Wives with husband's who have PTSD

Samantha - posted on 01/06/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My husband, son and I just moved from Ft. Lewis, WA to Ft. Bliss, TX over Thanksgiving weekend. My husband actually came 2 weeks before my son and me. Before he left, he was really sad to have to leave me and our son behind for a little while until he got a house situated for us. The 2 weeks we were apart, he would tell me how much he misses me and how he can't wait for us to come join him at Ft. Bliss. When we got down here, he was so excited to have us here and he was so happy not to have to wait any longer. He would sweet talk me all the time saying how happy he was and how much he loved me. Two weeks after we got here, he started changing drastically. He blind sided me one night with the news of how unhappy he is being married to me and that he doesn't love me anymore. He asked for a separation, but luckily, I convinced him that we seek counseling before doing that. Since starting counseling, things have been seeming to gradually get better. He says that he loves me again, but that he's still unsure if he wants to be with me. It breaks my heart walking around knowing that and I don't have a clue what to do about it. I never once saw any sort of signs that he was unhappy nor did I ever suspect anything was wrong. This past week, I have been thinking a lot about why he might be unhappy. He was deployed from July 2009-July 2010. Throughout that time, he missed the pregnancy and birth of our son which took a toll on him, and he saw 3 of his friends killed in action. He was one of the soldiers who had to clean up their blood and remains, which I know did damaging affects to him. I can't help but think that he may possibly have PTSD, but just not know it. I have a g/f who's husband is also in the military and she says that her husband is acting the same way mine is-very distant, suddenly doesn't love her or want to be with her-and he was just diagnosed with PTSD. I don't know how to go about talking to my husband about the possibility of him having PTSD. Whenever I try to talk to him about anything as serious as that or how I'm feeling or what I think, he gets upset and thinks I'm attacking him and then a fight breaks out amongst us, which causes friction and a huge set back from all the progress we have made since he bombarded me with all of this just a month ago. Have any of you out there ever gone through anything similar? Any suggestions on the steps I can take to try to talk to him about it? I'm not familiar with PTSD and I have been trying to get information about it wherever I can. I don't want to chance getting into a fight with him, but I can't keep my mouth shut about it either for too much longer. He's the kind of man who is afraid to admit his faults or that anything is wrong with him. Please help! What do I do?!?!?

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Linda - posted on 12/31/2012

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After further on the phone conversations. He is a maniac. I will not go back. Thank you for your comment.

Luvmia - posted on 01/06/2012

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I have extensive experience with people suffering with mental illness. The thing is that they have to acknowlege that they need help. It does not sound like your husband is going to do so. The only thing I can tell you is to give him an ultimatum that if he does not seek help then you will leave him. Unfortunately men do not seek any type of counseling unless they face losing something or someone major in their lives. Sad but true. If you stay with him and he does not get help, it will get worse. He will start self medicating (i.e. drinking and/or getting high in attempts to "kill" the pain they are feeling but it does not ever work); get severely depressed (possibly with mood swings) and/or get physically abusive.

Research shows that individuals whom are diagnosed with PTSD are also diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder since the primary diagnosis can result into the latter.



I hope everything works out for you. A good resource is NAMI which is an organization dedicated to educating the community and helping those with mental illnesses and their love ones.

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13 Comments

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Linda - posted on 12/19/2012

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It is primarily for religious reasons. I cannot get a divorce. I cannot move on.

Lakota - posted on 12/18/2012

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Linda, you are afraid for your life. Why would you go back? Stay away from him.

Linda - posted on 12/17/2012

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My husband has never been in battle or in the army and has PT'SD. He beats me and his doctor says he is going to kill me. I have separated but still afraid. He states that he wants me back but when we speak over the telephone,he shouts at me over anything and everything. He also told me that he went to see where Scott Peterson killed his wife. 'Everyone says he has changed to be a better person since I left him, but it doesn't appear to me that he has changed from his tone to me over the telephone. He has been diagnosed with PT''SD by his doctor. He frightens me. I am considering going back because I do not believe in divorce. Just not sure of his intent. I totally moved out of the state we were living in but he now knows where I live. 'we are receiving separately religious counseling, and I really love my husband but just feel afraid. 'Each time we speak over the telephone, he wants me back but doesn't say it nicely. I am considering calling his doctor for advice since we have been separated for sometime. Just scared, confused, and would like to be back wth my husband.

Misty - posted on 11/14/2012

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My husband is a correctional officer and was attacked at work a few years back. Attacks keep happening at work and people aren't being safe and he is having a lot of triggers from it. It turned our whole world upside down. I had the same thing happen where everything was perfectly normal and then WHAM out of no where he didnt want to be in our family anymore and then lived like he was a different person. Luckily I realized it wasnt me or our life that it was the PTSD and I stuck through it. I wanted to help him no matter what. Its been hard, but I married him in SICKNESS and in health. And right now he is sick and needs to continue counseling. It hurts that he will never be the same man he was because he was the most amazing man. I will learn to love the new one and continue to help him through it no matter how painful it may be.

