Love in the time of Covid (and a stroke)

This is my fist time posting. I have come here for relationship assistance myself but I must preface this with the fact that I am not a stroke survivor, I am merely the ex care giver and ex fiance of a person who did have a stroke. If someone could help, words cannot suffice how appreciative I would be.

My fiance suffered a stroke in August of 2021. I was working and received a phone call she had not showed up for work one day. Having a key to her place, I immediately jumped in my care, drove down to her place (she lived 5 minutes away from me) and opened the door to find her lying on the ground, eyes open yet not responsive. I immediately called the paramedics who came and took her to an ICU. She was at the ICU for exactly a month and later transferred to a long-term care facility where she stayed for 9 months. I went to see her everyday while she was at the ICU and while she was at the long term care facility. I would stay hours. I participated in helping her with physical therapy and walked with her around the facility in order to get her to start walking again everyday. I brought puzzle books to keep her mind sharp. I even wrote her favorite sports team who sent her a get well package.

I had made arrangements for us to move to a place near the beach upon discharge. However, due to issues with the tenant occupying the premises at the time, we briefly had to stay at my parents house. She was happy to be out of the long term care facility. She did not miss the hospital food they had been serving her for 9 months. She seemed happy and very driven to get better.

About a little over a month after her discharge, she came to me and expressed her intent to return to the state (I’m in the US) where her parents resided. This came from out of the blue. During the course of the time she was out of the long term care facility, we may have had slight arguments, etc. but nothing too egregious. After talking and acquainting myself with several of her friends during her time in the long term care facility, I was provided the impression going home to where her parents and other family members lived was something that she appeared to avoid. She never spoke about her family much and in order to not drone on about this specific issue, but I’ll leave you with this example-she was married before me and upon finalization of her divorce, she did not return home but instead went to the state where I resided on the grounds she had friends that lived in and around the area.

My question to the community is this-does a stroke have such an effect on someone to which something like this happens? We had been in a relationship for 2.5-alomost 3 years and we were engaged to be married. She was happy to be out of the long term care facility and we talked about future plans, getting married, the whole nine yards. I cannot comprehend why, all of a sudden, she would express her intent to end the relationship and go back to where she lived with her parents at the age of 42. I called something known as the “warmline” at the American Stroke Association who provided me information about stroke survivors and their propensity for impulsiveness and lack of empathy. I am not sure. I have endeavored to reach out to many who have advised I just forget about my fiance, move on, and act as if the whole thing never happened. I was at the ICU and long term care facility everyday for this girl while trying to work and keep my job. I went there on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, everyday. Even when there were sheets of ice on the road and the weather was awful. I did not let anything hinder me. She is better, she is walking, talking, the aphrasia appears to have dissipated but when she left she told me she “had changed” and that was it. So, I am reaching out to this community to see what insight can be provided and what I can do. She lives several states away from me. It is with great hope I pray something can be provided.

Hello @TheMaestro am sad to read your story & it must be extremely difficult for you.

Stroke can impact people’s behaviours. Sometimes this is permanent but it can also be temporary. Stroke has a big impact on the survivor and their loved ones and even if someone’s behaviour isn’t directly affected by the stroke it can make you reevaluate your life.

As @Mahoney says maybe you can contact her & see how’s she doing and then take it from there.

Best of luck.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for contributing to my post. It really means a lot to me. I still endeavor to contact her and reach out to her mother in order to inquire as to how she is doing. I keep praying that this change will resolve itself in time. While many have advised that I just immediately move on and throw away everything we had, I don’t want to do that-I keep hoping one day she might turn around but as Tennyson once said:

“we are not now that strength which in old days moved heaven and earth
that which we are, we are
one equal temper of heroic hearts
made weak by time and fate
but strong in will
to strive to seek to find
and not to yield”

Thank you all for your postings. It means alot to me in this time of need and yes, despair.

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Thank you for your response. Indeed, you have impeccable insight. Despite being several states away from me, I still endeavor to contact my ex-fiance’s mother to see how she’s doing and if possible, my ex-fiance herself. Sometimes, she responds. She has emailed me and even sent me a letter in the mail. From correspondence thus far, she does appear to be too hurt that she decided to end the relationship but I can understand that she has “bigger fish to fry” at the moment.

I cannot thank you enough for your comment that “there’s always hope”. That really and honestly means a lot to me. Prior to this whole her stroke, I don’t mind disclosing to this (as corny as it may sound) entire forum that I’ve never felt such a deep connection with this once beautiful smart girl who had this stroke than with any other I had a relationship with. I may have mentioned that I wrote her favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, and they sent her a get well package prior to winning the world series last year.

Once again, thank you for your comments and assistance. Words cannot express how much I appreciate it. I am waiting for her to get better and maybe I’ll hear from her. I told her she’s worth the wait but in regards to those comments I have not received a response. I continue to hope and pray she will come around. Thank you, once again!

