Will they ever be the same again?

My husband and I are 27 and married just 3 months now. Back in August, a month before our wedding, he suffered a ruptured aneurysm and had to have a clipping done on it. He spent 2 weeks in neuro ICU and has since been in PT, OT and speech 3 times a week. Currently, he is done with PT and OT but still does speech. He isn’t able to return to work until January but he was let go from his job when FMLA ran out. Physically he is doing well. He walks with a cane now and is trying to use it less and less at home (still pretty unsteady on his feet). He isn’t able to drive again yet either. He stil gets daily headaches but not as severe as they were. He’s having a lot of sleep issues - mainly due to having flashbacks of the day the aneurysm ruptured, the life flight helicopter ride, going into surgery, etc. We are in counseling right now for this and he has been diagnosed with PTSD.

I’m having a hard time with who he is mentally now. Some days are great and he’s still the funny, laid back, easygoing guy he used to be. Other days he is on edge all day, moody as all get out, and just overly sensitive about everything. It’s to the point where most days I’m annoyed with him and feel like I’m married to a child instead of a grown man. He doesn’t care about his appearance or taking care of himself anymore - he just wants to lay around the house in his pjs or underwear all day, watch tv and eat. He has gained about 50lbs since the surgery. I know he can’t do much exercise due to the difficulty in walking but I wish he’d do something. He doesn’t help me around the house hardly ever anymore. Even when I leave him a list of things to do (he’s asked me to do this so he remembers what needs done) he just sits on the couch all day. He hardly ever wants to go anywhere anymore. He says he’s self conscious about using a cane to walk. He also feels that our families and friends treat him differently now, like he’s made of glass and will break he says. He just seems so unhappy and depressed and moody now, which makes me feel those things too and puts a big strain on our relationship. We are newlyweds and instead of feeling happy and in love, I just feel annoyed and frustrated with him. I’ve tried talking to him, asking him to do things with me out of the house, he always says he’s fine but I know he isn’t. He used to care about things and people. Now it seems like all he ever thinks about is himself! This is not the man I used to know and I’m scared that it’s always going to be this way now. I don’t know what to do. :frowning:

Hi Leeann...and again Welcome...I forgot to tell you...your husband is so early in the healing journey...it can take a year or more to see what his "new normal" truly will be for him...remember too...a lot your husband is trying to process and his brain is still healing...~ Gotcha in my thoughts ~ Colleen

As a guy on your husbands side . Be patient with him And support him . Sounds like he has ptsd . This is what I was diagnosed with . I was struggling with the why me and how am I going to get through this . It's been 15 years since my aneurysm and I am still short tempered and anti social . Just be there for him , support him and don't push him to hard . Let him know you love him . Help him through his struggles . The man you married is still in there he just has problems dealing with the person he is now . You should really get counseling for him and also as a couple .

Thank you both very much for your responses. There’s so many things you can prepare for in life but something like this just knocks you on your butt. I know I was venting a lot in my post but it was mostly because I have nowhere else to turn because no one understands what we are going through (our family and friends anyway). Once he came home from the hospital people just assumed the hard part was over and that we were fine. Honestly, that was the easy part. Getting through the surgery and the 2 weeks in ICU were a cake walk compared to life now. I love my husband more than anything and I just want for him to be okay more than anything. And by okay I mean happy with himself, with our life. When he gets down about this, I try to be there for him and listen to him as best as I can. One thing I always say to him is that I don’t want this to define him or his life forever. I don’t want him to not pursue the dreams and goals he had prior to this out of fear or anything. He keeps saying he’s fine but it just doesn’t seem like it to me. I know when things aren’t right with him and I know there’s things that he doesn’t seem to want to open up about to me.

We just recently started counseling for all of this and I’m really hoping it can help both of us. I’m trying so hard to be the patient, loving, supportive wife he needs and deserves. But I’m human and I make mistakes and some days are better than others for us.

My wife ( ex wife now ) couldn’t deal with the changes in me and our life . We are still friends but it was just to much for her . Don’t let this happen to you . Alway be there for him he may eventually become somewhat normal or like the man you remember but just be prepared if this is who he is now . Help him the best you can .

