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lissa22

divorce /separation after stroke?? common?

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HI.   I write in pain and grief.  

 

Last year in June my husband had a cerebellar stroke and 40-50% at least was affected. he regained 85-90% of his balance and speech/swallowing is back to nearly 100% and is fortunate to have regained as mcuh as he did. 

 

However since then, HE wants nothing to do with me. Filed for divorce 2 months after stroke and seems to have NO FEELINGS at all for me or the time and 8 yr invested in marriage. Like doesn't bother him to throw it all away.    I was very against at first but now don't wanna live in misery. 

 

CAn you all tell me is separation /divorce after these life-changing events common?   Is there any hope at all? I pray for restoration one day and hang on to maybe a slight glimmer of hpe

 

Grieving in pa

lissa

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I'm so sorry for all of this.

 

I can only offer my view of being the survivor and my interpretation of thinking.

 

I know , after my stroke, I felt guilty for having the stroke and knowing he ( my ex husband.. not stroke related) would be my caregiver. And being a man, it's pride. I can understand that. A stroke can cause personality changes. He MAY not know how to communicate then with you. But yes, this can be common occurrence after a stroke. 

read this ------.>.http://www.healthworkscollective.com/different-same-emotional-changes-after-stroke/ 

 

You aren't alone in this. He is a year after his stroke. In stroke years, that's a moment but to a loved one or caregiver, it's a century. 

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Lissa, I am saddened to learn of your situation.  It is true'; Stroke definitely attacks family relationships, including marriage.  (I don't know about "common" but I believe that there is a very high rate of divorce after Stroke shows up in the marriage.)  I experienced Stroke in 2010.  By 2016, my spouse kicked me out of our home and her life.

As the directly effected spouse, I did not contemplate separation or divorce at no time during my rehabilitation and reconnecting with life.  So, I was not prepared for the "news" of an impending divorce.

 

You mention that you reject living in misery.  I admit that I don't know that side of Stroke, i.e., rejection by the Stroked spouse.  It must be among the worst kind of rejection that a loved one can experience.  But, this is what I believe:

1.  Your spouse may be wrestling with self-esteem issues.  Reduced functionality as a result of Stroke is very difficult to accept no matter the gender.

2.  Your spouse has some idea of what lies ahead for them on the road to continued growth and does not know how to talk it out with you.  Some things just don't return from a brain injury, i.e., intimacy and sexual relations is one of the greatest lost.  A large number of men (young and old) measure their self-worth, in part, according to their "bedroom score".  It matters greatly if the score is below their subjectively established "passing levels".  This can be non-negotiable to most men.

3.  Your spouse believes that they are looking out for YOUR long term future, interest and happiness.  Low sores in the bedroom and low self-esteem equates to UNDESIRABILITY in the mind of an wounded soldier.  You will not abandon or turn your back on your spouse, therefore, they will do what you are unwilling or incapable of doing--LEAVE YOU.  Such a paternalistic know-it-all mistake (in my humble opinion).

4.  There are, probably, a number of other things flowing through your spouse's mind right now.  Some may be hidden from you both.  While talking it out is among the better options to a successful post-Stroke life, doing so requires 2 persons; unfortunately, there are times when there is only 1 person willing and able to follow through.

 

As I said, these are "my beliefs" about the situation you describe.  Here's some things for you to think about:

A. Divorce appears to be inevitable.  However, your presence in your spouse's life (in the future) is not subject to a divorce decree.  Explore with your spouse the possibility of the 2 of you staying in contact after the legal proceedings are concluded.  (This can be an excellent opportunity for you to display your "true colors" to your new "life friend".  It can provide you reasons to rededicate yourself to the relationship you and your spouse started 8 years ago--minus the blunders made along the way towards Stroke.)

B. Share with your spouse what your expectations are for the marriage going forward.  This can help them work through the items listed above, and others yet to be discovered in a reasonable FACT-BASED manner.  Surely, there are parts of each of you that attracted the 2 of you to each other that survived Stroke.  Your spouse might be pleasantly surprised of what shows up during the inventory process.

C. Find a "Reset Button" for the 2 of you.  This need not be to a spot where there is mutuality or commonality exists.  Different "start points" are okay.  What is most important using this method is that the "As-Is" benchmark is the desired performance standard--which changes day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, etc.,  The potential dividends are immeasurable.