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@TheMaestro I echo what @loshy has said. You sound very much in love with her. I hope you can sort things out in time but if not you need to try & find a way to move on with your life. I realy feel for you. A broken heart is never nice. Sending you my best wishes x

@TheMaestro, Hi & welcome (though unfortunate to need to). Your story is yet another knock on/after effect of stroke that many people not close to stroke probably won’t understand. It is very sad to read but I would say that time can be a great healer, especially for us SS’s.

Your ex has had a major life changing experience and will take time to re-evaluate her life as it is now. Had you thought about the fact she may have at the back of her mind that she doesn’t want to hold you back? I know (it sounds like) you would do anything for her but she will have a permanent change, to some degree, and this can’t be forgotten even many years down the line.

I would suggest you let her know you are prepared to wait while she works out how to deal with life going forwards. It will be difficult but I’d try and let her know you are there for her if and when she needs you.

Maybe not what you wanted to hear but you will have to be very patient and fingers crossed you never know!

Good luck, I hope it eventually works out for both of you.

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To All Who Have Commented:

I once again cannot profoundly thank you all enough for you wise and impeccable advice to which you have taken time out of your day to comment on my post and provide me the thoughtful, empathetic, and wise advice you have. Words can simply not suffice how grateful I am for what you all have provided. Thank you.

As far as the comments go where it is prefaced “its probably not what you want to hear”…all I can say to that is when we are faced with dilemmas, hardships, etc…we must take all information both good and bad and process it the best we can. If one wishes to ever serve in office, it is best to tell people the truth about whatever predicament is to befall them rather than “sugar-coating” it.

I thank you for the suggestion that I continue to reach out to her and let her know that I am still here. Considering most have told me since we were in a relationship and she was the one who ended things abruptly, I should treat this as a regular relationship and go “no contact”. I am of the opinion that having a partner who had a stroke and is still in the long process of recovering is an exception to the rule of this “no contact” crap. I say this having a law degree myself. I am not positive as to the thoughts of the community within this forum but I truly believe most of the individuals who have provided me advice have been jaded individuals from a relationship perspective. A sad result of what may be considered the “throw-away society”.

Once again, I welcome the thoughts of this community but I do believe we meet people in the course of our lives who have a more profound and deeper impact on our lives than others we have met and dated. I wish I could put into words why I am doing this because I have been on the wrong side of the stick when break ups have occurred and it was never like this. Especially when the notice of termination came so abruptly. I was there every day in the ICU and the long term care facility she was moved to. I helped the nurses and medical staff when it came to helping her with physical therapy. I endeavored to do my utmost and be there every step of the way. Like I may have mentioned in my previous post, I was even able to secure us a nice beach house which we temporarily both lived in prior to her deciding to end the relationship.

I truly believe in sticking this out. I’ll wait for her. I already wrote her a piece of music (I studied concert piano and music composition prior to attending law school). I will heed the advice of the forum and while I may not be wanted now, stay the course and see what happens because I truly believe the girl is worth the wait.

Thank you all for your thoughts and advice on this matter. It means a lot to me. Bless you all!

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Dear Maestro,Thank you for being so open and sincere about your relationship.You seem to be a very loving and worthy person in every way.I am like others so sad that you cannot at this moment find a way back to that beautiful state you once shared …I do wonder if your fiancee feels that she can’t be the person she once was and although you do not feel remotely like this …she may do so.Time alone may tell.Families become very important at these times in our lives regardless as to how things were formerly.Good wishes and much admiration.Sheila.


Thank you for your comments. They are most truly appreciated. I lived in one state and my fiance moved here prior to her divorce several years ago. We had plans to continue living in this state prior to her discharge from the long term care facility which occurred on June 1, 2022. She was doing well post-discharge but towards the end of July, she appeared to become more …the best way I can describe it is lackadaisical. The sudden and abrupt decision to return to the state where her family resided (which is a 2 days drive from where I am) was very strange and blindsided me. It was as if I was talking to someone else.

I am very hopeful and thankful that the response from the forum here is to give her time and stay the course. She may return to her normal self and then I understand I must face reality that she may be like this for perpetuity. As previously stated, she is far different from many that I have had a relationship with so stay the course I shall. There’s a song written in 1837 known as “Kathleen mavourneen” where the lyrics go “It may be for years and it may be forever”. For her, I will wait… we’ll see what happens but once again, I thank you for your post. Many Thanks.

