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Boyfriend feels no love?

Discussion in 'Supporter Relationships' started by BoyfriendqwithPTSD, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. BoyfriendqwithPTSD

    BoyfriendqwithPTSD Member

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    Hi everyone.
    My boyfriend has been diagnosed with PTSD.
    He often says he feels numb, emotionless, deattached, no purpose, feels bored of life, is flat in emotions. He went through something extremely traumatic some time ago..

    He has told me that he struggles to feel love for me (although previously in our 6 yr relationship he used to love me and always express this).

    Has anyone else experienced that they struggle to feel love for their partner? I love him dearly and I feel broken hearted, I just want to understand what’s happening..
     
    Rosie11 and Supervixn like this.
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  3. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Yes, this is extremely common with PTSD. There are many posts almost identical to yours.
     
    Never_falter and Ronin like this.
  4. Ronin

    Ronin Ya'Aburnee Premium Member

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    If it's not just you, but everything?

    Keep that in mind. It's not about you. He struggles to feel love / certain emotions, period; it's not that he struggles to feel love for you.
     
    Rosie11, Supervixn, shimmerz and 4 others like this.
  5. He also tries finding faults with our relationship when truly there’s not much to complain about...Is this something that happens with PTSD?

    He says he feels emotionally dead inside. He says he feels no love at all.
     
    Supervixn likes this.
  6. A concerned spouse

    A concerned spouse Active Member

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    Yep!!! Heard and seen that from my husband a time or two. Unfortunately, it's normal. They know they love you but they can't "feel" it. It's not You, they go numb on everyone. It's the way the body and mind copes when in survival mode.

    I know it's heart breaking but this to shall pass. Just put your head up hi, give him his space, DON'T ask or demand answers or push him to talk. Give him space and time to heal. Take care of yourself and do things that bring you happiness. Prayers headed your eay!
     
    Akhos, Supervixn, B.J. and 1 other person like this.
  7. BoyfriendqwithPTSD

    BoyfriendqwithPTSD Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply.

    Appreciate it a lot

    He also tries to look for ‘faults’ in our relationship. Before his PTSD, we had an amazing relationship which he was happy with but now it’s like, he finds excuses to why he has to leave, and he’s many times mentioned it’s ‘unfair to me’ as he is a ‘damaged person’

    Why is he trying to look for excuses? I really don’t understand and this is breaking me
     
    shimmerz likes this.
  8. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

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    He isn't looking for excuses. These things are real. Trust me, people with PTSD don't need to 'look' for anything. These things beat them down all day every day.
     
    Freida, Akhos, leehalf and 2 others like this.
  9. Thanks for your reply.

    I don’t mean that him feeling ‘damaged’ etc is an excuse. I mean that he finds faults in our relationship, and then uses that as an explanation as to why he does not feel anything. Also he takes these faults and ‘uses’ it as an exit route from our relationship.

    These ‘faults’ never used to be a problem before. I’m confused :(
     
    B.J. likes this.
  10. A concerned spouse

    A concerned spouse Active Member

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    When my husband is in a PTSD episode, he too tells me that I deserve more, that he can't give me what I need and deserve, etc. This is self loathing. In those moments they truly hate themselves. They think they are only hurting us and it bothers them that they are hurting us.

    In moments like these you hold more power than you realize. If you show them your hurt, pain, disappointment, they feel more self loathing. But if you take your concentration off them and work on you. Do things that bring you happiness and confidence, they will see that their mood is not affecting you and it gives them the space to heal. I call it supporting HAPPILY from a distance.

    You can't fix this. You can't make it go away. Nothing you can say to PTSD will change anything. PTSD doesn't play fair to them or you. But you can take the pressure off them by not demanding to discuss the relationship. By not showing your hurt. There will be a time and lace for that but not while they are struggling.

    I know it's hard. I know it doesn't feel "normal" but supporting someone with PTSD is different. But it will make you a stronger person in the long run! Believe in yourself and believe in him. Show him by your actions that you believe in his ability to fight and beat this.
     
