Jump to content
  • Sky
  • Blueberry
  • Slate
  • Blackcurrant
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Emerald
  • Chocolate
  • Charcoal
France Nolan

Fundie Lite Wife Having Baby with Husband with Severe TBI

Recommended Posts

France Nolan

So sorry for the long thread title. I think this blog has been discussed in the Ben and Kate threads and the Larissa and Ian threads: adarlingkindoflife.com/

(Mods, sorry if I failed to link correctly.)

Kathleen and Cale were married prior to his brain injury. He sustained the brain injury in a car accident in 2010; Kathleen was also in the car but she was not as seriously injured. Cale has significant brain damage. He has at least received supportive and rehabilitative services, however he cannot be left alone. Kathleen or someone else must be with him at all times. He is cognitively disabled and struggles with impassivity and aggression. There's a lot of the usual praising of God and throwing around Bible verses on the blog as well as supporting the typical fundie/fundie lite causes (pro-life, Family Research Council).

Now, I don't judge Kathleen for remaining married to Cale. I don't know what I would do in that situation, especially since they were/are so young, but she decided to remain married to him. What bothers me is that she is now pregnant by her cognitively disabled husband. They were apparently trying to get pregnant for some time. If they were both cognitively disabled, that would be one thing, but they aren't. Like Larissa and Ian, I have serious questions about how Cale is able to consent to sex. She describes him on the blog as alternately having the mentality of a child or a teenager.

I certainly wish them well but the entire thing is super squicky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
E Street Fan

I wonder how people would feel if Kathleen had the brain injury.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mama Mia

I think the main difficulty will be managing any aggression issues, especially when the baby is on a crying jag, or a two year old throwing a tantrum or any of the other really frustrating things kids do.

But if they have a way to keep the child safe and they are getting enough support that the mom doesn't get too overwhelmed trying to take care of both, I don't see a problem with it.

And I would assume that having a TBI doesn't necessarily mean losing any sex drive or capability, so I don't understand why them continuing to have a sexual relationship is a problem, it probably helps the both. I would apply that equally if it was the woman with the TBI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
YPestis

The concern I would have is the wife may be overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for both husband and a baby. Caretaker fatigue is a very real concern for anyone who has to provide longterm care. I've seen issues of abuse arise when caretakers become overwhelmed after years of care. It just sounds like between her husband a new baby, the woman is ripe for a breakdown.

The other issue is the financial support for the baby. It sounds like the man has some medical expenses. Will the family be able to keep itself financially afloat?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
France Nolan
I think the main difficulty will be managing any aggression issues, especially when the baby is on a crying jag, or a two year old throwing a tantrum or any of the other really frustrating things kids do.

But if they have a way to keep the child safe and they are getting enough support that the mom doesn't get too overwhelmed trying to take care of both, I don't see a problem with it.

And I would assume that having a TBI doesn't necessarily mean losing any sex drive or capability, so I don't understand why them continuing to have a sexual relationship is a problem, it probably helps the both. I would apply that equally if it was the woman with the TBI.

The issue I have with continuing the sexual relationship is that the husband is significantly cognitively impaired. To me it's an issue of consent, not the physical act of having sex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mama Mia

The issue I have with continuing the sexual relationship is that the husband is significantly cognitively impaired. To me it's an issue of consent, not the physical act of having sex.

That doesn't seem reasonable to me. Actually it seems kind of dehumanizing. He lost cognitive functioning, but apparently not physical functioning. Why shouldn't he be in a sexual relationship with his wife? Is there an I.Q. Cut off point where adults become non-sexual?

Obviously it would be ideal if he wasn't impaired, It would greatly improve their lives if he didn't have a TBI, obviously, but he does. That isn't going to change. Should he have one of the functioning areas of his life taken away as well? What's the point of that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
treemom

The consent issue is tricky. I am less uncomfortable with this couple than Larissa and Ian because they were married prior to the TBI so he was able to consent to the relationship. And I have no issue with people with matching cognitive disabilities engaging in sexual relationships.