If anyone else happens to read this, in an attempt to possibly make my inquiry stronger in specificity, I will state this:

My fiancé was a smart, affectionate woman. Even upon her discharge from the long term care facility, while this calls for speculation, it appeared as if she was returning back to her normal self. The fact that the decision to split came from out of nowhere and to return to a state many miles away seems odd. If I had done something egregious to her, I would have acknowledged and atoned for my actions and accepted it and not even be posting things here because I would have realized and accepted why she abruptly left. I have no idea why this happened except for what I have informed of, these things are likely in those who have suffered and survived strokes. What’s even weirder is that we would talk, text, etc all the time. It was constant communication and now that she’s several states away from me, weird that she doesn’t reach out as much if at all.

I still plan on staying the course and seeing what happens. As Churchill once said,

“If you’re going through hell, keep going”

I thank you all for your thoughts on this matter. Bless you all.

@Loshy …….Loshy, if you’re still out there…what’s a reasonable time per one of your previous posts? Your advice and insight is impeccable and I though I would direct the inquiry to you…

Kind regards,

TheMaestro, aka Chris

@Loshy thank you so much for your prompt response…I’ll endeavor to be more concise….one of your previous posts states that “in time” she may come around….based on your experience, what is a reasonable “in time” period in which to turn around? I know she’s made it past the one year mark and just before that is when the weird behavior and split took place.

Once again, thank you so much for your response. I am deeply grateful and most appreciative

@Loshy … I am very appreciative of your insight, I really am. Thank you.

While I’m in the states in Maryland, she resides in the state of Missouri with her family. I have endeavored to keep up a rapport with her mother. I texted with my fiancée 2 days ago and she answers…The general practice is that I start the texting conversation but she’s reached out once since going back to Missouri.

Her decision to go back to Missouri was abrupt and she could not give me a sufficient explanation as to why. The only thing she said was that “she had changed”. I would just hate to “move on” as several have advised and have her reach out to me after possibly realizing the her decision to move to Missouri was rash and not thought out. I have read where stroke survivors make decisions, etc on impulse?
In summation, while many in any break up would move on, I would think there’s an exception to the general rule when dealing with a person who has sustained brain trauma.I hope I do not come across as a person who is not living in reality, refusing to let go, or naive. I am just attempting to be fair and give due consideration where it is applicable.

@Loshy …I hope I don’t sound naive but you are correct, despite all that’s happened I am still very much in love with her.

I’ve reached out to multiple stroke forums in the UK and Australia (haven’t found many here in the US) and I really appreciate the advice I’ve received.

I cannot say with any amount of confidence that I think she’ll change to a point where the odds favour me. The main inquiry I have for these stroke communities is that if such an egregious change occurs subsequent to the stroke, is it reasonable to have faith that the person we once loved and still love will return or are we being reasonable to just merely give up without giving the person a sufficient amount ( and what is a fair definition of sufficient amount ) of time to come around?

@Loshy …thank you for responding to my posts…I do appreciate it and I further wish you and your husband the best in life’s endeavors. Let’s all get through Thursday and then it shall be Friday…from there I hope you and your husband have a peaceful, pleasant, and most of all relaxing weekend!

“We are not now that strength which in old days moved heaven and earth
That which we are we are
One equal temper of heroic hearts made
Weak by time and fate but strong in will
To strive to seek to find and not to yield”


I’m not going to give up on her

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@Loshy ….

I deleted my previous post because I thought, through first reading, it read “ I know you won’t hope she’ll come around good luck”….I was baffled… I think you meant:

I know you won’t. (Give up on her) [I] hope she’ll come around. Good luck

Rather than:

“I know you won’t hope she’ll come around. Good luck”

@Loshy I apologize if I’m being a stickler for grammar. I really do appreciate your impeccable insight and advice through your replies. If it were not for you and many of your fellow colleagues here, who knows how many of us would be lost in the tumultuous turmoil had it not been for the support you and others have provided. It is outstanding and goes above and beyond the call of duty. I owe you and all here a profound and great debt of gratitude. Thank you!

Ladies and Gentlemen of this forum: as you all were so kind to help me with stroke support, may I express my condolences to you all with the loss of Queen Elizabeth. She truly was a remarkable woman of great integrity. Her cunningness and talent for diplomacy made her a monarch to be admired.

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@TheMaestro thank you. It is indeed a very sad event. She was a remarkable lady who will be much missed.

Hope things are going ok with you.

@Mrs5K Thank you for your kind words….I still keep hoping and praying my ex fiancé will recover, heal, and “return to me”…👰🏻‍♀:man_in_tuxedo:t2::heart:

Well folks, as an update, after hoping, praying, etc, sending Christmas presents to my former fiancé who had the stroke and her family, she politely texted me that what relationship we had is over. She said she’d be my friend but that’s it.

I appreciate the advice and guidance you all have provided. I did a ton of stuff for this girl and she does not contact me unless I initiate contact. I do not know what the stroke did to her. I’m in Maryland and she’s in Missouri but it’s like she’s forgotten about me. Sad to say, it appears to be over…

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