he know you are al there for him.

Best wishes


I always sorry about Brian injury. My speech was bad, first no speech. After 4yr I speech is hard. I live on my own and not help. I never meet a people who can understand untill they have a brain injury. I'm very down still, stand up for him. It's not his fault. I hope you find a group who are professional and have the care for him. I hope you and your brother find something after (be careful because the treatment after is not good). I wish you so much luck. X

My first thought was that she is a selfish so-and-so. But maybe I'm being a little uncharitable because we cannot truly know the situation from her point of view. I expect most spouses in this position though would stick by their partner. She loved him enough to marry him and have children. And while I understand a major TBI can 'alter' someone he is still the same person underneath. In any case she shouldn't be moaning to you and your brothers. That isn't fair. Neither is ordering him out of the house, which I assume is the family home. Has she even spoken to her children about how they would feel if their dad left? Something like the breakup of your parents can have a lasting effect (I know since my parents split when I was in my 20s).

Thank you all so much for your replies. I guess nobody can truly know how she feels unless they are in her shoes but I do feel she is inflicting her feelings onto the children. They are both struggling because their Dad is still there phyically but he's not the dad they knew and love and they keep saying that life would be much better if he wasn't there. But that's what their mum has been saying so they are bound to pick up on her feelings. She has always been honest with them - sometimes too honest I feel but again, we can't judge her too harshly because we are not in her shoes. He has just heard he has a date for his operation - July 30th and if she still wants him out of the house my brothers and I will have him to stay with one of us - we are going to ask him what he wants to do. At least that will give her and the children a rest from it all but my fear is that they will find it easier without him and not want him back after the operation which is very sad for him. But the atmosphere at home is so bad that perhaps in the long run it will be better for him to be out of it, I suppose a bit like a divorce - it will be painful at first but perhaps it's the only way forward at the moment. I do feel for her though, she wants to protect her children and as a mother I can sympathise with that but as a sister I feel for my brother who has to live every day without any affection/love from his wife and children.


Selfish I had my stroke and within two years my ex had moved on and had a baby

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