 

In closing, Stroke kills relationships, I believe, because the people effected are at a lost for "options" that can overcome the potential long term irreversible adverse situations that can be created by a Stroke incident.  I am offering some suggestions for you to think about (to help jump start your creative juices to identify what might actually work for your family).  If you think your spouse is open to listening to you sharing this reply feel free to do so--do not ask for, or expect his agreement or buy-in; all you are asking for is his agreement to listen.  And, then hopefully something "clicks" that the 2 of you can build on and move forward together--whether as married persons, new life partners, or bestisest of friends for life.  No matter what happens, however, please keep your chin up and continue to support him in whatever ways you can--whether acknowledged verbally by your spouse or not.  There are real benefits to you and for your personal growth and spirit, in doing so that just might help you beat the feelings of misery.

 

 

 

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I am saddened to say yes I do believe divorce is more common than one would expect especially if a stroke happens to one of the spouses. It is a hard time for relationships...they are tested in ways most relationships never are. Counseling could be very beneficial. It is so important that you are on top of your self care. Best wishes.

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On 10/27/2018 at 5:04 PM, poppasmurf said:

Lissa, I am saddened to learn of your situation.  It is true'; Stroke definitely attacks family relationships, including marriage.  (I don't know about "common" but I believe that there is a very high rate of divorce after Stroke shows up in the marriage.)  I experienced Stroke in 2010.  By 2016, my spouse kicked me out of our home and her life.

As the directly effected spouse, I did not contemplate separation or divorce at no time during my rehabilitation and reconnecting with life.  So, I was not prepared for the "news" of an impending divorce.

 

You mention that you reject living in misery.  I admit that I don't know that side of Stroke, i.e., rejection by the Stroked spouse.  It must be among the worst kind of rejection that a loved one can experience.  But, this is what I believe:

1.  Your spouse may be wrestling with self-esteem issues.  Reduced functionality as a result of Stroke is very difficult to accept no matter the gender.

2.  Your spouse has some idea of what lies ahead for them on the road to continued growth and does not know how to talk it out with you.  Some things just don't return from a brain injury, i.e., intimacy and sexual relations is one of the greatest lost.  A large number of men (young and old) measure their self-worth, in part, according to their "bedroom score".  It matters greatly if the score is below their subjectively established "passing levels".  This can be non-negotiable to most men.

3.  Your spouse believes that they are looking out for YOUR long term future, interest and happiness.  Low sores in the bedroom and low self-esteem equates to UNDESIRABILITY in the mind of an wounded soldier.  You will not abandon or turn your back on your spouse, therefore, they will do what you are unwilling or incapable of doing--LEAVE YOU.  Such a paternalistic know-it-all mistake (in my humble opinion).

4.  There are, probably, a number of other things flowing through your spouse's mind right now.  Some may be hidden from you both.  While talking it out is among the better options to a successful post-Stroke life, doing so requires 2 persons; unfortunately, there are times when there is only 1 person willing and able to follow through.

 

As I said, these are "my beliefs" about the situation you describe.  Here's some things for you to think about:

A. Divorce appears to be inevitable.  However, your presence in your spouse's life (in the future) is not subject to a divorce decree.  Explore with your spouse the possibility of the 2 of you staying in contact after the legal proceedings are concluded.  (This can be an excellent opportunity for you to display your "true colors" to your new "life friend".  It can provide you reasons to rededicate yourself to the relationship you and your spouse started 8 years ago--minus the blunders made along the way towards Stroke.)

B. Share with your spouse what your expectations are for the marriage going forward.  This can help them work through the items listed above, and others yet to be discovered in a reasonable FACT-BASED manner.  Surely, there are parts of each of you that attracted the 2 of you to each other that survived Stroke.  Your spouse might be pleasantly surprised of what shows up during the inventory process.

C. Find a "Reset Button" for the 2 of you.  This need not be to a spot where there is mutuality or commonality exists.  Different "start points" are okay.  What is most important using this method is that the "As-Is" benchmark is the desired performance standard--which changes day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, etc.,  The potential dividends are immeasurable.

 

In closing, Stroke kills relationships, I believe, because the people effected are at a lost for "options" that can overcome the potential long term irreversible adverse situations that can be created by a Stroke incident.  I am offering some suggestions for you to think about (to help jump start your creative juices to identify what might actually work for your family).  If you think your spouse is open to listening to you sharing this reply feel free to do so--do not ask for, or expect his agreement or buy-in; all you are asking for is his agreement to listen.  And, then hopefully something "clicks" that the 2 of you can build on and move forward together--whether as married persons, new life partners, or bestisest of friends for life.  No matter what happens, however, please keep your chin up and continue to support him in whatever ways you can--whether acknowledged verbally by your spouse or not.  There are real benefits to you and for your personal growth and spirit, in doing so that just might help you beat the feelings of misery.

 

 

 

Well said pappasmurf, you are a smart man.

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