My husband had a severe stroke

Hi, my name is Pam

My husband had a severe stroke eight months ago. He is very debilitated  on his left side,  his sight has been affected and sometimes has confusion. He has just turned 70. 

After 4 months in hospital he came home with a package of 2 carers 4 times a day. I did all I could but after 7 weeks, having only slept for two nights I was exhausted. His demands were unbelievable all day and night. Then at night because he had severe pain would demand more morphine. If I refused because it wasn't due the powder keg would go and he'd get so angry. He did attack me with his right arm a few times, actually slapping me hard and punching me in the back. Another time whilst cleaning his nails with a little scissors he threatened to stick them in my throat. This was the last straw and it was arranged for him to go into respite.

He has now been in the home for 3 months as the CPN team and social worker have said its too much for me. He rings me on his mobile and blames me for everything. The abuse and nastiness is awful.

I just wondered if anyone else has experienced this and if so how did you cope.


Hi Pam-  I'm Jeanne, a stroke survivor.  No,  I have not experienced what you and your husband are going through.  My heart goes out to you.  You've been having a tough time.  I do know that when I was in the hospital, they told us that our emotions were likely to be strongly affected because of the stroke-- i.e. cry more often, laugh , or anger.  So, sadly, much of your husband's reactions may be a result of the stroke. (Or maybe he was always difficult??)Perhaps you can check with a neurologist to see if this will get better over time.  I know my emotionality has improved, and I am almost normal now (after 2 1/2 years).  In spite of all that, you are not a "punching bag" and  it's my opinion that you should not put up with his harrassment.  It may sound mean, but if it were me I would tell him that if he continues to do what he's doing on the phone (all the negativity and blame)I won't answer his calls.  I'd tell him that I'd keep in touch, perhaps via text, so that he would know he's not forgotten, but that's it.  If he wants to talk nicely, I'll start answering the calls again.  You can't let yourself be subject to such emotional abuse.  You've been through enough.  Time to take care of yourself.  I'll remember you in my prayers tonight.  Love, Jeanne

Pam, I'm so, so sorry that you are experiencing such a terrible time.  Unfortunately, stroke changes people - but this is very extreme, and must be heartbreaking for you.    

I know there was someone else on this site, who posted about their father's change of personality and his aggression towards his partner following the stroke.  I'm not sure of the outcome of that situation, but maybe they will see your post and share their experience with you.

My husband has changed since his stroke - I didn't realise how much he was suffering, until I read about the experiences of stroke survivors on this site, which gave me an insight into what was happening for him.  One day, about 2 months after his stroke he just yelled at me about how **** his life was, and how I didn't understand, and that if we lived in a taller house he would throw himself out of a window etc He was never violent towards me fortunately, but we had some pretty awful times which seemed to blow up out of nowhere - it was just horrible.  

I think some of the emotions ease over time, but they're never far from the surface.  Thankfully my husband has made a good recovery, and generally he is much easier to live with now!!  

I think you definitely need to seek help for yourself, and it is vital that your husband receives some counselling (or similar) support from a stroke expert - he will not be able to overcome this by himself, he is in a very dark place, desperately sad.  

This is a wonderful site, and you will receive support, encouragement and wonderful advice.  Keep posting and let us know how everything progresses.

Thinking of you xx


Dear Pam

How  awful for you. And for your husband.

You havent mentioned the type of stroke. Most of us are clots but some are bleeds.

Emotionality is one of several issues most of us suffer. Usually tears, which for us males is not at all nice. After five years my tears have nearly gone, although i still will not attend a funeral as i am too embarrasing.

a few of us laugh uncontrollably. And that causes more problems than tears.

We also get memory impairment and to say this is frustrating is a gross understatement.

our personality changes. The year the stroke got me, statistics indicated that 65% of couples split up. 

Depression will easily follow although i was able to fight depression off. 

I am your husband's age give or take two years.

With all these issues  floating around, i can see we are impossible to live with. For many months i wanted to place myself in a care home. The pressure of living at home and not being able to deal with anything  was awful. 

Only another stroke survivor can understand what we go through. Possibly the delightful mrs Nicabella and the sweet Tinkerbell  are honorary members of our club, but otherwise, people just do not understand. 

So how do you cope ? 
you keep yourself fit. You plan very carefully to ensure hubby is not discharged back into your care.

i would guess that after two to three years personality etc will not change, but maybe things will settle.

you then entertain the thought that you split sometime in the future. 
You are no longer married to the same person. His brain no longer works the same way.

actually, you have already done the right things, despite the horrid circumstances you have managed to get appropriate help. Well done Pam

finally    I tell SS that its up to us to get our own recovery. No one else can do it for us, its down to us. Yes support is fabulous, but its down to us,

best wishes



Thanks for your reply Colin.

My husband had a clot in his carotid artery. They weren't able to remove it unfortunately. But it affected the whole right side of his brain. His personality has  changed greatly. He just cannot accept how hard it was for me to care on my own especially at night.

Hopefully in time this will happen. 

Thanks so much


Thanks so much for your response to my troubles. He just keeps on ans on that he wants to come home and i try to explain that its too hard on my own. He just won't accept this. This is what I am finding so hard. Even with carers 4 times a day, the rest of the time on my own was horrendous. I dont think I have the strength to cope with that again.

Hopefully things will get better in time.

Hi Jeanne

Thanks so much for responding. He is a determined man and is unable to understand how hard this is for me too.

Hopefully he will in time

Take care

Hi Pam, I think you have to try to remain strong in this situation, although I'm sure it's very tempting to allow you husband to come home, you need to be sure that you can be safe.  It's a very upsetting situation, and maybe after counselling or similar input, you could try some time at home, and gradually build up length of time he is at home.  I can imagine there is a lot of anger, grief and frustration that your husband is having to deal with, and this is a very scary experience for you too.  Whilst your husband is being cared for, try to get as much rest as possible, you will need lots of energy reserves for once he begins to transition home.  

Thank you for your message and please keep us updated ? xx

It will get better.  Keep your spirits up.  You take care too.  Love, Jeanne