    Freida, Snowflakes, Akhos and 4 others like this.
  11. BoyfriendqwithPTSD

    BoyfriendqwithPTSD Member

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    Thank you all for your responses and giving me insight in to this. I am still very new to PTSD, I want to understand and support him the best I can.
    A concerned spouse: Cannot thank you enough for your lovely response. I take what he says extremely personally, and it does not have the best effect. For example; after his PTSD diagnoses and when he has his bad days, he claims that we don't connect/don't have much to talk about/there is no excitement left. Before his trauma, he never complained about this and we had been together for 5 yrs. The more he finds faults, the more I start to think that I AM THE PROBLEM. I just don't understand why he has to "look" for "faults" in our relationship, when we were perfectly happy before. I do need to focus on myself more, I need to become stronger and more confident and like you mentioned, learn to support happily from a distance. Such useful advice, thank you!

    I can't begin to describe how awful I feel. I feel like my "old boyfriend" has died, and Im now having to bury the the memories of us happy together. Yes, some days are great between us, like before..but most days now he is not himself. He also had a previous diagnoses of GAD (diagnosed 10 years ago), which definitely does not help the PTSD.
    He is a shadow of himself and I feel broken hearted. He gets so angry over the smallest things (he NEVER used to have a temper), he is so numb, emotionless, unhappy..I miss his big laughter and smile. He wakes up in the middle of the night due to flashbacks, nightmares. He struggles with extremely intrusive thoughts. He is constantly super tired. He wakes me up in the middle of the night crying because he is so anxious. He constantly stated that he feels "dead inside". He says that he always has to keep busy so he does not think, and he can't ever relax.

    Is this relatable to people who have PTSD, I don't know many people with PTSD. I want to learn more. I want to be supportive and I feel extremely guilty of my reactions sometime. Sometimes I think I do add to his stress, but I am so new to this.

    Thanks all again, and if there is any other advice, wise words that you guys can contribute with...Id love to hear it!
     
    Akhos and shimmerz like this.
  12. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

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    This is such a significant statement. The words are so simple but the meaning behind them very complex.

    I don't self loath when I used to feel this with my ex. Nor do I hate myself. No. I am incredibly, without a doubt, conflicted. That is really the root of PTSD as far a I am concerned. And when conflicted feelings arise, I drop into full bore PTSD mode. Doesn't matter what the topic.

    The more my ex would do for me, the more I felt I needed to rise to the newly raised bar. I hadn't even reached the last one. And I KNOW that he gives way more than I give him back. May ever be able to give him back. And I see other couples and how they function. And I think to myself -- if I love this person, which I do, then what the hell am I doing hanging a noose around his neck with my dragging him down my millions of black holes? Who does that to someone they love?????? Listen, if I just cut it off now, then it will hurt but I can't keep doing this to him. But after all he has done for me? How can I do that to someone who has done so much for me? I am making their life hell.

    Spiral......
    Spiral......
    Spiral......
    Spiral......

    Ad infinitum..... and I leave. I get talked into trying again because I feel responsible for having hurt him due to my internal conflicts. If I leave I hurt them, if I stay I hurt them. The ultimate in emotional double binds.

    And because I can't figure out how NOT to hurt him, I leave to protect him, I come back because I miss him and he misses me. I leave so I won't hurt him anymore. Once I leave it is painfully obvious that I have hurt you yet again. *heavy sigh*

    Honestly. I have a million thoughts and feelings, all conflicting .... because I loved him and never ever wanted to hurt him. That statement, which I believe is pretty universal with PTSD'ers is a big time clue that your SO is down the hole and needs to rely on their own learned tools to get themselves back out.

    Perhaps an idea for supporters who want to be part of the process would be to catch the sufferer in good moments and teach them that you can be of aid EVEN when they are melting down. That can be learned. It takes some negotiating and a whole lot of respect from both sides, but it can definitely be done. It takes a lot of time and trust though.
     
  13. A concerned spouse

    A concerned spouse Active Member

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    Is he in therapy? Are you in therapy? I thought I didn't need therapy because he is the one with PTSD, and not me. I'm a strong women. But I finally realized this was bigger than me and finally went. I wished I had done it 20 years ago. I have someone I can vent to, someone that knows all about PTSD and gives me coping skill on how to deal when ptsd steals my husband away.
     
    B.J. likes this.
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