Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online



Relationships - January 2018

Abusive post-stroke husband

Maggi Stamp is a highly qualified relationship counsellor and trainer who writes each month about emotional and practical concerns and challenges that many of us meet in later life. For 20 years, as well as running a private practise, Maggi worked with the organisation Relate to help married and single people, cohabiting couples, same sex couples, families, young and old people and the bereaved to develop, foster and enjoy healthy and fulfilling relationships. No less important, as she is herself a wife, mother and grandmother, she brings a lifetime of varied and eventful experience to enhance her empathy and understanding.  

Many of her examples are based on concerns that clients, family and friends have presented over the years. In the monthly articles where she responds to issues raised by readers, she strictly respects confidentiality and never identifies those who write to her. But the individual worries they raise are invariably felt by others, so her responses can help many.

You can write to Maggi at 
for her to respond in the column.

Abusive post-stroke husband

Hi, I came across your article on suggestions on how to deal with an abusive post stroke spouse. I can tell you, that I have been verbally attacked, flipped off, threatened to have my head bashed in, things thrown at me, told to kill myself, made fun of me and my family etc.. I am going to get out because people can only change themselves. I am not even 58, and he is almost 65. The stroke was very bad and in 2009. 

He has refused to try and get better, and I have given up too much of my life. 
I have tried and tried to keep him from living out his life in a facility as he needs help with adl’s. He has always been a workaholic and has not worked since the event. Every time I have to help him get dressed he waves his fist at me. I am not going into another year this way, no matter what the cost. Any advice is appreciated, and I’m moving to another part of the home, I like the use of the word, “will” instead of “can”, but my threats to divorce have not changed him. I have seen a lawyer two times, and told him the third time I will follow through.  

I should have taken action before the stroke because his father was abusive and he has always been negative and had anger issues. 

It’s heart breaking and sad that a 38 year marriage is going to end, and we could end up broke, but I have had enough. 

I don’t see anyway out except death or divorce.


Much of what I have said in the earlier article you mention -  (Physical & Mental Health, Alcohol & Drug Issues No.26), will be relevant to your husband. He is almost 65 and has had a severe stroke. His behaviour will have been changed by the damage inflicted upon his brain by the stroke.

For some people, your husband is one of them it seems, what was there as one of many character traits before, a stroke brings that trait more to the surface and can be overpowering. The stroke sufferer has no control over this change.

What you are being subjected to is unbearable for you and it sounds as though you need the support of those who are struggling under similar conditions. Only they can truly understand what you have to deal with as a carer.

Below I have listed Stroke associations and groups covering the USA, as I suspect that is where you are writing from, that offer the kind of Care-giver support you urgently need. Do look at all of them and use the ones you feel most suited to your needs to support and advise you. With luck their help might help keep your 38-year-old marriage together - even though it is much changed as a relationship. To part now and have your husband go into care would be devastating for you.

If you have family, or your husband has any close friends, ask them to sit with him occasionally while you take a few hours off and go to visit one of your own friends, or meet them in a cafe or bar, go for a massage, a swim, or have a walk somewhere restful.


Stroke Support Groups |
How to Start and Run a Support Group. We have lots of resources to help you be a successful supportgroup leader. From free online trainings to participant materials let us help you get started. Start a support group in your area.

Support Group Finder - American Stroke Association
Welcome to our national stroke support group registry. To find a group near you, simply enter your ZIP code and a mile radius. If your initial search does not pull up any groups, try increasing your mile radius. Once a group, or list of groups appear, you may click on any group for more details about them.

Finding Stroke Support You Are Not Alone
Stroke survivors and their family caregivers need help adjusting to the changes in their lives. Stroke Support Groups. Stroke support groups challenge people to get beyond their limitations. Social interaction and simply feeling connected to others helps ease the depression and isolation so common after stroke.

The Stroke Network, an on-line stroke support group
An on-line stroke support network of stroke information. Message board and chat on-line for strokesurvivor and stroke caregiver support.

StrokeNet Message Board
Like most online communities you must register to post in our community, but don 't worry this is a simple free process. .... Whether you are an actual stroke caregiver, a family member, friend or loved one, tell us what you are feeling and what stroke related issues you need support for or just want to share.

How to Find A Stroke or Aphasia Support Group - Lingraphica
8 Jul 2016 - Life changes suddenly after a stroke. ... In fact, aphasia organizations around the U.S. are major advocates for the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA), which encourages individuals ... One of the best ways to re-engage in a low- pressure social environment is an aphasia or stroke support group.

World Stroke Organization - Find Help in your Region
Find Help in your Region. The SSO of the WSO would like to hear from similar SSOs for strokesurvivors in your country. Please contact the WSO administration:

Facebook Stroke Support Groups | Living After Stroke
Need Support? Feeling all alone after having a stroke? Trapped at home? Facebook Support Groups are the answer! Find a long list of private groups here. ... This is a huge plus since most of us have our days and nights reversed or just have trouble sleeping for long periods of time. Your success is our Inspiration!

You can write to Maggi at for her to respond in the column.

back to the Relationship Counselling Index


Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

Back to LaterLife Today

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site


Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti