A family dealing with relationship issues in a counselling therapy session

How Concussions Affect Relationships Between Couples

By | November 2nd, 2020

The symptoms of concussion and post-concussion syndrome can make many simple day-to-day tasks difficult to manage. Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and fatigue can prevent us from being able to complete tasks that help contribute to the functioning of our household. This can put strain on the relationships with those who live with us as other members of our household feel the pressure of taking on additional duties around the house. Other symptoms such as irritability, depression and anxiety can lead to changes in our personality making it difficult to relate to each other like we used. When we can no longer be the person we used to be, this can cause strain on our relationships with people who are close to us and loved us for who we were. 

Four top stressors in a relationship are: trauma, parenting, money and sex.  All of these stressors can present issues in your relationship with your partner as the result of a concussion. 

The traumatic incident which caused the injury can cause a ripple effect leading to challenges in parenting, money and sex.

Your partner may initially be helpful, understanding and caring soon after the incident. However if symptoms persist longer than the expected time of healing, you may notice changes in how your partner is supporting you.  After an injury, often the focus of a couple becomes survival and just getting by day-to-day.  It is important to be a little more gentle and empathic with each other as you navigate the challenges of recovery. 

After a mild traumatic brain injury, the focus is often on the injured person recovering as soon as possible so that they can get back to being the person they used to be. However, it is often important for family members to seek out support for themselves. What kind of support is out there? It can be as simple as joining a Facebook support group. Perhaps even some one-on-one counselling can help you switch some of the focus to your needs and how you can take care of yourself as the caregiver. It’s important to understand that concussions and brain injuries affect everyone in a relationship and addressing this fact is an important part of any recovery plan.