Married To Someone With PTSD?

January 25, 2010 By
Posted in Spouse and Family

My dear friend Patti wrote the following based on her own experiences as a wife of a wounded warrior. Her husband came home from Iraq with a TBI and PTSD. Patti is as practical and helpful as they come. I asked her if I could repost this here in full, and she gave me the thumbs up. I hope you find the information helpful.

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Recently, I have had an influx of women sending emails to me asking if I have any information to help them cope with a husband who has PTSD.

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Patti… my husband has PTSD.

PTSD is not something our men like to talk about.  It’s not something we as wives want to think about either.  But, the truth is there are many military men coming back from deployment only to face a mental war inside themselves.

First and foremost, let me say… PTSD is not something you should be ashamed of.  If you think you have PTSD, or your husband has PTSD, it is very important that you go and find help.  The military offers free counseling for those who need it.

I understand that some may not want to go on post for counseling.  There’s another great resource out there… Give An Hour.  Give An Hour is a private organization that offers not only free counseling, but confidential counseling.

Not only does PTSD effect our military men, but it effects families and can effect friendships.  If you suspect your husband has PTSD and he will not admit it, you should still consider seeking guidance for yourself.

The more you know about PTSD, the better you will be able to cope with someone who has PTSD.  Many military wives have secondary PTSD.

Pattis Top 10 on living with a combat injured, PTSD Vet:

1.  Seek Godly counsel

2. Educate yourself on PTSD; you can visit CNN Health, they offer an array of information on PTSD.  You can also GOOGLE PTSD and many results will pop up in the search engine.

3.  Learn what your husbands “triggers” are and how to defuse situations (example: anniversaries of difficult situations; death of commrads, extreme firefights etc).  If you know it’s the anniversary of something difficult your husband experienced while your husband was away, you may know why he’s having an exceptionally bad day, week or sometimes even month.

4.  Take care of yourself.  For the past couple of years, I have let myself go to take care of my husband and his injuries.  I am finally getting back on task when it comes to taking care of myself.  It’s been a long road, and if you can avoid going down the road I went down – trust me, it will be best for you! Exercise, eat right, try to sleep good.  Its so easy to get wrapped up into worrying about your husband.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you will eventually crumble.

5.  If your husband is also suffering from other mental conditions such as depression or self harm, allow them to feel the way they do – BUT – watch for warning signals that things may be getting worse so that you can help them by alerting a mental health team or doctor.

6.  Don’t be hard on yourself! Do not blame yourself for your husbands PTSD, do not think you “should have” done this or that.  We all know that the horrific events of war are what caused your husbands PTSD, don’t start questioning yourself.

7.  Keep a journal or have a mentor you can “vent” to.  As women, most of us are external processors.  This means, we need to release so many words to express our feelings and emotions.  You will feel better after releasing these thoughts/words.  You can either keep a journal or talk with a mentor.  Sometimes, as women – we just need to “get it all out.”

8.  Marriage counselling with someone who understands PTSD would be very benifical.  I’m not saying this is going to “fix” your husbands PTSD, but it will hopefully allow you both an avenue to express yourselves on how you are both feeling, why you are feeling the way you do and what techniques may help you.

9.  Find a PTSD support group in your area.  If you cannot find a support group, maybe you will think about creating a support group yourself.  There’s a very big need for PTSD support groups, and it’s always good to know you are not traveling down that road alone.

10.  Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help.  There are resources, organizations, support groups, books and so much more that are out there to help.  We should be very thankful these resources are in place for us in todays day and age.

Resourses I have found helpful are:
famvetFamily Of A Vet

 

49 Responses to Married To Someone With PTSD?

  1. Lindsay Rackham Call

    I am so sorry and know how you feel, myu husband of seven years does the same thing, the VA is no help for spouses and children and they often tell the veteran to leave or divorce us. it hurts and i feel the same way i am confused at the way they handle these things in the military and as always, like in the army infantry the families get left by the wayside.

  2. Several months ago The Lord impressed upon my heart to make connections with other military wives regarding support groups for wives of husbands with PTSD.
    I encountered a woman in her work place almost in tears, several months ago. She stated, that she worked many hours just to get out of the house, because she had such a difficult time pleasing her husband. My heart was aching for her. I came home that afternoon and told my husband that something has to be done to support women who are in these positions, because there health and welfare are equally important. Suffice it to say, I did not act on this impression until it was again laid on my heart. (TODAY)
    Having a spouse diagnoised with PTSD, I would like to participate in any way that I can to lighten the load for others, for it is an audious task.

  3. I am married to Viet Nam Vet, Green Beret CSM. Medially retired,ie: heart attack. We have been married 12 years. When we first ment he was full of life, nothing like The day after we got married, it all stopped. No intimacy, hugs are empty, he is not physical, but a rude jerk with PTSD. I do everything around the house, mow, build, cook, while he eats, sleeps and shits. Plays on the computer and talks on the phone. I do not get compliments.He has taken away everything in this marriage that he possibly can.. He cant go to a show down town. Now I am the soul driver he has anxiety attacks when driving. If he wants to, he can be nice to neighbors or friends. When I am driving down the road, he is busy yelling at people, rolling down the windows… He got mad the other day, because the dog was barking in the car as we drove by, and I said, “He is doing what he sees, you barking out the window.” I am weary. I dont know how much longer I can deal with this. I havent felt warmth from him since the day we got married. I feel manipulated. I feel trapped.

    • I know this is an old post you have here, but I am just beginning to reach out to other wives dealing with PTSD in their family. Are you still open to communication with another vet wife?

      Please email me if you can. I am 8 years into our marriage and remember the first time I cried when I realized the man I married was gone and we are still fighting. I have faith, but the stress is beginning to affect the kids and my husband and I argue daily, but refuse to give up.

      Any suggestions?

  4. A few months ago i meet a guy that has PTSD and we started dating. I have 3 kids and all the kids love him. I also have fallen for him alot. Befor i meet him i had no clue as to what PTSD was but i have put alot of hours into looking into it and have learned alot. I understand when he says he needs time along now what it means. When he is pushed to the limit i also know its time to give him some space. So the best thing for anyone to do is learn all you can about it and im still learning and want to know more.

  5. Hello….Nice blog. I have suffered from Ptsd and depression since I was 17 years old. I recently went to a catholic priest thinking that maybe I could renew some of my Christian affiliations. I told them that I had PTSD…He said What’s that?. He was quite old and then asked me about my three kids…I am divorced. I told them that my wife and I brought up my children as Protestants and he just shook his head negatively. Needless to say, I never went back to that church. What is it about religious people and mental illness? They just do not get it.

  6. Hello, I have been married to a PTSD vet for 35 yers now. Bad and good times. I have decided in order for e to survie that i am going to have to get my own couneseling. i want to be happy and love my house and do enjoy doing things for my husband. he is an isolationist though so we live way out n the country. i am going to start making new friends and try to find a part time job. he can’t fix me and i can’t fix him but i want to learn to get help to make me better and cope better. thank you ladies for all your encouragement

    • Hello,My husband was on a submarine,then worked in a womens prison 10 years each place, he was diagnosed with PTSD about 8 years ago.I like what u said Julia. My husband goes to counciling,i have been with him a couple times.seems like they go over the same thing.Lately my husband hasn’t asked me ti go along.And my concern is now he talkes to me in such a mean way,is that normal.I need to speak up but,i’m not one of those on the spot people.He catches me off guard.I have been keeping a journal.and venting to a l.friend of mine which i’m sure she gets sick of listening to me.

