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How Can I Help My Ex Seek Help

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by txssweetheart83, Aug 6, 2007.

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  1. txssweetheart83

    txssweetheart83 New Member

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    I'm in love with a man who suffers from PTSD and alcoholism. We dated for five years until recently in May we ended our relationship.

    It has been 3 years since he returned from Iraq. There were times in our relationship when he tried to open up to me about his feelings and the events that occured in Iraq. I tried to get him to talk to me but he would only become upset with me and at times blame me. I begged him to go talk to a counselor and seek treatment for his alcoholism, but he refused to go.

    In the end our communication had become so verbally abusive that we weren't communicating at all. He stopped coming home several nights out of the week, started going to strip clubs, hanging around friends who drank heavily and who use drugs, and seemed to want to cut me out of his life.

    In our last fight I became so tired of him verbally abusing me and blaming me for his unhappiness that I asked him why he didn't leave? He left the next day. A week later I found out that he moved in with a girl who runs in the same circle of friends that drink and use drugs. I don't know if she does these things.

    He still keeps in contact with me although our conversations usually end with him angry at me. In our last conversation we had a break through and he said he wanted to tell me everything he is feeling and what he had been through in Iraq. He told me that he knew that he was an alcoholic and that he probably has PTSD. He said that things had been getting worse these past 8 months. He said that he was having nightmares and flashbacks more than ever and that nothing he does makes them go away. He said he wanted to talk to me but didn't think he would ever get better.

    How can I get him to seek professional help? How can I approach him without him becoming angry?

    I feel guilty that I haven't been able to get him to seek help in these past 3 years. I should have told him to get help or I would leave him but I couldn't bring myself to leave him. I felt like that would be abandoning him when he needed me the most. I also feel angry because I feel that he knows that I love him and he takes advantage of this by the way he treats me. He doesn't understand that I feel pain too when I see him suffering and there is nothing I can do to help him. I think that is why I put up with everything because I feel he treats me badly because he can't sleep, he is always drunk, he feels isolated, he has nightmares and flashbacks, and he feels guilty, fearful, sad, and angry. But how can I help him help himself?
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi txs, welcome to the forum. The short answer is, you can't get him to help himself, only her can do that. The most you can do, is make the right phone calls to the appropriate vet centres in which can help him, get pamphets for him to read, send them to him or hand them too him, then he must take the action from that point. As unfortunate as it is, you cannot help him, only he can help himself, and that he must come to understand for himself.

    He is obviously already aware what is wrong, being PTSD, as they would be well informed about it nowadays. He knows the problems, but only he can fix this, not you. Yes, it is hard to sit back and watch someone you love fall apart, fall down around you, though you can only do so much and focus on taking care of you, and hoping like all hell he puts some focus on himself, which in turn brings him back to you a better person.
     
  4. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Welcome tsx,

    I have said this a few times here, and will say it again. I can't even imagine the hell that these guys go through over there, and hope to god that they can recover.

    A big thanks to your ex-boyfriend and his buddies for what they do, but I am so sorry for what happens to them.

    Read, read, read, everything that you can on PTSD so that you can try to understand what he is going through. It isn't easy to try and stand by someone who isn't willing to help themselves, so I congratulate you for trying to do this, as his life falls apart.

    It sounds like he is almost at rock bottom, and that may be a good sign. It may be the place that he needed to be, before he decides to get help. Once there, the only place to go is up....

    Again welcome,

    Wendy
     
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  5. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Welcome to the forum txs. It is lovely to have you. I do not have much to add to what has already been said, I do agree with all of it. Your boyfriend must want to help himself, you can only be there for support and encouragement. Learn all you can about this illness. Joining this forum is a good start, as there is a wealth of information to be had here. Please feel free to post in Carers as well, ask as many questions as you please, that is how you learn. Take good care.
     
  6. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    Welcome txs. Delighted to have you here.

    Jim.
     
  7. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Welcome to the forum. Please make sure you are taking care of yourself during this. The others are right. And sadly it is very normal to try to cover this up with alcohol, clubs, and so on. He is well on his way to rock bottom. That is usually the only time you decide to staart the healing process. It iis no fun to watch but when they get there it is a good thing as you only have one way to go. Up. Good luck. And maybe suggest looking here.
     
  8. Alienne

    Alienne Member

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    Dear txs,

    I can relate to your story above and all I totally agree with the advice given above-read, read, read as much as you ever can. I realised that I really didn´t have a clue about ptsd and the almost endless list of severe symptoms that comes with it until I took my time and seriously started doing some research. Best of luck to you, and remember you´re not alone!
    Alienne
     
  9. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Welcome to the forum,

    Lisa
     
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