The study set out to investigate readjustment to disability on the part of spouses of patients disabled by a cerebrovascular accident and to elicit the particular problems faced by the spouse of an aphasic patient. In a sample of 79 subjects, spouses of aphasic patients showed evidence of significantly poorer overall social adjustment then spouses of non-asphasic patients. The areas that were particularly impaired were social and leisure activities and marital relationships. In the marital area aphasia appeared to be particularly disruptive and the marriages were characterised by problems of interpersonal communication, diminished sexual satisfaction and loss of partnership. There was a raised incidence of minor psychiatric disorder in all spouses and again this was more pronounced amongst the spouses of aphasic patients.