But I am uncomfortable with someone with significant cognitive delays in a relationship with someone without them. There can be a power differential there and equivalent to a 50 year old make have sex with a 15 year old. (Although these cognitive disabilities are often much worse than that of a 15 year old)

At least this couple was married, so they are continuing on in the relationship they had prior. But when Ian couldn't consent to marriage it bothers me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
treemom

That doesn't seem reasonable to me. Actually it seems kind of dehumanizing. He lost cognitive functioning, but apparently not physical functioning. Why shouldn't he be in a sexual relationship with his wife? Is there an I.Q. Cut off point where adults become non-sexual?

Obviously it would be ideal if he wasn't impaired, It would greatly improve their lives if he didn't have a TBI, obviously, but he does. That isn't going to change. Should he have one of the functioning areas of his life taken away as well? What's the point of that?

Again, it is about the ability to consent to someone who can be in a position of power, not about sexual drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mirele

Did anyone else read this as Fundie Lite Wife Having Baby with Husband with Severe TB!? I was thinking, "well that's a novel situation, more like the 19th century these guys want us going back to, wonder what's up with that?"

As for the real situation, I don't know what to think except to wonder about issues of consent. I don't feel comfortable saying anything without knowing more, and knowing more would be an invasion of their privacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
twinmama
Is there an I.Q. Cut off point where adults become non-sexual?

Not non-sexual because they are humans and humans are sexual beings, but they do lose the ability to consent to sex at some point. If they are unable to consent, they really can't be having sex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mama Mia

Ok. I'm just not seeing the issue. Of course there are some power discrepencies that could come up, but in the big picture to me it seems like they are both just doing their best to adapt to what life threw at them, and if they can keep their sex life going it will be a big plus, to both of them. Of course we only have what she says to go on, but it sounds like he's interested sexually.

As to the finances, I would think with that level of impairment he'd have Medicare for most medical bills, and likely some form of in home support services provided, which would give her at least some respite. Although if he was military I don't know what he'd have, could be different.

Maybe I'm just over sensitive on this topic, but due to recent health issues its made me much more aware of how people with disabilities are seen as non sexual, and it bothers me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
treemom
Ok. I'm just not seeing the issue. Of course there are some power discrepencies that could come up, but in the big picture to me it seems like they are both just doing their best to adapt to what life threw at them, and if they can keep their sex life going it will be a big plus, to both of them. Of course we only have what she says to go on, but it sounds like he's interested sexually.

As to the finances, I would think with that level of impairment he'd have Medicare for most medical bills, and likely some form of in home support services provided, which would give her at least some respite. Although if he was military I don't know what he'd have, could be different.

Maybe I'm just over sensitive on this topic, but due to recent health issues its made me much more aware of how people with disabilities are seen as non sexual, and it bothers me.

What if it were the woman with TBI and she was pregnant?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mama Mia

What if it were the woman with TBI and she was pregnant?

If she was at the level this guy seems to be, then I think it would be ok. I do think it is trickier when you are talking about a functioning level of understanding to consent to pregnancy and childbirth, because those are potentially physically hazardous experiences. But if she was healthy, had support systems in place and said she was willing I think it would be fine. But yeah, any health risk to the person does bring up more issues.

Sex unrelated to pregnancy I don't see why it would be any different if its the man or the woman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
France Nolan

I don't think people with disabilities, including cognitive/intellectual disabilities, are non-sexual. Certainly people with disabilities can and do have sexual thoughts and feelings as well as engage in sexual activities. There are a growing number of people with intellectual disabilities getting married, living together, and sharing their lives. I think that's wonderful. The difference is that those couples function on a similar intellectual/cognitive level. For this couple there is a huge power discrepancy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nelliebelle1197
Ok. I'm just not seeing the issue. Of course there are some power discrepencies that could come up, but in the big picture to me it seems like they are both just doing their best to adapt to what life threw at them, and if they can keep their sex life going it will be a big plus, to both of them. Of course we only have what she says to go on, but it sounds like he's interested sexually.

As to the finances, I would think with that level of impairment he'd have Medicare for most medical bills, and likely some form of in home support services provided, which would give her at least some respite. Although if he was military I don't know what he'd have, could be different.

Maybe I'm just over sensitive on this topic, but due to recent health issues its made me much more aware of how people with disabilities are seen as non sexual, and it bothers me.

