Hi All. Here’s my dilemma. My wife had a TBI in

Hi All.
Here’s my dilemma. My wife had a TBI in February of 2012, frontal lobe damage; prognosis was not good – at best would have severe cognitive disabilities, at worse would not regain consciousness. She had an amazing recovery, had to learn to walk, talk take of herself but with months of rehab, she is physically back on her feet and appears normal. But, as we caregivers to TBI loved ones know, the personality can be different – in my wife’s case, she is like a strange, rebellious teenager in a 53 year olds woman’s body. Here’s where it gets… weird. As the caregiver, I often have to be like a parent, keeping my wife form harming herself and from making bad choices. Naturally, she gets angry with me and is very un appreciative of anything I have done or am doing for her.
So 2 weeks ago, I get served with divorce papers from a lawyer she hired. This came from out of left fields – it floored me. Of course the lawyer is all about extracting money – wants me to pay her legal fees up front, wants financial records, etc. etc. When I try to talk with my wife about this, she just refers me to her lawyer and says we have not been getting along so that is why she wants a divorce.
I’ve tried talking to the lawyer – wanting to explain to her about my wife’s TBI, and how that changes one’s personality, how she is not herself, tec., but the lawyer will not communicate with me. To say I am hurt after all the support and care I have given during her recovery is an understatement – those that have been in the caregiver position may understand what I am talking about. At first I was thinking O need to stop this thing (I have tried, but the wheels of the american judicial system are against me). Short having a doc declare here mentally incompetent, which is extremely hard to do, I am just out of luck. Thank you American divorce lawyers.
The dilemma: do I take this opportunity to divorce the woman who looks like my wife, but is not the same, or do I try to stop this whole process? My wife is convinced she wants a divorce, and will not be reasoned with. She has no empathy for how this affects me, and no real understanding of how this will affect her, living on her own without me to pick up the pieces. Part of me screams to take the freedom to start over, and part of me says she does not know what she is doing and I should try to find a way to stop the divorce, for her own well-being.
I don’t know what to do right now, am just sharing with my fellow caregivers who might be able to relate.

Hi pacosfather,

I'm really sorry to hear about your situation, this is very difficult and it is sad to think that something like a TBI could change someone so much. Have you tried talking to a lawyer yourself? Perhaps there is something a lawyer could help you with, some advice he could give you on this situation as well. It is a hard choice, my heart goes out to you. If you need to talk I am here for you.


Pacosfather, Tears are running down my face as I read this. I am a TBI survivor from an accident in 1987. I was married for 13 years to the love of my life, owned a very successful swimwear line, had a beautiful life. After the accident I had a migraine for 6 months & stayed in bed crying most of the time. I felt like a teenager, totally out of control. A friend of mine had just moved to LA, CA. She called me & jokingly said "you should leave Dave & move out here with me". OK. When Dave got home from work I told him I was leaving.I left & my life has horrible. I have terrible judgement. I feel like a human pinball. Just pull the lever & away I go, randomly flitting from one thing, no plans, no goals. I didn't know I had TBI until 6 months ago. I got away from my husband & it was the worst mistake of my life. Your wife sounds exactly like I was. I divorced, moved far away from friends & family so I could continue my self destruction. I did every drug there is. I was constantly putting myself in very dangerous situations. I robbed a crack dealer for fun. I didn't even do crack at that time. I was constantly trying to get someone else to kill me. But, for some reason God didn't let that happen. 19 years later I was working at Walmart for $8.20 an hour (I made $250,000 a year with my swimwear line) I saw the expiration date 12/11/whatever (my anniversary) when all of a sudden I started remembering who I used to be. That night I had a dream & it was me the day of the accident running around trying to get my stuff together. Anyway, I started coming out of the "trance" I had been in for 19 years! I was JUST diagnosed with TBI a few months ago & now I know why I was never able to re gain success, because my front lobes are severly damaged. In 1987 TBI was just being discovered & studied.

Do not let your wife go! OMG! If I could talk to her she never ever leave you,
I feel like if I can stop one person from making the same mistake I did. Your wife needs a caregiver to watch over her. People bully & take advantage of people with TBI because we easy targets.

Tried talking with her lawyer about tbi, and how my w’s not able to really understand the consequences of what divorce mean. Big mistake…every stereotype of the blood sucking lawyer is true…I was flabbergasted after being told it was this lawyers intent to take everything I have and will get a restraining order to kick me out of my house. She will not mediate, and intends to settle this in court only.

So today, after much soul searching, I go to hire my own lawyer, too look out for my interests. I have to disconnect all feelings for my wife and her well being, and enter into a costly, emotion driven legal war.

This is almost as sad to me as the day of her accident. It’s like losing your love, twice.

Pray for me.