      • I understand what you are going through. My husband came back from Iraq last year.He has PTSD. He has been to counciling. Some days are good but some days are not. I love so much but some times he says so many mean things to me and gets angry. One day we are enjoying ourselves then the next day he becomes so mean and negative. When he starts been mean, I keep quiet and not say any thing. But he keeps pushing my button and we end up getting into a big agument over nothing. To be honest, I am scared of having kids with him.

        I am not sure if there are any support groups in my area.

        Thanks

  7. Sandi, I would like to chat with you, we have very similar stories

  8. Jessica Green

    I have been married to my husband for 9 years now and we have 3 children together and 1 from my previous relationship. I have thought of leaving him many time and did once but my husband is a fast talker and really knows what strings to pull to get his way. But now that the children are getting older and my 17 year old just wants out. He wants college to get him away from all the yelling and criticism that comes with my husbands mood swings and anger. I want him to be independent but I want him to always feel like his home is always going to be an option for him. When I finished school and got my dream job a lot became possible for me. One was I didn’t feel I had to put up with him putting me down cuz he was the only one bringing money in and now that I can support myself and my children it has become evident that he is very careful to blurt out, “theres the door, leave!” 35 years seems so unrealistic for me to even think we will make it when I don’t even know if I can make it to 10 years in Dec. He won’t take the time to get put on new meds cuz he hates waiting in line. As you know with the military everything is waiting in line. He finally got disablity but sometimes I just want to talk with other people who know what I’m dealing with so that I don’t feel like he is just this evil man who only thinks about himself.
    “Rabbit”

    • Lindsay Rackham Call

      Jessica, I am in the same boat although i am currently pregnant (7m) and have two children 5 and 6 with my husband. I have had to kick him out last week, for freaking out and not getting his meds and skipping appointments. he has done this before and it escalated to him being hospitalized. But what I dont understand is the VA telling him to leave ME. we have been married for 7 years now and I have dealt with his behaviors before, severe mental illness run in his family and he was diagnosed with bi-polar like his mother and grandfather when he was 18 and in rehab, though the VA will not diagnose him and tell him that he is not. I am so confused at when to say when in this situation, I have panic attacks and severe anxiety when he is around and the kids are also suffering. He has hit, and spit on me on numerous occasions and even pushed me down, that was of course before i told him to get help or i would leave him(he refuses to go to his VA appts all the time ) and when he told them about what he had done, they did NOTHING. His family even says it’s all in my head and that I am overexaggerating. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO AT THIS POINT,he said he would get help and continually make changes and he was and then BOOM he stopped and it’s the old jekle and hide routine. Any insight or help into this and some advicve would be nice. He has been out two years now and its just this constant up and down, wich he hides from his family and friends. hE TELLs me it’s me and so do they and now i am starting to feel like im going crazy!!!!!
      HELP!!!!

    • Jessica,I understand,my husbands the same way .My kids are both out of the house,they don’t like to come home,my son said the other day how do u keep from going insane?Your situations hits the nail on the head

  9. I have been married to a veteran for just three years. We dated for two and a half years. He never told me that he suffers from ptsd, depression, suicidal thoughts, dreams, etc. Dating him, he was the perfect gentleman. He was a great conversationalist, outgoing, acted like he loved me so much, etc. After he took me to Niagara Falls to marry me on July 4, 2008, that day my life changed for the worst. Almost instantaneously he changed. On our wedding night, he did not want to consumate the marriage. He had every excuse in the book for not wanting to be intimate. I did not understand but I let it go. When we arrived back home two days later, he did not want to be intimate with me….more excuses. I knew then that something was wrong. Two weeks later, I came home from work and my husband had left me. I mean everything he owned was gone. Again, I did not understand. All I could do was cry because I did not understand but I knew something was wrong. He wouldn’t answer the phone. He moved back in after a week but did not explain what was wrong. A month and a half later, he moved out again. This went on for the entire time we were married. He was smart enough to move out each time the rent was due and all the bills, leaving me stuck with them all. Two days ago, he had planned to leave again but I was supposed to be on a trip to San Antonio, Texas but did not go because of the weather. He is a very intelligent man and no one believes that he is like this except his counselors. When the counselor ask why he never told me about his situation, he said “She didn’t ask”. I am pissed off and broke!! What am I supposed to do. In my religion, we don’t leave our mates unless they committ adultry or die. Please help me, please and let me know are there any services for me and my daughter. I am told that he may be getting benefits for us both.

    • Carolyn, if your husband leaves, he is ABANDONING you. Religion makes God’s Word based on technicalities. Yes, “technically” if your husband has an affair, then by the mere words of God you can “technically” divorce him. But IN CONTEXT, God’s Word speaks to our hearts. That’s why it’s sooooo important to be in tune with the Holy Spirit. God can lead a wife to stay with their husband even after an affair. But I believe if one treats God’s Word as a rule book, then they tend to manipulate situations in order to line up with what God’s Word “technically” says, and then misses out on the POWER of His amazing love! Stay away from religion, and draw near to TRUTH. Create boundaries, and if your husband crosses those boundaries, then he will face consequences. Abuse isn’t just physical… there are TONS of ways people are abused. It doesn’t mean you have to divorce him if he choose to use other ways to abuse you (verbally, emotionally, financially, with responsibility, etc.), but you can create a firm boundary (“I love you, but if you behave in this way, then [consequence].”) Carolyn, search God’s Word and find out who YOU are. And then BELIEVE it. And I say this with as much respect as I possibly can… run far away from any religious advice (i.e. “If you don’t divorce him on Biblical grounds, then you will never be able to remarry.” (Why not just say, “You will be cursed for the rest of your life with no hope for another relationship.”). Ask God what He wants you to do, because once you get your heart in tune with the Lord, you will KNOW what God wants you to do. I could say so much more, but really want to encourage you to believe who you are in Christ. You are fearfully and wonderfully made… no mistakes. And the mistakes we make will be countered with the Lord’s patience, refinement, and LOVE. The world/religion only offers condemnation. Sincerely, Carollee

  10. He probably wont committ adultry because he don’t have a desire for sex….Wow! I sure can pick them

  11. Jessica I would like to chat with u,if u don’t mind

  12. Hello. I have been married to a US Marine Scout Sniper and DI for two years. He was medically retired and has PTSD. I read many of these posts and broke down in tears because I am dealing with the same thing. My husband only focuses on the fact that he can’t go back to the Marine Corps. He can be so sweet one minute and the next turns into a walking nightmare. It used to be that it only happened every now and then and now it’s daily. He constantly asks me what he can do to fill up his time because he’s bored. I work part time an hour away from home, have two kids and he stays at home all day. He says that he feels trapped at home, but every time that I try to suggest something for him to do, he lists the reasons why he can’t. He constantly makes me feel bad for finding a job where I feel appreciated and happy and constantly accuses me of not being there for him. I try every day- no I’m not perfect and have said things out of anger in fights, but it’s getting to the point where he tears me down every day. I used to want to be around him all the time and now I am terrified. He refuses counseling, he only wants the VA to prescribe meds that will check him out all day so that he doesn’t have to deal with anything. In arguments, he gets out of control- throwing things, yelling and screaming, keys my car, destroys things in the house and then blames me because I pushed his buttons. I want to help him so bad, but I feel that he just wants to be angry, that he enjoys being angry. I love him so much and want us to be happy. I know that there will be problems, but I’m trying to get him to talk about things- when I try that, he gets sarcastic and becomes a rude jerk. I don’t know what I am supposed to do? I used to laugh, have a bubbly personality and was happy. Now, I hardly smile or laugh at anything and feel guilty if I do find happiness in anything. Please help. A friend of ours who is Army also PTSD (who never acts the way my husband does) just says that I need to love and support him. I’m doing that and my husband still continues to tear me down, blame me for his misfortunes and pushes me away. I’m sad, angry and feel taken advantage of. Is there anything out there that could help our situation?

