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Escape and Avoidance in Romantic Relationships

Discussion in 'PTSD Relationships' started by 3spinner6, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. 3spinner6

    3spinner6 New Member

    Hi Everyone! :smile: I have had PTSD for almost 6 years now and have happily conquered a lot of my triggers. In fact, I thought everything was over until I met a man and fell in love. All of a sudden, I became extremely distrustful, hypervigilant and anxiety ridden. (My PTSD was due to my ex-fiance.) So, basically, I am wondering if this has happened to others...I want to get on with my life, get married/have children but getting married scares the living h--- out of me. I am not really psychologically comfortable unless I know I have some sort of escape avenue. Marriage seems to close that route and it causes me to be anxious.
    My boyfriend is very sweet and understanding but wants to settle down. I do not want my PTSD to keep me from a happy marriage--I don't want my fear to rule my life. Except that is the path I am on and I want to get off! Getting engaged and married is supposed to be the happiest time in your life, and it is making me a nervous wreck!:crazy:
    Does anyone understand or have any advice?!
  2. She Cat

    She Cat VIP Member

    Welcome to the forum....

    I guess it's back to figuring out what trigger this episode and deal with the new trigger. PTSD is that way, just when you think you have it figured out, BAM you do down the path of symptoms again.

    Yes this should be a happy time for you, and I am sorry that it isn't. Hopefully you can work things out and get back on track.
  3. midi

    midi New Member

    Hopefully you can find out what the issue is.
  4. TLight

    TLight VIP Member

    For me; Love has always been a word filled with extreme danger. I want to change that........would love to find someone I can trust.
  5. pandora

    pandora VIP Member

    Try not to compare the two. Maybe try making a list...how different they are and why you love the new man and how you will never allow yourself to be in another abusive relationship. Make sure you see no red flags and are not too taken in by the love bug...can make you do silly things sometimes.

    My second marriage (along with alot of other issues too) but it also failed because I had not worked throught the abuse from the first marriage...you can not move forward if you keep looking in the rearview mirror. Seeing a clergy can be helpful if you are religious. Communication is the key...he also needs to know how you are feeling to be able to asssist you in working through this. It is going to be hard work......couples therapy is also another option but make sure and it goes both ways that you both know how the other is feeling and what your fears and goals are....work together.

    It won├Ęt be the PTSD that will ruin the marriage it would be lack of communication..IMO. You have to be honest and forthcoming at all times and expect the same in return. Relationships are hard work...add PTSD and triggers....we are strong individuals. You have the tools and now you get to use them. Keep reading and learning how to live with this disorder in a healthy way and a healthy relationship will be possible.

    I wish you the best of luck...the love bug makes you feel good sometimes too...scary!!!
  6. 3spinner6

    3spinner6 New Member

    Thanks for the advice and support...

    Sometimes I feel so lonely and misunderstood (in regards to the PTSD)...it is very comforting to have found this forum! Thanks again for your posts...I am going to make a list of the differences between the two, I think this will help!

    My trigger is basically being in a romantic relationship, unfortunately! My mind does really weird things sometimes, like for instance, I will think of my boyfriend and call him by my ex's name! It drives me crazy because they are not alike at all!

    Also, we hardly ever argue but when we do, even though I rationally know he would not hurt me, I flashback to the more painful episodes of my life, and I feel extremely threatened. This is when I want to escape! It is a major over reaction to pretty basic fights.

    One of the things about myself that I have noticed since the onset of my PTSD, is that my ability to cope with arguing (with anyone) is almost nonexistent. I bothers me so much, I can not stand it!
    I went to psychotherapy for 3 years and would love to go to couples counseling but unfortunately I am presently out of a job and can not afford therapy until I get a new one...How do other people cope with the urge to escape and avoid?!
  7. Seeking_Nirvana

    Seeking_Nirvana New Member

    I understand this one. Most of my boyfriends were either in the army or in prison so I didn't have a relationship where they were around me all of the time.

    Then when I started getting better I wanted a more serious relationship. However, I still find myself thinking about running away with just the cloths on my back.

    Of course I would come back because I would miss my kids and husband, but it bothers me that I feel this way sometimes.

    Hang in there!
    Tammy
  8. shiraz

    shiraz VIP Member

    I have similar responses. I have linked the fear of past abuse to my fiance. everyday i affirm him to myself - all the good and wonderful things about him and I affirm that I am safe with him, but somehow, my brain won't allow the disconnect. I keep reminding myself that the fear I feel is not from my fiance, but because it feels so overwhelming and I can't stop it - it begins to degrade the relationship. I have decided to let this man into my life and to trust him completely with my emotional and physical wellbeing. Somehow I think my psyche has flipped out about that release of control and the sudden vulnerability - then links the vulnerability to the abuse... I wish I had answers for you, but this is something beyond my ability to control.

    Just wanted you to know that there was somebody else facing the same stuff.


    :Hug_emoticon:
  9. Cindy

    Cindy New Member

    relationships and committment are scary

    I entered my first 'relationship' of meaning last year. I was terrified. I place all the safeties in place before I entered it and continued it. I maintained huge walls of safety. This is not the way to have a committed long term relationship. Trust of relationships does not exist on my plane so I don't expect any level of committment or necessarily total openess. Would I like to find a partner? Yes, but I have so much garbage I don't think its possible unless I find a saint. I thought I did but changes happen out of our control. Not that its over but distance is a factor.

    I think if you are pursueing this marraige and relationship your fiance has to be in the loop and totally understand your anxiety and the reasons for it. It he is worth his salt, he will respect your issues and help you cope. At the same time you need to work on you and recognize rational response verses irrational responses.

    Good Luck! I wish you the best.

    Cindy
  10. TLight

    TLight VIP Member

    Making a list of the differences. That's an excellent idea! I will keep that in mind if ever I venture toward another man.

    Shiraz; boy, I know what you are saying, the fear, the fact that the brain can't make the disconnect.

    Cindy; I need a saint too.........
  11. BassistKara

    BassistKara New Member

    Love, trust, care, and protection are such foreign concepts to me, and like Tlight said fraught with danger, hence why i'm almost 21 and never had a relationship!
    Up until i quit drinking last year, i could either have a purely emotional(well as emotional as possible with PTSD!), or purely physical relationship with guys, and if they tried to combine the two, boy did i make them pay!
    But now, i can't even do the physical stuff, now that i'm trying to heal and busting my arse in therapy, and flashbacks at people touching me innocently sure doesn't help either, and also feeling things for the first time and not blocking them out with alcohol or drugs.
    Emotional and physical intimacy still scares the crap out of me, and x1000 when they're combined. I'm still convinced that people only want to get to know me just so they can hurt me in the long run.
    It's good to know i'm not alone with this stuff.

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