Hi LeeAnne, I know its hard but yous will get through this…don’t lose hope. Sending you a big hug

I went through the not caring about anything and I put on 50 pounds . I have lost the weight now and started caring again but this took dome time . I started exersizing witch helped a lot . The exersize helped with my leg . Got it working better . This might help if you can get him to do it . He needs to try though . Exersize also helps with depression . If you have to exersize with him . Do it at home if he is self conscious . Getting his leg some exersize will help . Hope things go good for the two of you .

I can so relate to this. Be there for him, patience, like Colleen said… This was me for so many years, (what he is going through) and it takes a toll on the entire family. Stay strong. It was so hard for me and at the same time, my husband was going through his own issues with severe chronic head and face pain with his nuralgia. 4.5 yrs of back and forth to so many doctors trying to find relief for him, this put me in even deeper depression… To the point I needed to get away… And I left him… And I was alone for a year,. He wasn’t understanding where my mind was… Now that I see what we went through, he is still angry with me, and my emotions annoy him. You’re husband I believe needs time and hopefully it doesn’t last as long as it did for me. Everyone is different. Hang in there for him. :slight_smile:

LeeAnne
I too have same things going on with my husband. His rupture was 9/10/11. Our twin daughters had just started Middle School. Most days he is not the man I married or the father that he was before the rupture. He is in counseling weekly, as well as my daughters monthly, I am sure i need to be too, but with taking care of him, the girls, and working full time, no time for me. Every once in a while I will see or hear the man I married, so I continue to try and stay strong and stick it out. This past week because of the holiday has been more diificult than normal for me and the girls. Most of our friends and family also don’t understand, they think because physically he can walk (with a cane) and his speech is so good that, everything is great. Or for those that have figured it out by actually spending time with him or us, find it diificult to be around him or us because of how different he is. He says things that he normally would not, no empathy, and they see my sadness and how he treats our daughters. It is just all a part of the brain trauma, i try and tell myself all of the time. The say a brain injury a hidden disability. It becomes very lonely, i know but you hope that you start to see more and more better days.

Thank you all for the responses, advice and encouragement. I just wanted to give you an update on our progress...

Therapy is going well and it seems to be helping both of us deal with our emotions and concerns about what's happened to my husband. I feel we are slowly becoming our old selves again. my husband is completely done with all of his therapies now - speech, OT and PT. He is doing very well at home, and is hardly using his cane anymore at home, and has even ventured out of the house to go out to dinner or to the store with me without it. I am so proud of him for his hard work and for getting the courage up to want to get out of the house and try to do the things we used to again. He seems happier as well. He's still having a lot of issues with not being able to get a restful night's sleep, but a lot of that has to do with the PTSD and he wakes up frequently having flashbacks of the day he had the rupture and the surgery and everything scary from that day. We are working through that in therapy and are trying some relaxation techniques at home so he can try to get a more peaceful night's sleep. This has certainly not been easy, but we are making progress every day and I'm glad we are doing this together. Some days are a lot harder than others, but I'm giving it my all because I want to be here for him and help him get through this. I want him to know he's not alone.

And I also want to add that while we are making progress, it is still an every day struggle for us. My heart aches for those of you whose spouses can't or don't want to try and work on things and try to have a better quality of life. As I've heard many times on this site - hang in there, it's the aneurysm not the person talking and doing those things. I understand how difficult it is to try and be there for someone who doesn't seem to want your help or support, who says and does horrible things that are very unlike them, who you feel you are growing apart from every day. But don't give up. The person you fell in love with is still there and they still want and need you, but their brain is mixed up now and they maybe can't recognize those feelings or are having trouble showing them now.

Michelle - I hope you are able to find the time to get yourself into counseling as well. I cannot stress enough how much it has helped me cope with my husband's bad days and just all of this in general. I hate to see you down and miserable. You matter too and you need to take care of yourself. If nothing else, do it for your daughters. They need and deserve a happy, healthy mother. <3