  13. I need help. I am the wife of a husband with combat ptsd. We live in North Carolina. I would love to have someone to talk to. We are newly weds and this is much harder now than the last 8 years we have spent together. I am losing my mind. Please someone help me in the right direction. I feel so lost. Feel free to email me anytime to contact me if you can. Anything is greatly appreciated. jnbundy3511@gmail.com

    Thank you in advance, Nikki

    • Nikki, I emailed you. I also have my husband dealing with PTSD. I am still learning of PTSD but would like to talk to other spouses as well to learn how to deal with it and here there stories.

  14. Lindsay,
    Our situation is a lot like yours. I have been married to my husband for 8 years now and we have two wondeful boys (3 and 7). His mother is bi-polar and so is he. After his first of three deployments his attitude, moodswings, and triggers escelated. I left him several times once even while I was pregnant but not for very long until I returned back to the same life with him. Over a year ago I finally packed up my kids and left after all of the insults, abuse, lies, and his self mutilation. I am a very patient person, I have always been faithful, honest, and tried to always put him first. I could not take it any longer. Our friends all took his side because he would lie. Throughout this time they have all (including his family) called me apologizing for not being there and not believing me. They were not aware of what was really happening. I moved to a new town, worked full time, and tried to start over. He lost it! Went into overdrive. He maxed out credit cards, stopped paying bills, had multiple affairs, and rarely saw his kids. I tried to be as understanding as I could. I blamed myself for everything and even shut down. I have gotten mad, disgusted, and resented him for everything. This summer he broke down and was forced to a mental hospital. Since then he has been half way trying to get back into our lives. Telling me how he loves me, calling me 20 times a day, and doing pillow talk. I love him still and lord can only tell me why. I do not think there is much anyone can do except be an ear for them. They will ALWAYS blow up, be irrational, make wrong decisions and blame you for them all. If you can handle it then stand by him, learn the routine, study the triggers. It is something that will not go away on its own. I don’t have answers only a million stories that end in tears. I hope that whatever you do decide makes it easier to breathe. If your like me, the more pain they cause, the more you feel you cannot breathe, relax, or trust. I hope I don’t offend anyone. This is just me and my story….limbo

  15. i am in the same boat as you ladies. i feel so lonely,sad and broken. we have a four yr old son, and my husband acts like he has to take his crap out on him and me. it really pisses me off when he tells me im lazy and dont understand when it is him who has the problem opening up! everyday feels like a war, and i cant take much more. i think ive developed secondary ptsd that wives somehow get,and i also believe i am bipolar. ive suffered almost being attatcked by a neighbors pitbill that should be taken away for being dangerous,as well as a car accident, which had sparked ptsd to be even worse. yet i get no empathy from my husband. i dont know what to do, my friends cant stand him and now wants nothing to do with me. his family is nuts, his sister is stalking me and yet he doesnt want to press charges on her, when she is stalking him to, and yes it is unwanted contact, and lewd things as well as slandering me, and also spying with the friends she moved in on our block. he plays mind games between myself and his daughter, whom is my step daughter. tries to blame me for it all, even his own responsibilities he isnt accountable for. i just dont know what to do. my son is acting worse, and doesnt want to be left alone with his father. i need a support group or someone i can relate to because regardless what im told, i know im not crazy, and i know im not making things up in my head like he says. im tired of fighting this and playing or him trying to play mind games on me. i feel badly for his illness, but he has insulted me so badly and has used every threat about taking our child away and me never seeing him again, to how he will call cps on me for HIS dirty clothes,on the floor. i just want to feel happy again, and feel like i belong, with others that can understand and that do get what i am going through.

  16. My husband of 2o years who server in the Marine corp. between ’84-’91 has been suffering badly from PTSD. I saw him first began depressed in late November. I thought his depression was just about his dad because this is the time of year he always starts getting depressed and grumpy from the loss of his father. Although he we would have nightmares occasionally throughout our marriage, usually after watching a war movie, I did not know he had problems with anything he did in the military. The reason I did not think he had any real problems is because he always said that he worked on planes in the Marine Corp. It wasn’t until after the first nightmare that he admitted to me that he also had been a sniper. That is all he would tell me. So anyways, when he started getting depressed I spoke to his mom and she agreed that I should get him in counseling and possibly on medication. So I did what she suggested and I asked my husband to deal with his dads death and put it in its place once and for all, after all it had been 8 years. What I did not know was that dealing with his dad would open up the flood gates of his military past. My husband who has never been a talker was actually participating in the counseling sessions until the PTSD started getting worse. He was not sleeping and admitted was afraid of going to sleep and having a hard day at work. We went to counseling and in counseling he said he was still in the marriage and then he went back to work. The counseling was not only for his depression but also for the fact that he was coming home and picking and blaming me for everything whenever he got stressed. I couldn’t and still can’t say or do anything right. Well he came home 4 hours later from work from our last session together and told me I need to take a drive. I said ok thank you as the counselor suggested and all of a sudden he started bringing all kinds of stuff from the past about our relationship that I supposedly did wrong and then said “I am done!” I simply said “what do you mean you are done?” he replied “I want a divorce!”. It was like a daggar in my heart. (did I also mention he went could turkey off of his anti-depressant) I did not know what to say.

    I spoke to our counselor and he explained that my husband was in the middle of a PTSD crisis. He warned me that he would soon start finding everything toxic around him. This was weird because that is exactly what he said to me the next day (still has not slept). You are toxic to me and I want a divorce. He wants to get rid of everything in his life, including me. Everything bothers him and he sleeps in his truck. What do I do besides just cry? I am scared for him. I am trying to be positive and it just hurts so much. He will not talk to anyone and medicine is poison. In fact come to think of it since he has become this way he won’t let me fix him food. If I fix food he won’t eat it. I think he thinks that I will poison him.

    If you have any suggestions for me please let me know.

    thank you

    • Irena, Hi, My name is Tracy. I am not married to a Veteran but I am the 38 yr old child of one. I have seen it all, from the severe drug abuse to him hating my mom, he threatens to kill us at least 2 or 3 times a year, drinks all of the time. So you name it and I have probably seen it. I have had him put in the VA for treatment but they didnt help at all. I wish so bad that something, anything, could be done to help him. Every once in a while he is so kind and loving but it is all very short lived. I have gotton to were I wish I lived very far away so I didnt have to deal with it.

    • Irena,

      As much as my heart breaks for both you and your husband, this is beyond the scope of our blog and we can’t legally suggest anything here beyond the general advice given above as we aren’t doctors and can’t diagnose or treat your husband’s PTS.

      The VA has, however, put together resources that can be found here: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/where-to-get-help.asp. Please take a look and never stop trying to help you husband.

    • My heart goes out to you. I am in a very similiar situation. My husband got really bad when I told him we were having another baby. He’s trying to get rid of me. I even learned of an affair. I feel this strong obligation to him that I can not shake. I can’t let him go. :(

  17. “DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL” I wish I would have known this eight years ago. I would have avoided a lot of heartaches and disappointments. I’m thankful for this blog, because I need to know i’m not in this alone.