It is not "some power issues". If the man does not have the ability to consent or understand the consequences or choose to have the child, then it is rape. This woman says her husband has the cognitive ability of a child. Having sex with him now is the same as her having sex with a child.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mela99

They're married, so consent isn't really an issue as I understand it.

Really thought this was Larissa/Ian at first...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mama Mia

It is not "some power issues". If the man does not have the ability to consent or understand the consequences or choose to have the child, then it is rape. This woman says her husband has the cognitive ability of a child. Having sex with him now is the same as her having sex with a child.

I strongly disagree. What would people have them do, separate because he had an accident so they can both find people who are on the same intellectual level? Still be married but celibate for life even though neither of them want to be? Be childless even though they want children? Why? They got dealt a crappy hand, why make things worse?

In their photos he appears happy and they appear loving, if she has a good plan for juggling it all than I still do not see the issue.

And wouldn't that make him feel even more infantilized if he can't even have sex with his own wife if they both desire it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JMarie
Ok. I'm just not seeing the issue. Of course there are some power discrepencies that could come up, but in the big picture to me it seems like they are both just doing their best to adapt to what life threw at them, and if they can keep their sex life going it will be a big plus, to both of them. Of course we only have what she says to go on, but it sounds like he's interested sexually.

As to the finances, I would think with that level of impairment he'd have Medicare for most medical bills, and likely some form of in home support services provided, which would give her at least some respite. Although if he was military I don't know what he'd have, could be different.

Maybe I'm just over sensitive on this topic, but due to recent health issues its made me much more aware of how people with disabilities are seen as non sexual, and it bothers me.

No support system is perfect. Friends and extended family get sick, go on vacation, have changes in their work schedules, have babies of their own. Home care nurses aren't provided 24 hours a day, and coverage can be spotty, depending on availability of staff. I wouldn't be excited about bringing a baby into that situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
France Nolan
They're married, so consent isn't really an issue as I understand it.

Really thought this was Larissa/Ian at first...

Consent to have sex can still be an issue even if they were married prior to his injury. Consent to marriage does not equal consent to sex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mama Mia

No support system is perfect. Friends and extended family get sick, go on vacation, have changes in their work schedules, have babies of their own. Home care nurses aren't provided 24 hours a day, and coverage can be spotty, depending on availability of staff. I wouldn't be excited about bringing a baby into that situation.

Clearly it's not the ideal situation. Neither are many other people's when they have children. Or you might plan everything perfectly, have your kid and then something else goes to hell. Life isn't perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
twinmama
They're married, so consent isn't really an issue as I understand it.

WHOA. Married people are allowed to not consent to sex. Consenting to marriage doesn't mean you consent to sex every time your partner wants it!!! In theory every sexual act requires consent, prior consent of any kind does not mean anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lilwriter85

When I saw the thread title, I immediately thought it was Ben and Katie. Katie mentioned a few times on her blog that she and Ben still want kids. I think I might have visited Kathleen and Cale's blog before. I would worry a bit about Kathleen becoming overwhelmed caring for a disabled spouse and a baby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nelliebelle1197

I strongly disagree. What would people have them do, separate because he had an accident so they can both find people who are on the same intellectual level? Still be married but celibate for life even though neither of them want to be? Be childless even though they want children? Why? They got dealt a crappy hand, why make things worse?

In their photos he appears happy and they appear loving, if she has a good plan for juggling it all than I still do not see the issue.

And wouldn't that make him feel even more infantilized if he can't even have sex with his own wife if they both desire it?

I think you probably don't want to see it, TBH. I don't mean that cruelly or critically, just bluntly. You have some sort of situation that has given you an empathetic viewpoint. Don't stress about it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mama Mia

I'm not stressed about it just kind of surprised? bewildered? That people would think that part of life should be cut off to someone because of a traumatic event they can't change. It frankly seems like an attitude from the past when he would of been thrown away in an institution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
miffy

She probably still loves him & maybe he initiated the intercourse?

My best friend suffered a TBI in August. Her BF seems to be drifting away gradually, but that was already starting to happen before. Its such a difficult & complicated situation, I don't think you can make judgements unless you are that person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.