My wife was paralyzed by a hit-and-run driver, and now I want to leave her

DEAR DEIDRE: MY wife was paralyzed by a hit-and-run driver, and now I want to leave her.

I loved her so much, but I’m not cut out to be a carer or to give up on my future dreams.

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My wife was paralyzed by a hit-and-run driver, and now I want to leave her

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We’ve been married for just two years. I’m 32 and she’s 29.

Earlier this year, she was coming home from a night out with friends when a car went out of control and hit her as she crossed the road.

She was so badly injured that we didn’t think she’d make it.

I remember praying that she’d live, saying I’d do anything to have her home with me.

After three months in hospital, she was discharged. The doctors said she’d never walk again and she’s now in a wheelchair.

The next few months were spent adapting our home and getting through the court case.

I became her part-time carer, together with her mum, and there was so much to do I didn’t have time to think.

But now, as the reality of our new life dawns on me, I am starting to panic. I know I made vows to look after her in bad times as well as good, but nobody anticipates becoming a carer at 32.

Even though I know it’s not her fault, she is no longer the same woman I married.

Apart from her physical problems, she’s understandably depressed and moody. We were planning to travel, to advance our careers, to have children in a few years. All of that has been snatched away from us.
I feel so trapped and unhappy.

The truth is, I’ve fallen out of love with her and I am considering asking her for a divorce.

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I feel so guilty and ashamed even writing this. I know it makes me a terrible, weak person.

Worse, I think that if I left her she would feel she had nothing left to live for. Please help me.

DEIDRE SAYS: You’re neither terrible nor weak. You’re just a very honest and human person, and it’s brave of you to articulate your feelings.

Only those who’ve walked in your shoes could understand what a terrible burden you have to bear.

You can’t stay in a relationship out of guilt. Ultimately, the resentment you’d feel would destroy any remaining love.

And an unhappy, bitter man can’t be a kind carer. However, it is still very early days.

You’re still in shock and going through a period of adjustment.

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Don’t make a rash decision. Instead, talk to someone about your feelings.

My support pack on Counseling will tell you more. You and your wife can also get help via Brake (brake.org.uk, 0808 800 0401) who help people dealing with the consequences of car crashes.

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