  18. I would like to say God Bless all of you living with somebody that has PTSD. My mother has been married to a vietnam veteran for 25 years. She has been through HELL! He has been horrible to her, mentally, verbally and physically abusive. He leaves her for weeks at a time with no money, food or transportation. He moved her to a little town in tittusville, PA where he grew up, she doesn’t have any way to go anywhere because he takes the car every month when he gets his money and disappears for weeks. He comes home when he is broke and starts in on my mom with the abuse. She wants to leave but is scared, she is 70 years old she has no income, and would be without health insurance. That is what she has to worry about for the rest of her life, HEALTH INSURANCE and MONEY To live. She said she can’t leave so she lives with the abuse. I know my mom and I think she just doesn’t want to burden anybody with all of this. I am affraid he will kill her one of these days, what can I do. Is there anyway she can keep her health insurance if she leaves this man? He is truly sick, he went through a lot in Vietnam, he was shot in stomach and leg, watched so much death at a very young age, he has every medal you can get. But what good are all those medals, Big Deal what about all the suffering in the lives of the families living with these vets! They feel tropped and are suffering! Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
    Thanks and God Bless, Debbie

  19. I am going to be 69 years old, and I am in the same boat as your mother. I am interested in becoming a member of this group, because the 66 year old Veitnam Vet (100% disabled by the VA) is doing the same thing to me. He gets all the money in his name-which I did all the work for him to get it. Today was awful. I am the one to blame for all his mood swings. ” I trigger them”, I was told tonight. He is a archery hunter, and found out all of his equipment where he hunts was stolen. I really thought I was going to have to call 911, after the top of a glass dish slipped when he was putting it away in the fridge. No more words were said after he took a shower. And went to bed. We will be married 16 years, THIS TIME, on July 4th. Yep, I married him a second time, because we didn’t know about PTSD. What will tomorrow bring? Who knows?
    We are going to our Phychrist on Monday, and I’m going to ask for separate appointments because I want the Phy. to know what’s going on. Even he admits that he does not think his meds are working. Did they ever work? Again, who knows. Thank yon in advance for being here; and I’m not feeling like I am the only one going through this.

  20. LaVonya Hunter

    Carollee, I know this message was for Carolyn but I thank you so much, because it also encouraged me. I am going through a transformation right now. I am trying real hard to let go of my negetive behavior.. I have realized that I am driven by anger, the things that I have been through and still going through with my husband’s PTSD, made me into a very ugly person. Now I am starting to realize who I am in Christ, and your message said exactly what I needed to hear.

  21. I have been married for 7 years to a marine who has done 2 tours in Iraq and i met him after the first tour and got married before his second tour. Since he has gotten out of the Marines and we had a child i don’t know what to do with him. He comes out of no where and treats me like a child and nothing i do is right. I tell him he needs help but that never goes over well. I have no where to turn to due to my best friend who was married to his war buddy shot and killed herself because he acts the same way as my husband. He is not going for his treatment and divorce is not an option due to we live in KY and there is nothing here for me and all of my family is in PA and he would NEVER allow me to leave the state with our daughter with out calling the cops saying i kidnapped her. I just don’t know where to turn but if i don’t turn somewhere i may end up like my best friend sad to say. When he has his days i just wish he would physical hurt me then do the stuff he does. How do I get help for me or him and my daughter is already starting to resent him and she is only 4. I have to force her to give him any affection. Then he makes it seam that I am the bad guy when i do everything around this house when I work more than he does and he thinks i should be doing more. I don’t know what to do or where to turn.

  22. I desperately need others to talk to who understand what I am going through. I am have been married for 5 years to my military husband. He has PTSD. Recently things have gotten way worse. He used to hide it with drinking but that got to out of control that he stopped drinking except for the occasional night out because I was going to leave and because our three girls couldn’t keep seeing him like that. The problem is, things just got worse. His mood swings….his verbal attacks. Never physical, but the emotional and verbal attacks are enough to rip my heart to pieces. I cry daily….trying to hold things together and help him through this. Just recently did I start to read up on PTSD and am not searching for help for him that is NOT through the military because he refuses help from them. I am struggling. His sexual desires have increased and he wants it daily….he used to want it maybe once a week….every other week. If i say no, he gets mean. Never forcing, just rude hurtful comments. If i have any sort of attitude towards him, its like a switch flips on him. I never know what will set him off. Nights are the worst when he is tired. I feel I can’t trust him alone with my girls anymore. He will leave them at home and go to the neighbors for 10-15 minutes, having my 10yr old daughter who has ADD watch our 16month old and our 3 yr old. We have talked about it before. He says he won’t, and then I find out otherwise later. Half the time I come home from work and find him asleep……on the couch. I only work one day a week….from 2-8pm. I see bits and pieces of him….and I see him trying, which is why I am still here….. but I am fed up, tired, depressed beyond hell, and want to CRY all the time.
    I would love someone to talk to. Please no spam…… tamara.sparks@yahoo.com

  23. My husband suffers from PTSD due to his mother’s abuse. He also has progressive MS and small nerve neuropathy on top of that. He has had a current breakdown. He had an abortion when he was 17 years old with a girl and went on facebook and hooked up with her for coffee. He said it was only because he wanted to apologize to her. And then he started calling her and I overheard him saying that he loved her. I was blamed for spying on his phone call and what was I doing opening a window in the bathroom to overhear his conversation. I have been been married for 17 years and have stuck by him through his illness telling him day by day that we will get through it. I have found myself wanting to say too much to him and he gets angry. He is angry and blames me. On top of all of this we have a disabled child to care for (HAVE TO PUT A SMILE ON MY FACE FOR HER). I have put up with it for 17 years and if you could give me some advice on how to handle this I would surely appreciate it. Thank you
    God Bless.

  24. My husband just got out of the Marines. He went right into the marines after highschool. He has served his 8 years, including, 3 tours to Iraq, one to Afghanistan, and one to Jordan. We dated throughout his military career, and just recently got married. He was the biggest sweet heart while he was in the military. Since he has gotten out, he has turned into a monster. He is always paranoid that I am cheating on him, just because I have classmates that are males and coworkers that are males. He doesn’t want me to have guy friends, even ones that I have been friends with since childhood. Things are getting worse. He is very manipulative, trys to turn my words around, and everything is my fault!! His anger is getting worse and worse. Just 2 months ago, he smashed his head into the wall mirror, then smashed his head through our window and completely shattered it. Just recently, things have turned physical. He has held me down on the ground, completely restraining me, twisting my arms behind my back so hard until they literally are about to break. I will tell him I cannot breath, and while he is holding me down, he shouts out things to me like ” I’m not going to let you go until you calm down!” and all I was doing was trying to leave the room, and he didn’t want me to leave, so he restrained me! He has broken down doors when I have locked myself in my room, it is just getting so out of control. He asks for my wedding ring back.. I always give it back to him. He is so persistent with things, saying “we are going to get a divorce, it is over!” and the next day, he will tell me how sorry he is, how he will never put me though these ordeals ever again, and then he showers me with gifts, fancy meals, etc… then, just a few days later, boom, something sets him off. I always have to be the one to apologize, because in his head, “It’s my (me) way or the highway”, when in all actuality, that is how he is acting. It’s like he is a little child! When we get into arguments, he IMMEDIATELY goes to my family and friends and “gives a report on my behavior”, telling them that I do this, and that… trying to make me sound like I am just this horrible person, when actually I am just trying to get away from him and get my space! He takes everything to the extreme, and is EXTREMELY impulsive. I have heard that this is sometimes typical behavior for a marine (or any other combat military personnel), who has just gotten out of the military and is getting back into civilian life for the first time in a long time. Is there any chance that he can change? I heard that it takes a while for them to adjust, but what can I do to get him the help that he needs? The VA is so filled with seeing military men and families with counseling, it is hard to get more than one appointment in a month. My husband needs EXTREME help, like impatient or something…. I am just feeling so hopeless over this…. I want the sweet guy to come back, not this evil monster he has turned into. Somebody, please help me…

