How Serious Injuries Impact Marriage–and How You Can Protect Yours

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A serious injury can have a dramatic impact on a couple’s relationship. The uninjured spouse may suddenly become a caregiver or breadwinner. The nature of the injuries may make it difficult for the couple to communicate. The couple may not be able to enjoy the activities they previously shared. They may have increased money woes. Both people may be feeling a barrage of emotions: grief, anger, guilt, resentment, all mixed with plenty of love and hope.

These changes in roles, responsibilities, and emotions can put an incredible amount of stress on the relationship. Sadly, some marriages don’t make it. But while there’s no question that dealing with a personal injury can be challenging for a couple, there are steps you can take to protect your marriage.

Discuss Changed Responsibilities and Roles Openly

Your married life has significantly changed. You may be so focused on getting through the day-to-day of your new reality that you have not truly talked about these changes with your spouse. But it’s critical to do so.

Don’t make any assumptions about your spouse’s thoughts and feelings about the shift in roles and responsibilities–ask them. Identify which roles or responsibilities have changed and discuss how each person feels about the new situation. Try to identify areas where the two of you can share responsibilities in some small way, and consider how the uninjured spouse can take breaks from new responsibilities.

When discussing these changes, be sure to show respect for each other’s feelings, do not criticize or judge, and express gratitude for each other’s efforts.

Focus on the Positive

Staying positive is one of the most challenging tasks when your marriage is grappling with a life-changing injury. But keeping sight of all the good things in your life can have enormous beneficial effects on your marriage, life, and maybe even your health.  Try to “reframe” your situation so that you can see any silver linings that may have arisen from the injury. Get motivated by reading up on inspirational people who have overcome–or at least learned to live with–extremely difficult circumstances. Think about things that you and your spouse can do to bring more positivity into the world, or help people in an even more challenging situation.

Find the Right Support System

Spouses need to support each other during this time, but both of you should have an independent support system. Connect with people who understand what you’re going through. Well-meaning loved ones may offer plenty of advice, but unless they’ve been in your position, their perspective may be exactly what you don’t need.

Your medical or mental health provider is likely to know of local or online support groups. Be sure that each of you has your own support group in addition to one for couples. Although the two of you are going through a shared experience, your concerns and frustrations are much different. Keep in mind that you may need to check out a few different groups before finding the one that’s right fit for you.

If you have been injured in an accident and are unsure what could be compensated, contact McCraw Law Group. We can help by explaining your options.