Devastated by brain aneurysm

by Mary
(Ottawa, Ontario)

Hi Everyone. I have been deep in grief for the last 2 months. My boyfriend suffered a brain aneurysm at the beginning of August and survived, however he is not the same person at all. He wants me to move on with my life as he now says he feels nothing at all for me. He does not want to talk to anyone else either.

I moved to Toronto to be closer to him in June and things were wonderful - we were very much in love. And then this happened to him and it not only traumatized him, it has also traumatized me. I have moved back home but can't seem to stop crying and missing him. I can't understand how someone who loves you so much one day, wakes up and feels nothing for you anymore.

He has a lot of anger and frustration over the aneurysm and has short term memory issues. He wants to return to work but isn't able to until his memory improves. In so many ways I understand how he feels, but my heart just doesn't.

How are you supposed to move on when you are so deeply in love with someone and you know they are still there. I know that he does still love me, he just has pushed all emotions aside. How do I move on as he wishes? I need to stop crying - it's getting ridiculous :).

Comments for Devastated by brain aneurysm

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Aug 10, 2017
Husband had brain aneurysm
by: Anonymous

Hello, I feel for you all. My husband had a brain aneurysm approximately 4 years ago. I read everything I could, took him to the best psychiatrist, logged his behavior to adjust meds. He became better than before we were married. Everything was going great until a few months ago and he completely changed. Processing became slow again, hollow shell, "not sure if he loves me or can love". Complete setback and devastating. The only thing that changed was a dr where we recently moved altered one of his anti depressant meds by 5 mg every other day. The only time he went without me. Husband stopped taking the additional med but his brain is so sensitive. I've always been healthy but I had a serious heart issue last month where I almost died. The stress is unbearable but I'm going to try one more time to get him back. If it doesn't work I don't think I can physically or mentally take it anymore. Kindest, non violent person but if he can't love me than I don't have many choices.

Dec 05, 2013
Go on with your life
by: Anonymous

My husband suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm 3 years ago and has not been the same since. His personality has changed to the point where I no longer recognize him. He is very, very difficult to live with. I am at my wit's end trying to deal with him and am very, unhappy. I am married to this man and I have a responsibility to him. You are not. I know you're grieving, but if he has pushed you away he may be doing you a favor. It is probable that he will only recover to a point, will never be the man he was before, and you will have to accept him as he is, and the unhappiness that comes along with it, or you cut and go on with your life. If you'd like to see what other partners of brain aneurysm survivors are going through. I urge you to visit the forums on the Brain Aneurysm Foundation (BAF) site.

Sep 27, 2012
Devastated by brain aneurysm
by: Doreen U.K.

Mary I am sorry for your loss of relationship. OH! how cruel Life is. My brother-in-law had an aneurysm and it is a miracle he pulled through and is untouched by almost dying. He lost his best mate for a brother-in-law in losing my husband from cancer almsot 5 months ago. My husband Steve developed ENCEPHALITIS in 2005 and almost died then. He was left with residual affects of this illness. He ended up with short term memory loss. His whole personality changed and it was then I lost my husband as I knew him. He changed and became aggressive from placid. don't move from your boyfriends side. Keep letting him know that you Love him and you are not going anywhere. Fight your corner. Don't walk away. Your boyfriend will be putting up this barrier so that he doesn't get hurt by rejection. He will be confused and upset a lot of the time. Hang onto the person he was before the stroke. You will get him back in time.

Sep 27, 2012
So sad
by: Anonymous

Hi Jennifer. I'm sorry to hear that you have gone through this as well. My boyfriend has suffered no deficits from the aneurysm other than some short term memory issues which the doctor's say will improve over time.

He wants to return to work and may be able to in another month or 2. However he is very angry about his memory issue and just wants to be left alone. No matter what I say or do to show my love and support doesn't seem to matter to him in any way. I will always love him and have told him that I will be here when he is ready to feel again, but I don't think he will ever want to be with me again. That is the hardest part of all.

It's the trying to accept that I'm having such a hard time with. I hope that your husband improves every day and that he will again become the loving man that you once knew.


Sep 26, 2012
devastated too!
by: Anonymous

Hi Mary,

I know exactly what you're going through. My husband had a brain aneurysm too, and is now in long-term care. He may SAY he wants you to get on with your life, but don't believe him. He's still dealing with the condition itself and truly terrible after-effects. He needs to be reassured that you WON'T leave him. Karl has told me to leave his room at the home several times, and then started to cry when I started to go. I had no intention of leaving, and never will. Somebody with this kind of brain damage very often reverts to being a child. Karl is now approximately eight years old. BUT, and this is the important thing, he is very slowly getting better. He's talking pretty well, playing computer games with one of his therapists and even reading books. When his speech therapist in rehab first saw him she didn't believe he'd ever talk again. She told me that and I'm passing it on to you.
Hang in there with your guy. Let him be angry, weepy, whatever, that's the stroke speaking, not him. He needs all the love and strength and patience you can muster right now. You're facing a very long, very lonely road, but together you can make it. We are. And we are both MUCH older than you.
So, paste a big smile on your face, march into his room and tell him "I'm not leaving".

Good luck. Let us know how you, and he, and he, are doing.


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