When you think of the repercussions of suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you likely think of memory issues, lasting disabilities, personality changes, long-term medical care and things of this nature. All of these are possible, of course, but it is interesting to note that one common consequence of TBIs is divorce.
Researchers have studied this as far back as the 1970s, so there is a lot of data on the books. What they have found is that couples see elevated divorce rates (some as high as 78%) when one person has a TBI. This data clearly establishes a link between TBIs and divorce.
Why does it happen?
There is no easy answer as to why a traumatic brain injury can lead to divorce, as it is different from case to case – and many couples don’t get divorced at all. Some reasons people have cited include:
- Personality changes make them feel like their spouse is a stranger
- Taking care of someone with a TBI becomes too taxing and overwhelming
- There are a lot of financial pressures due to the injury and the treatment
- The person with the TBI is more likely to be unemployed, increasing financial strain
- The person without the TBI no longer feels like a spouse, but like a caregiver or a roommate
Anything that brings on considerable life changes can lead to divorce. Injury is just one example that has been documented over the years. If you find yourself facing divorce for any reason, it is very important to know what legal steps you can take to protect your interests.