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Woman recovering from brain injury realizes she isn't in love with 'whiny' husband anymore. AITA? UPDATED

Woman recovering from brain injury realizes she isn't in love with 'whiny' husband anymore. AITA? UPDATED


"WIBTA for telling my husband I’m not in love with him anymore after I had a brain injury?"

Long story short, I was in a car accident. The other driver did a hit and run. Sentencing is taking a lot longer than I expected but my lawyer said he’s probably going to have to do a lot of community service.

I ended up needing physical therapy. I had a brain injury and my neuro said that I would have some challenges. I am in PT. One of the things they said I would face is differences in mood and behavior. I haven’t been moodier. In fact my friends and family say I’m basically the same as before but a little slow to get things.

But the thing is, I don’t love my husband anymore. He feels like a stranger to me. It’s not like I’m amnesiac but I don’t feel connected to the memories I have with him. I don’t know why I loved him so much. Yes, he’s attractive but he’s boring and expects me to worship him. He’s also obnoxious and self obsessed. I feel like I was the one dragging the relationship in the past.

I felt like past me was way more in love with him than he was with me. And objectively I don’t know why I should care about him. I don’t want to go on dates with him or hang around or do whatever I used to do with him. I’ve told him I feel a bit disconnected with my memories and past emotions, but I haven’t told him that I don’t love him anymore.

I’ve talked about it with a psychiatrist and she said this wasn’t uncommon among patients. I told my friend and she insisted I should tell him how I feel honestly. Honestly I may not like my husband but I feel like that would be cruel. WIBTA for telling my husband I don’t love him after my TBI?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Petefriend86 said:

NTA, however.... I'd heavily advise to phrase this exactly how it is: brain damage. "I'm having trouble connecting to our intimacy. I don't feel it like I know I should."

CalicoGrace72 said:

I’ve got medically induced brain damage, it has had a similar effect on me in terms of changing relationships and leaving me alienated from my own memories. I’m different now, and it’s not going back to the way it was before. It’s hard to move on from relationships, especially romantic ones, but sometimes it just doesn’t work anymore. Maybe you can work it out if he makes some changes, but your earlier feelings probably won’t return on their own. I’m around if you want to talk to someone about it.

Working-Librarian-39 said:

NTA. It doesn't even sound like you like him, so let him find someone who does.

elvdgo said:

NTA Maybe tell him with your doctor and psychiatrist present?

eurotrash4eva said:

YWBTA for saying it so starkly. I'd also give it time until you're (hopefully) more recovered. If you still feel the same way, maybe then gently break it to him that you're "not the same person" as you were before the accident and that your feelings for him have changed. I'm sure he's feeling some disorientation too to be honest. If y'all were very intimate before, then he must notice your disconnection.

Aggravating_Bit8617 said:

NTA I think you're brave to even admit your feelings, or lack thereof, to your husband. Are you healed enough to be able to live alone and support yourself? If so, maybe you can consider a separation and counseling to see if you guys can reconnect. Maybe so, maybe not, but that at least might reduce any guilt for leaving the relationship.


I talked with my husband. I don’t want to hurt his feelings and I wanted to fall back in love with him. I sat him down and told him that I felt disconnected from my own emotions and past with him, that my memories with him like I was relieving a movie, not my own life.

He guessed that I wasn’t in love with him and he sobbed and begged me not to leave him. It was heartbreaking and I reassured him that I wasn’t going anywhere, I wanted to build up my emotions again and reconnect with my past memories about him. So we decided I would go back to the doctors to figure out how I can do that and in the meantime, we would go on dates where he was trying to “win me over” again.

Some have asked me what kind of behaviors I didn’t like. When I was in the hospital he would always crawl into bed and cram me into the corner. At our date, he talked through the entire movie and had his flash on when he was taking pictures of me. I didn’t ask him to take pictures, he just likes taking ugly pictures of me.

He complains a lot. When we were at the restaurant, he kept complaining about the food he ordered to the waiter. He pokes me a lot. He also whines. And he made me eat dessert even if I don’t want to. And he never stops talking.