Samantha - posted on 01/07/2012

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His unit is deployed currently so I don't yet have any of the info for his unit's FRG. Plus, we only have one car between the two of us so its hard to go anywhere when i want or need to. He's been home since July 2010, so it was a year and 4 months after he got home till they waited to move us. He wasn't at all acting weird when he came home from deployment. All of this is brand new. Never once he show anything to make me suspect something was wrong.

Hope - posted on 01/07/2012

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I think you are doing everything that you can to help move things along and hold together.

I hate going to FRG meetings but I have found that sometimes it is the only way to meet the people my husband works with so maybe you should try going?

I think the Army really shouldn't be allowed to move a family until the Soldier has been home from deployment for a year. It is such an oversight. They talk about the need for stability and support networks for newly redeployed Soldier yet they move everyone within months.

You'll be ok and you guys can get through this. Just take it one day at a time and trust that the counseling will help with time.

Samantha - posted on 01/07/2012

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My g/f told me the same thing, and her husband has PTSD as well. I'm sure one of his fellow comrades would be more suitable to try to talk to him about it. We have a counselor through Military One Source and we get 12 free sessions with him. We have only had two sessions so far so we have yet to get into any sort of depth to talk out our issues. I'm hoping we can get into depth soon because holding all of this in kills me sometimes. We just haven't reached a point in counseling where bringing it up would be appropriate. I understand that things will get better before they get worse. That's just usually how things go during times like these. I know I can't control what he does, but I'm just hoping that once I tell him how I feel, that he will at least be open-minded. And the other thing is, since we have just moved here, I haven't met any of the guys he has made friends with and all of our really close friends back at Ft. Lewis, he has pretty much isolated himself from all of them. I don't really know why because we were all so inseparable when we were at Lewis and then all of a sudden, he just puts his friendships with them on the backburner.

Hope - posted on 01/07/2012

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Samantha, I asked my husband what he thought and he suggested that you talk to one of your husband's friends and get the friend to talk to him about PTSD and what's been going on.

I sort of agree with my husband. Guys can be more open when they are talking to another guy or someone that has "been there" but I also think that you should try to talk to him about it in counseling because then you have a mediator there if he does flip out.

I also want to say that until your husband realizes he has a problem your life is going to be really hard. I understand you want to stay with him and I applaud you for it but it is going to get worse before it gets better. Your husband has to want to get help and no amount of poking or prodding or suggesting from anyone will make him get it unless he is ready for it. I have a friend who is about to marry a man with PTSD. It took her fiance the better part of a decade to start to realize and handle is problems. Her fiance has been arrested, had DUIs, been in institutionalized and all sorts of other terrible things on his road to self-rediscovery and getting serious help. He is stable now but his life is work every day for him and for her. You need to think about all the bad stuff and not just the good. I don't want to be all gloom and doom on you though. If your husband does get help for his problem(s) things can get better. My husband and I are doing much better than we were and we work together on things but it takes a lot of effort on both our parts. Gone are the days of a leisurely marriage.

I would also contact military one source and seek individual counseling to deal with what all of this is doing to you. Their counselors will be able to help you deal with your husband and any issues that it may cause you. You get like eleven sessions for free and if they think you need more help they can refer you back to post. Sometimes there are local support groups too. We had a brigade support group for spouses and family members that was really helpful.

Samantha - posted on 01/07/2012

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Thank you, Hope. He has already threatened to leave me though and I don't at all want us to be separated or divorced, so I'm wanting to work things out. I don't necessarily think his unhappiness at all has to do with our marriage. I think it's something inside him that he just doesn't realize yet. I just don't know how to go about talking to him about it. I'm not going to give him an ultimatum of either get help or I leave. That seems a bit extreme. I took my vows seriously.."through better or for worse". I need to know how to go about approaching him about this. He's very defensive and he would never even consider the possibility of him getting help. I feel it best to stay by his side while he's going through this hard time, even though he doesn't realize that the problem is within him, not our marriage. He has been consuming alcohol more often than he ever has before and he started chewing tobacco as well, even though he knows how much I don't stand for tobacco use for good reasons. How do I talk to him about this without him feeling like im attacking him or him getting defensive and explode on me?

Hope - posted on 01/07/2012

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My husband has PTSD. He has deployed twice. Once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. When he got home from Iraq things were hard between us but we just assumed it was readjusting and things got worse leading up to his deployment to Afghanistan. Somehow we persevered and stayed together. Now that he is home he realized that his problem was serious and he has been seeking help. What made him realize he had a problem was he got very nasty with me one day and I just said I'm not dealing with this grabbed our kiddo and left. I came back the next day and we agreed to get counseling. The counseling helped for a little while but it didn't fix things because it wasn't really our marriage that was the issue it was his mental health. He moved to Germany and I seriously considered not following him but I realized that the only way to get things back on track was to be together. So I came and he decided to get mental health help. He has been medicated and in counseling for about three months now and it has done wonders. When he is taking his pills, he eats betters, sleeps better, and behaves more like the man I met and married.

But you need to know, the man you married is gone. You will never get him back. You have to decide if you can deal with the new version. A lot of people can't handle it. I'm not always sure I can and my husband knows that if he doesn't stay getting help and doesn't show improvements that I will leave him for my own sake and our daughters. And he agrees it is the right thing.

You need to talk to your husband about all of this. It's a very long tough road and sometimes it is a road that has to be traveled alone.

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