  25. I have been in a 1.5 year marriage with someone with severe PTSD and depression. He retired from the Army last year and was deployed several times during his career. I was so proud of him serving and loved him for who he was, not what he has become – he’s in there somewhere but not sure how to reach him. Immediately after our wedding he became withdrawn , emotionally shutdown and blames me for everything. All of your stories ring in the same tune with what my family is going through. He is harsh, screams, throws things, curses, always leaves me behind and ignores me except to continue to blast me for the reason everything is wrong in his life. Our vows were for better or for worse, I didn’t realize it would be for the worse right off the bat and continue to spiral downward and out of control. I feel even worse for my daughter who had to be a 3rd party witness to this behavior and unnecessary stress/turmoil, live in this environment. We have tried counseling, and him on his own, he refuses to take medication and now he wants a divorce after we just purchased our first house together. He doesn’t like the furniture, home, cars, US, hates our dog even, nothing is good in his eyes, and above all says he doesn’t love me and I was a mistake. I’m so hurt and devastated. He wants us to both move out, sell this house and he only wants to live in a trailor in isolation. He has threatened to not pay the bills. The VA has tried to help but offer no true viable solution except told him to disengage from anything negative – and he sees us as that and his entire surroundings! He is kind to his friends and general acquaintences but not us. We are treated like prisoners of war. I wish there was someone or something that could assist. He needs help, we need help. I don’t want this divorce and want to try to find a way to keep our family together. How do you heal from PTSD without losing everything? I feel sorry for anyone who has to go through this, my heart goes out to each & every one of you being affected by this trauma. I am trying to learn to accept that there is nothing I can do and to not take this personally, but how could anyone not take it personally when your life is being torn apart? I also want my sweet guy to come back, he’s in there somewhere, but all I get is the incredible hulk. I wish there was help or some agency to assist.

  26. I dont know what to say… I, too, have the same stories to tell. I am in tears reading these posts wondering how we all got ourselves into such a dismal place? Really, I,too, was a normal seemingly well adjusted woman before my 10 year marriage. My husband was a MC scout sniper and spent 3 deployments killing people. His problems started in his youth with an impossibly dysfunctional broken family, trying to stab or strangle (I can’t remember which) his little sister among a myriad of other really bad things,and got institutionalized at 14. He dropped out of high school and went back to get his diploma just so he could join the marines. The marine corps led him because he seemed a little ” crazy”… always willing to do the outrageous thing. Outside of our doors, he seems normal. We are both police officers on a prestigious large department. The police department loves him because he seems well… a little ” crazy”… go figure. Everyone thinks he is a great guy. Except for me and our 2 young boys. My horror story with him includes many similar encounters that I’ ve just read.. the lies, the manipulating, the horribly painful’ body manipulation’ ( because that doesn’t make it abuse in his eyes because he’s not hitting me), handcuffing me with my own equipment, even firing his 45in a threat to remind me how angry he could get.( imagine how difficult/ depressing it was for me to work knowing that I couldn’t even protect myself). And he’s so smug and proud of his subversive nasty behavior, telling me that he did nothing wrong and that I deserved everything. I went to the police department for help… that was a joke. Surprisingly, it wasa class relating to our jobs that made him realize he had PTSD ( and he thinks bi- polar disorder, too.) He was ready to get help… for about 5 minutes. Then it got worse. And the alcohol moved into pain pills and the bank accounts set into irreparable damage. That’s when I moved the first time out of sheer fear. Filed a restraing order, filed for divorce, and told him that I really didn’t want to divorce him but he was leaving me nochoice. The sweet talking set in and a promise to get help. We moved back in together. He still had excuses for eveything. I was to blame for everything. He hated everything about me. Thinks our kids are horribly ill behaved. It lasted about 1.5 years and then he started treating our7 year old son (the older one) like he did me….I had no choice but to get us out of there..and quickly! This time though, I explained that we needed to get a break and decompress from his nastiness, and he needed to work on himself. It has been about 7 months now and he has done nothing. He plays video games all night with his buddies, getting drunk. The boys seem to be doing much better. They are ” unofficially” diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, although I think I see it as more of a loss of coping mechanisms they suffered while dealingwith all the scary mess for them since they were born. I THOUGHT I was doing greatfeeling what it’s like to get some self esteem back, not dealing with his utter chaos everyday, until I read this blog…I find that I’m not much further along than I was 7 months ago, emotionally and mentally. At the end of our leases, I still have to deal with this… he gives us a chunk of financial support from his check and when he’s mad, threatens to take it away. He sees the kids on occasion and proclaims his love and caring for them ( which I really don’t doubt.) What is wrong with all of us!!!??? Why can’t we just chose to be done with them??!! I know for me, it’s the kids…I’m terrified for them to be with him for longer than 3 days! But I also know that doctors dont care, the VA has firmly informed me that since he’s an adult there’s nothing anyone can force him to do, the courts don’t care.. they love giving joint custody… so I know I have to stick this out because at least I’m around to buffer the boys from his tirades. I can’t believe how many of us have the exact same issues! I joke that I will be in therapy for the rest of my life (which really isn’t a joke!) I, too, dont know what to do! For my sanity, our boys’ sanity…heck, for my husband’s sanity!? I implore someone… our United States military, anyone!!… help our men! Please!

    • Sad thing is, when our soldiers don’t get the help they need it definitely rolls down hill and effects the next generation! I wish someone would recognize that because it is destroying my family! I have called for help, but no one will help us because my husband isn’t the soldier, his dad was. None of this is right!

  27. Campus Crusade for Christ has an outreach called Military Ministry, and one book in particular that I have found useful is their workbook “PTSD: When the War Comes Home”. This workbook is for the spouses, but they also have a workbook for the military member with PTSD.

    I felt many times in the past that I was going crazy, and no one seemed to understand or listen to me. To this day, my own husband refuses to get help or discuss it. In fact, he is currently deployed and uncommunicative. I have read as many books and article as I could get my hands on about PTSD and combat stress, and have even talked to experts in the field. What I’ve found is that his symptoms fit to a T, but few to no one in my family or religious circle (except those in Military Ministry) believe me when I describe it to them. This is the most discouraging part because…when it boils down to it…we spouses fight this battle alone. I fight this battle on my knees in prayer.

    But I have had well meaning people and experts say that there is nothing that we spouses can do until the one with PTSD (my husband in this case) admits it and is willing to get help!! So, talk about feeling and being utterly helpless and at the whim of my husband’s antics until he realizes what is going on. So, I fight this battle on my knees in prayer.

    Even though my family and church family do not understand PTSD, they are still praying for my husband and I, which is a huge system of support.

    So, in the meantime, I wait and pray and read everything I can about PTSD and consult experts when possible. My heart goes out to every single one of the posters here. I am right there with you, fighting this battle. I pray for you, too.