But I focused on the bigger things. He’s very attentive and affectionate towards me, he likes to buy me little gifts that he makes me try, and he was at my side the entire time even if he did get kicked out by the nurses for annoying them. I know I can rely on him to be there for me which is the most important thing.

At the end of the date, we actually slept together for the first time since my accident which was less than a year ago but it had been a couple months since I was cleared to for intimacy. We hadn’t really been romantic and intimate, so it really did feel like I was with an annoying best friend but I wanted to fall back in love with him. We used to be frequently intimate before my accident.

This entire paragraph is very embarrassing to write so please skip if you are like me and easily embarrassed by PDA. He’s actually incredible and I swear I fell back in love with him for a few seconds. I honestly am much more inclined to ignore all of his annoying habits or even find them cute. We slept together in the morning too and the second day of dating went a lot better.

I’m not fully in love with him yet and I want to reforge the deeper connection because I know I loved him for a lot more and I do not want my affection for him resting solely on one thing. I’ve started a journal of all the things I like and love about him. Hopefully it gets filled soon.

Here's what top commenters had to say after the update:

BriefAssociation8436 said:

He might be annoying, but man…he’s one hell of a trooper. That man sure loves you. I’m glad you’re trying. I hope you guys can get the old spark back fully. Keep being very open and honest. Communicate ALL of your feelings. It can’t hurt, and it likely will help for him to know everything. Best of luck to you both. I hope to see an even better update in the future.

foffl said:

Here's the thing. Everything you mentioned about him that really bothers you is all stuff that you'd never notice during the dating and courtship phase, and they're all things people sort of hide during those early days. The part where you're getting to know each other and all that happens when you're falling in love. These things you don't like, they're all a part of the man you love.

But you forgot them all and are experiencing them fresh as if they are new. And you no longer have the larger context that they're small parts of the man you love. He isn't even aware they're so apparent to you, probably.

In the early parts, we're all on our best behavior and somewhat nervous and guarded. But he's not at all and why should he be? To him, you're his wife who he loves and nearly lost. He's just happy to have you, probably thrilled and more in love with you than ever.

You're seeing all these imperfections in him, that are real and maybe never really bothered you before, because he's so comfortable around you that he's just himself. Because he loves you. Give him a really good, solid chance because it sounds like he's earned it and it sounds like he sure loves you.

sharethebite said:

I’m 10 years out from my TBI. Every TBI is different. What you said about being disconnected from yourself was so relatable. Looking in the mirror was strange even. I felt like I was looking at someone else. Emotions are hard. I remember the first time I really laughed after my injury. It almost startled me because it was so unfamiliar. All my emotions, except frustration, were very muted. It got better. It took a few years. You can find your way back to yourself and him. You may find different versions of you guys but it’s worth the battle.

Captain_Starkiller said:

I don't mean to insult you by saying something obvious to an adult, but I feel it's worth bringing up: All people do crazy annoying things. Falling in love isn't about finding the perfect person. It's about finding a person who you can share a common destiny with. It's about appreciating their unique qualities while tolerating their annoyances, having the humility to appreciate that we all have downsides and there are things about you they hate and tolerate as well. Love is choosing to accept those things.

Love also isn't a feeling. Love is choosing to respect and appreciate someone. This is why some people fail at marriage, they decide they don't "love" their partner anymore and their relationship isn't making them happy. Everyone falls in and out of love. Everyone goes through phases. Everyone changes, and you have to put effort into getting to know your spouse over time again and again.

ccl-now said:

He does sound incredibly annoying. Good luck for the future, you're clearly both determined to make this work and hopefully, if he sees how committed you are, he'll stop some of his incredibly irritating habits in an attempt to help you!

Lady_As$hat said:

You are doing so well and have maybe the best attitude I’ve ever seen. That said, don’t let any of those little annoyances grow too big. A secret to our personal success is that we avoid doing what drives the other crazy, and we’re real open about it. You might also need to make a space that’s for you alone if you start feeling stress or pressure. I go sit in the empty cool sauna, lol. Good luck! Keep it up!

Everyone was on OP's side for this throughout, but wished this couple this best. What's your advice for this situation?

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