When you were injured in a car accident and diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you may have initially believed that the repercussions from the wreck were only physical. As you struggle to recover, however, you are discovering to your distress that your primary relationship with your spouse or significant other has also taken a hard hit.

The fact is that TBIs often adversely affect the survivors’ relationships with spouses, children, friends and others. Read on for some insight into how to understand and manage these changes.

When your intimate relationship is affected

Unexpected changes in relationships can be difficult to manage. You may no longer be capable of earning a living or fulfilling the roles and responsibilities you had as a spouse and a parent. Not only is that incredibly frustrating for you, it can be just as hard for your spouse to accept it as well.

Communication can also be affected

After your brain injury, new personality traits can emerge that are decidedly unwelcome in your relationship with your spouse. A formerly gentle and loving spouse can lash out physically at their wife or husband.

One of the reasons why some TBI patients act out physically toward their loved ones is because they can no longer communicate effectively verbally. That can be both frightening and frustrating, and the lack of impulse control that also often accompanies TBIs can exacerbate the problem.

Your spouse must take on new roles

If you were always the breadwinner in your family, now your spouse may be forced to take on a job just to meet your financial obligations. That can disrupt the apple cart of your marriage on its own.

Conversely, if you were a homemaker who tended to the children’s needs and cooked and cleaned to keep the house running smoothly, you may no longer be able to fulfill this role. Thus, your overworked spouse may have had to step up or hire someone else whom you view as a usurper of your former tasks. Either way, it’s not an ideal situation.

You may no longer be able to be intimate with your partner

This can be a great loss to the marriage, yet your partner may be reluctant to discuss how much it affects him or her. But the resulting rift in your marriage may become a chasm if this isn’t resolved satisfactorily.

Seeking compensation can help

The good news is that some brain injuries resolve completely or at least lessen in severity over time. But you may never again be the person whom you were before the devastating collision.

Seeking compensation through a personal injury claim for damages, including a loss of consortium claim filed by your spouse, is one way to bring much-needed relief to you and your spouse.