  28. I have been with my husband for almost 11 years now and married 7 1/2. I still love him and have read that falling in and out of love is normal in a long term relationship. My husband has been recently diagnosed with PTSD by the VA but I’ve known hes had it for several years now. Things got worse when he was medically discharged from the Army. He is extremely possesive. He doesn’t trust me, gets extremely upset when I leave with my son to visit family. We have a 6 year old who unfortunately has witnessed unecessary arguments. He doesnt get physical with us, but gets very mean, mostly to me. I just found out about give an hour conseling yesterday and immediately made an appointment the only thing is that they dont have anything until next month and I would like to have the family counseling start soon because my husband’s paranioia and depression has become darker recently. We have had several changes and it might be why hes become like this. I recently started taking my son to church and going to family celebrations that normally I didn’t before just to avoid conflict. I noticed that I wasn’t pleasing him from avoiding these things only avoiding the arguments before and after I’d leave. Its just come down to the fact that I have to let my son experience these normal things that I was brought up with. I feel so guilty lately because I’ve deprived my little one of soooo much. I have come to realize that I cant try to make someone with PTSD happy, or at least okay with me on my own. I really hope this counseling wroks and really wish VA would do more for us as family units. I have threatened to leave him several times when the worse had become worst, but never do. If we leave him I fear he will have nothing and I married him for better or worse. He hates my threats and reminds me regularly that he doesn’t know what I am still doing here. I hope to hear from someone. Just to know that I am in your prayers or thoughts. I already feel at home on this sight where I can voice out what others that I have spoken to have noooo idea what to say back. Thank you for hearing me. God bless all of us and our wonderful families.

  29. …and he has just asked me to leave by e-mail. I don’t know how I still have a heart at this point. It is shattered torn and lit only by our son.

  30. My father in law was a sniper/gunnery sgt. for 13 years. He brutally beat my husband and his siblings. He would tell them constantly different ways he was going to kill all of them and then off himself. My husband was second oldest and the smallest of the kids (5’10″ 175 lbs), but he finally got fed up with his dad abusing his siblings that he started facing his 6’6″ 250 lbs father and begging him to hit him instead of his siblings. My father-in-law was happy to beat my husband instead and for a while he would go all out on him. Eventually my husband became his father’s check and balance. The sad thing is when he left home my f-i-l turned everything onto the little kids again. My husband found out about the change and put his father in jail, he killed himself while he was there. My husband blamed himself for his father’s death, he says he doesn’t now, but I’m not sure I believe him.

    My husband got marriedand had two kids. After a few years his wife divorced him because of physical abuse. He knew he was mean to his wife and after growing up under his father’s roof I believe he worried about his kids, so sadly he gave them up to their mother. (Maybe at the time it was a good thing. I don’t know)

    When I met my husband he was quite the charmer, we fell pretty hard, pretty fast. We got married and immediately started a family. Before I knew it we had 4 kids and my husband was nothing but abusive, physically, emotionally and verbally. I quickly found out he is addicted to sex. Over the years he has been unfaithful many times. We went to counseling for the sex addiction, and they diagnosed him as bipolar. He never felt right with that diagnosis so he quit counseling and just tried to be faithful. 5 years later I believe he has been faithful, I have forgiven him, but still he treats me horribly. He has stopped the physical abuse as well, thank God for that, but the emotional and verbal abuse may be worse!

    About 9 months ago he came to me and told me he had gone to a psychiatrist and found out that he had been misdiagnosed all those years earlier. He was actually suffering from PTSD. He seemed relieved. after 14.5 years of marriage I actually felt some relief, found some hope. His dr. put him on meds and suggested a male therapist. For 3 months life was so different. The kids made comments about him being a different dad. I had my first conversation with him in 14 years where we didn’t end up in a major arugement. We moved 4 months into his treatment and he has not gone back.

    The last 9 months have been a nightmare! He has amped up his verbal and emotional abuse. My daughter last night, in tears told me that “since we moved all you two do is fight.” We moved back to where he grew up. The children he lost in the divorce are here, his dad’s grave (which he feels compelled to visit often, claiming his dad was a great man!) his family is here, all of the abuse happened here. I’m at my wits end! I cry to myself for hours after I get the kids off to school and my husband off to work. ( a job where all he does is complain that they hate him and are going to fire him, yet he will spend extra hours working just to stay away from home ) I wonder if I am going crazy! Sometimes he will tell me I am crazy, I seriously have to stop myself and think about it. I feel like I am sometimes. I just don’t understand how someone can SNAP so quickly. We can have a wonderful day as a family or a couple and I will say some VERY insignificant thing that would never piss anyone off but my husband. I never know what will set him off but it is always something so innocent and silly! After he calms down (days later) and he relates the argument it is a very unreal and wrong depiction of what happened. He holds grudges forever! He brings things up that pissed him off years ago like I did them 2 minutes ago. I can’t reason with him when he gets going!

    I left him for a week once. My kids and I talk about his illness openly and they felt horribly about leaving so we went home. I would do anything to get him back to the dr, and into treatment but money is an issue and we are not VA covered since he is a child of an officer and not the officer himself. I am so heart broken because I have seen what the meds can do for him, I have seen who he can be, I want my husband back! I want my kids to have a happy father. I want my kids to have a good example of marriage so they can have one too. I feel like he is holding my head underwater and just when I feel like I’m dead he lifts my head up and smiles at me just long enough to shove my head under again. I have recently taken the spare bedroom for my own when he crashes so he has the space he needs.

    I don’t know what to do, who to reach out to, where to get help. I see my kids and worry because my youngest shows signs of secondary PTSD and I know I have to have it! But where can families go for help when they aren’t VA families?

  31. I do have a story….would love to learn how to make a long story short…my husband…..under the influence of meds , narcotics to be more specific & alcohol & possibly street drugs, pumped carbon monoxide into our home….gonna do me & the dog and make it look like an accident. He wasn’t charged…not enuf evidence….influenced by the drugs, alcohol & television, Watch for lack of a better word “religiously” a thousand ways to die, I almost got away with it, and anything of that sort of programing to feed into his ego…from the high…and trigger his ptsd…Soooo in the end who suffers….everyone!!! Not me not anymore….he couldda killed me that nite…if not for a loving “God” and “Divine Intervention” he used to tell me during a disagreement, argument, fight…you get where I’m going with that….”that he could get away with one killl….that being a Viet Nam Vet Marine Corps Sgt. Recon gets him kinda like a free get outta jail card if you will!! He was right….he did get away with it…he was also unsuccessful, AMEN!! Were no longer together after almost 17 years of marriage & total of 25 that we know one another…..I dated him way back when….his second marriage…our marriage was recent 1995 to 2012. Me I was a hard worker, happy go lucky, very obedient, a good mother, sister, daughter, and WIFE. Today I am Discouraged, Disappointed, Damaged, Depressed, Defensless and Disheartend I am trying to fall out of love with him…I admired hiim, he was an honorable man…stationed at “Camp David” Parade every Friday Night, throwing the rifles, claims he was in “CIA” indoctrination, that one Im questioning, he was quite the “hero” ya know and I don’t deny any soldier man or woman for that…they are all heros past & present, he was escorting debutant’s, oh just a soldiers dream, well deserved I thought. That was the man I married not this man….imposter….poisened by his nightmares and given meds from day one….thirty years later….don’t ya think they shoudda counseled first….I mean not just run him thu the routine , the system, a sterotypically given exam….every soldieris an individual & has his own nitemairs,…similar because it was war…., different experiences, memories,The need more than a one on one time with these precious souls, thown to the lions by government, forever tainted by war! Bad Boys today get preferential treatment they get “Top Shelf intervention, recognition, sympathy, free hospital care,an addict has more care from the public, private sector than the “Soldiers” WTF!!! This soldier wrote a blank check to “UNCLE SAM” for his life, he sacraficed his social, educational, spiritual, and family life for what shouldda been his family first & then his country, but he’s gotta do us proud
    If he’ “Bessed & makes if home in one piece….. his precious family. friends, potential employers, right down to the the local grocer, how is he repaid?? He left us, “family” for him “Uncle Sam” We are the one’s that deal with the after math…lovingly hoping someday he’ll return…For this individual that left us…. theres that word again “individual” Is not the person here today. So do we give up, thow em away act like their expendable…. like Uncle Sam did when he was done with him “He made it home….some of his men, platoon, group…..”Didn’t Make It” These men & women need more attention than that criminal on the corner, someone who can be reformed , renewed, if not back to the man he was, you can do more for him, than just medicate him, it makes him not only silent in a sense it makes him numb, physically , mentally, emotionally ect …. Show our Soldiers thier worth it , to strengthen our future soldiers, its a shame we hav to have armies, why cant we just get along…bring in more peaceful in politically not these loud mouth ranting idiots. Give them the arrention they deseve.to prevent another broken home who basically dosen’t exist..you can’t find help for contacting “Their” disease.

