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Will a brain injury lead to a divorce?

You feel like you have a strong marriage. You and your spouse have been together for 10 years. While it hasn't been perfect -- what marriage is? -- you assume it is going to last.

Then you suffer a brain injury. Maybe it's a fall at work or a car accident. The TBI puts you in the hospital and changes your life.

Are you now more likely to get divorced? You may be. Some studies have put the post-injury divorce rate as high as 78 percent. The issue is that the injury can add additional and unexpected strain to your relationship in a number of ways, and that may prove too much for you and your spouse to handle. Here are four potential ways:

  1. You may act or feel differently. Your spouse may hardly recognize you and may feel like they married a stranger.
  2. You could start acting out because of emotional issues and personality changes. Some potential issues after a brain injury include increased argumentativeness, irritability and depression. You may also have a limited understanding and awareness of these changes yourself.
  3. Your spouse may have to become your caregiver. If you live with constant physical and mental challenges, your spouse now has to take on jobs, roles and responsibilities that used to be yours.
  4. Many people suffer serious financial strain after a brain injury, both due to medical costs and because unemployment rates are quite high.

Any one of these things can be enough to end a marriage. If you and your spouse do head for divorce, make sure you know all of your legal options.

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