  32. Jessica Gartner

    Wow. I had to check some of these stories twice to make sure I was not the one who wrote them!!! I honestly thought i had one of the worst cases of a Iraq war veteran husband with PTSD, and now see many of you have almost the same probelm. I thought my problems with my husband and his behavior could have been because we met online and married too soon and had kids too soon on top of me already having 2 kids, blending a family and a culture, but WOW. HE came back from Iraq in Dec 2008, we were married one month later. He seemed like the perfect most nicest person when we married and that soon changed. He got out of the army less than a year after we married under Medical for PTSD/Depression and had been in the mental ward of the Military hospital in fort bragg once already for saying he would kill his seargent or himself. By then we had a newborn baby. I had moved to the East coast with my kids to marry him and start a life there but as soon as he was out i convinced him to come to my hometown in california. Months after we got here he had not yet looked or found a job and got into the VA system where they started prescribing meds and vicodin. Vicodin is probably the worst thing that ever happened to our marriage. It made everything worse, his sleeping all the time, beingn groggy or out of it all the time, being too tired to do anything, being angry and controlling about stupid things, and then gets me pregnant again. 1 year later in 2011 I finally convince him to let me work again just so I can get out of the house and not be with him at home fighting all day since he refused to look for work saying “he is getting paid to rest by the VA”, plus we were broke. HE was angry that i found a job and an outlett saying too that i had abandoned him etc, we were even in counseling at the time at the VA trying to fix our marriage after he had lied in court to try and take our son away while i was preg with our daughter becuase i kicked him out for not doing anything, long story short i got my son back the next day and like an idiot went back with him and we started counseling.. anyhow, after 1 year of counseling, things didnt seem much better at all, our Counselor herself thought it was his medications that were making him numb and sedated and werent allowing him to work on our marriage. He had every excuse in the world on why we were not happy, so we move from an apartment to a house, since he felt TRAPPED in the aprtment and fought with every neighbor.. ok so we are renting a house, oh wait that was after he had been arrested for choking me one day and was already going to counseling for DV.. yep.. there i was still by his side… sure i was hard on him because I didnt understand and still don’t, how to deal with this. A year ago I finally had it i had him arrested, he restraining orders were in place and he was put into more counseling etc… the whole year we were separated we both did our own thing, i had found peace, but niether of us filed for divorce. and just a few months ago, he wants to come home, we got restraining orders taken off and he is now home we are giving him a second chance. or more like a 3rd or 4th chance. But we are not like happy reconciliated couples are , we are just “there”, we dont have relations, we dont hug and kiss, he seems numb, i was too very numb when he first came home but I do love him, but I am also not very trusting of him and his intentions. he still sleeps a lot, he still doesnt want to do anything, he is still moody, and now I am wondering what to do, is there hope? does he love me? is it the PTSD and depression? what are we trying for? I am in limbo right now. I hate to break our family apart, we have only been married since 2009 our kids are 2 and 3 and my boys are 10 and 11, but my boys dont even pay attention to him after everything that happened when they used to call him Dad. I feel sad, lonely, he has not been agressive with me or tried to hurt me anymore, I do see that counseling helped him keep his hands off me and he doesnt Yell as much but he smokes every 20 minutes that is the only reason he goes outside for really.

    • I Totally understand your concern. I am going through the same thing but I do not have children. He would probably be really upset if he sees what I am posting on this page but I need A social support that understands what I am going through. I love him very very much and our marriage has been very rocky with a lot of ups and downs but at the end of the day I still love him I just cant deal with Arguing and disagreements anymore. He does exactly what your spouse does. My husband is very very kind at times but some days, I dont have the slightest clue as to whom he is. My spouse also smokes very much and we are currently struggling as well. I feel your paid. I cant relate very much.

  33. Hello, I dont know if this webpage is still active but i need major advice. My spouse is suffering PTSD and I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE. I know that sounds really selfish but I am so stressed out and I am feeling like I want to move out because I just can’t handle the stress anymore. He is getting help or at least trying but he is losing faith because everything with the VA seems it takes decades. I currently work and he get unemployment. He has not worked for going on almost 2 years. He stays at home all day and does nothing. Doesn’t help me clean nor any house duties. He sits around and sulks ALL DAY LONG. He always thinks people are out to get him, he constantly accuses me of being sneaky and messing around. I hardly ever spend time with my family and when I do, he says I am putting them before him. I have no one to talk to because he does not want me to have any friends. I love him ever so truly and I know deep in my heart that he can’t help it but I just cant take it anymore. I feel like I need counseling. Everyday that goes by and I see him sulking, it just pushes me away and everytime I try to talk about my feelings, he shuts me out and goes on a verbal battle with me. Nothing I say or feel ever matters to him. But he will tell you otherwise. He always thinks I am in need of another man in my life. Lord knows that I don’t need a man and I do not need anymore drama nor problems in my life. Lately I have been feeling like leaving because I cant take the stress anymore. I know it sounds like I am whining but it is more like venting. I have not talked to anybody in ages. I feel bad when I think about leaving him because I love him dearly, but i cant stand to see him laying around sulking anymore. Lately I have turned really mean with an attitude and act disgusted at home. BUT I CANT HELP IT! I dont know whats wrong with me. Everyday we fight and argue and I am sick of it. I just dont know what to do. Leaving will always be my last resort. If someone hears my cry for help, please I will welcome your response. Thank you ladies and god bless you and your families.

  34. Hi Courtney: I am the ex-wife of a Viet Nam medic. He could have been the poster soldier for PTSD. He had it all…the charming, funny person in public and the demon possessed arrogant ass in private. I stuck it out for 17 years, then he wanted to marry his girlfriend and we were divorced. He had many girlfriends for a very long time, he drank, smoked 2 packs of Camels, no filter, per day and spent every dime on himself. After the new wore off of his most recent toy, he was always disapointed in it and would discard it to pursue another new toy, relationship, job/career path. I had a business and worked many hours to avoid being home. He did not work consistently so he could stay home all day, sulk and smoke, mess up the house and then have some trauma-drama for me (that was some deep rooted personality disorder within me that I had not yet recognized and was the cause of his unhappiness, per him) to scream in my face when I got home every night. Therefore, everything that was wrong with him was my fault (like making all the money, paying all the bills, keeping him in cigarette and booz money). I was never appreciated unless I was packed and ready to move out…then the old charm came out. This dance went round and round for years. We have a daughter who very likely didn’t have a childhood because it was “our job” to insure that hubby was ‘happy’.
    Here is what I learned: I did not cause his problems and I don’t own them, he does. I don’t have the key that unlocks his inner brain, he does. I can’t do any more than I have already done which I am sorry for his sake that I was so compentent at…I enabled him to remain sick and not shoulder his rightful responsibility to seek and receive treatment. OK, sure a guy can be too sick to see it, I carried him during those times and was glad I could. But there were times when he could comprehend his huge need … he knew where the nightmares and flashbacks were coming from…the content of these things are clear indicators of that. But instead of dilegently seeking treatment, he was off on some new project, toy or girlfriend. The more I protected him, the worse it became. It is like dancing, if I step forward, he must step back. If I step to the side, he must step to the side as well. We went round and round, every encounter took my life energy, my soul, my joy with it into a bottemless pit. I thought I could fill the pit with my love and heal him from within…I can’t, no one can, that is God’s job which requires the person to humble themselves to be receiptive to the gentle, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit.
    Humility hadn’t come along in hubby’s life yet 28 years ago when we divorced…the best gift I ever gave him…he got to face life on his own. He was humbled by his drug and alcohol addictions, he couldn’t afford his toys, he was living with his relatives and actually working to start paying his own way. Somewhere in that mix PTSD came to the media and he was fully retired 100% disabled by the VA about 5 years ago. He called me to ask if I could write a letter of support for him for a social security case, I said “yes, in all honesty I do see PTSD as the real issue and would be glad to do that for you”. He never got back to me and got along without it I guess. He lives 5 states away from me and his family. He lives alone, has a filthy house, can not breathe, is still irritable and misserable. Bottomline: Was it best to cut the cord and get out? Yes it was. No one has to take the personal/intimate abuse from a spouse. That is not “marriage”… that is a personal prison tailored for you by your own dance steps. None of us gets there as informed adults, we are blinded into it by feelings of sacrafice and honor, we consider it “our privelage to bear” what ultimately is unbearable and inhumane. As the years tick away, so does our self-love, our self respect and our most basic needs are minimized by us … we actually start thinking hubby is right, he knows, he has let us in on a secret that we didn’t see before. This is the last dance step…the one where you do lose your own identity and your soul…if you stay and ‘buy into’ that line of thinking. My ex has a strong personality and very good language skills…the only way I survived is distance. My own healing has included going to God, 1:1 with God. I got off the roller coaster, realized that life could be lived differently. Boring became a good thing compared to manic – then depression. Yes, I do feel badly for my ex who is still haunted by very real deamons. I just don’t see where it benefits him to have 3 lives totally ruined when 2 could be spared. I started a new dance in my life and have found peace. It isn’t done yet, I still have some pieces of my puzzle to fill in…those things that I can not see or process. I still can’t sleep without drugs, I have anxiety and depression. I was young when I started the first dance, I accepted as fact some concepts that are just deranged thinking…like it is honorable to give up everything for your hurting spouse…who ever said that was a good idea? All that does is make 2 people wounded and leaves no one to call 911. There are so many of these stupid ideas chunked into my brain it will take therapy to uproot them and get them out. I lived off the stress scale for years just like you are doing now. It is not healthy, but it feels “normal”. The first steps is to establish a new “normal”…like what is it like to
    live a whole day without being beratted? Huh, feels quiet, sort of empty. Pretty soon I was trying to remember what I liked to do for fun…what did I like? What food did I want to eat? I had forgotten all about me … it had become all about him as the noose tightened and nearly strangled me to death. As I see it, you are in the same noose right now. You say that you think you are selfish, I say you have taken your last full breath…there is another one of those deranged thinking ideas again…it is not wrong for you to be discusted, it is normal…he is wasting his own preciuos life and yours…that IS discusting! It is a waste of 2 good humans…where do we get these stoic ideas from? Regardless of where they come from, they keep us immobilized, frozen in time/space that only takes our energy and joy into the bottomless pit. Please stop listening to his words. Focus on you. I have just gotten into a military psychologist for secondary PTSD. There is an app called PTSD COACH. It is free on-line. Look on-line for any resources that you may be able to get in to either physically or remotely (like on-line). Your feelings to leave is your survival skills kicking you again. I am not you, I can only give you my story…if I had stayed, I would still be living in a filthy house, away from my family, I would have nothing that I have worked for because he would have raged and destroyed it, and I would still be living in despair. This story spans my relationship from 1968 to now…huge chunk of time…it occurs to me that I did everything I knew to do and did them as long as I could until I was on my knees still trying to advance forward. Are we any different? When I read and re-read your post, it seems like we have more in common than differences. That is the striking element to this problem, all of the wives have basically the same story, just change the war, change the calendar and there we are: a most cohesive sisterhood. So you are not alone…not by a long shot. You have pleanty of company, a sisterhood who really does understand how you feel and supports you, yes you…the very caring person who just wants to live and let live. Only you can weigh the risks of staying over the risks of leaving. Either way, you still have to deal with him, you need to learn a new set of dance steps that lets you be you and gives him the opportunity to resume being himself. He may take that as an opportunity or see it as a threat, he may see you as having joined ‘the other side’. If you don’t already have an escape plan, it is time to make one, seriously, this can move from a not serious threat level to a very serious threat level in a very short period of time. My husband was sniper quality shot and threatened to kill me. I took that very seriously. His paranoia increased after he moved out to pursue his new love life. After she married someone else, he was pissed and I was his target. These guys get this diagnosis because of killing people, don’t forget that, he still knows how. TV seems to fuel the imagination in ways to accomplish that. If your husband has not had a psychotic episode in front of you yet, there may be more that you will experience in the future. It is triggered by who knows what? My husband was totally detached. He strangled my daughter’s kitten to death. He was talking nonsense, he was pacing, smoking, shaking. He lost 60 pounds over the next couple of months. If he had gotten a notion, my daughter and I would be dead with no more emotion than the kitten got which was none. I didn’t see it coming, he was fighting and ugly right up to his psychotic break, same as always. Again, please take care of yourself, someone needs to be there to call 911 when it all comes down. My story and my prayers are all I have to offer you. Please be safe and proactive for your own wellness and happiness can be regained but it takes change and patience. Continuing the same dance steps will likely result in the same life you now have, it can get worse. The good news is that he is going to the VA, only you can evaluate his strength of motivation to embrace change. Your cry for help has been heard and fully appreciated by another travelor on the same path. I will keep you in my prayers, please post updates so I will know you are OK. KC

  35. I am the wife of a Vietnam Vet and all the stories I been through it all for 32 years we didn’t know for the first 15years of marriage that he had PTSD and we had good times but the bad times were really bad he could go off at the drop of a hat and rant and rave there wasn’t a door in our house that didn’t have holes in them we had to put posters over the doors so no one would see them it caused a big problem with our oldest daughter and later on in life she blamed him for all her problems in her marriage so know they don’t speak and we don’t get to see our grandchildren because of it. About 18 years he got sick and finally went to the VA and found out he had PTSD and many health problems. The VA put him through a core for PTSD for two years it helped a lot I went to a support group given by the VA and it helped me understand more I read everything he brought home on PTSD and learned a lot. He has the PTSD under control he still gets upset but its nothing like what we went through when we first got married I am his 3rd wife. I live in Oklahoma and I would very much like to start a support group I think its import for wives to get together we all need someone to talk to and lean on I’ve been talking with my husbands Drs at the VA and they are trying to help me but they cant do it at the hospital so I feel I need to do what I can to help other wives it took me a long to take control of my own life and take care of my self. If I could help just one person I would feel blessed.

  36. Denell barbour

    I need help really bad my family is being mentally, emotionally and physically abused by my husband who has PTSD and is a vet I can’t find any resources in seattle Washington where I live. This has gone on for 20 years please help us he is a locksmith that can get into anything he has martial arts training and an alcohol addiction I feel trapped

    Denell

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