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I've Lost All Perspective In My Marriage

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by joseph, Aug 19, 2007.

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  1. joseph

    joseph New Member

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    Hello all, I'm new around here, but perhaps others have wisdom I can draw upon.

    Short version is that I've been married under a year and it's been hell. My wife, before we were married, read books on trauma and told me her childhood really fit some of the descriptions she was reading- there was not one traumatic event but years of an emotionally chaotic mother and a checked-out, adulterous father, among other things.

    She's often been incredibly angry and judgmental of me, slamming doors, hopping out of moving cars, yelling, cursing, putting me down, telling me her reactions are because of my thoughtlessness or ignorance or arrogance (some of which is- of course- true).

    Our sex life sucks, we're burning through money - she goes to therapists and doesn't get reimbursed from insurance because she doesn't want to be "labelled", among other things- we barely speak, I'm becoming someone I hate, I fantasize about divorce all the time, and I find myself hating somebody I have vague memories of loving.

    So what's my question? It's something like this: when somebody is always reacting- to almost everything, it seems- and no repair, apology or good deed can bring about warmth or affection or connection, at least not for days or weeks at a time- how do you maintain perspective?

    Of course she's right that I have my stuff to own- I've gotten sucked into arguments and said things I terribly regret, and I've not always been kind- but I've also never, ever been in a relationship like this, where I don't know what to expect, I'm walking on eggshells, and I find things are always, always, always turned around on me so that somehow it makes sense to her that she would be angry or frustrated with me, even when all I'm doing is telling her my feelings of loneliness and rejection. I've been criticized for everything from my clothes to my sneezing to simply wanting to buy a cup of tea in the afternoon (it was evidence that like her mother I was caught up in a consumer culture.)

    How do I maintain perspective? How do I work on myself when for months I've been told I'm a betrayer, an enemy, an a**hole, a liar, a fraud, some who brings shame upon myself and my family? (I am not making this up.)

    I don't know how to find the balance between thinking it's all in her head and all my fault, nor do I know how to even conceive of trusting her even though she's now in therapy and taking meds and trying to say things in terms of her own reactions and beliefs rather than simply blaming and accusing me.

    How do I stay and try when I just want relief from the rejection and anger?

    OK, that's enough for today :sleeping:

    Thanks in advance,

    j
     
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  3. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Welcome to the forum, joseph. Lovely to have you.

    Maintaining perspective in a situation such as yours is quite difficult. It requires work over a long period of time, there are no fast or easy solutions. Firstly, I must ask, why do you stay? You say she is abusive to you, and that you fantasize about divorce. So why have you not divorced her, or separated for a time? If you do decide to stay with her, be sure it is because you truly love her and want to spend the rest of your life with her, and not for any other reason(s). If she indeed has PTSD, it is a life long illness, there is no cure, and whilst she may become much improved and healed, it will never be totally diminished. Healing will take much time. She will need to work very hard upon herself, perhaps for years, and you will need to work hard at supporting her, working upon your own issues, establishing your own boundaries and so on.

    If you are going to stay, you should firstly learn as much about PTSD as you possibly can, so you may better understand your wife's actions and behaviour. This forum is an excellent place to begin, read in the Information sections especially. Ask questions here as well, carers and sufferers alike will have good input for you.

    How long has your wife been in therapy and on meds? Depending on the medication, it can be several weeks or even months to see a full effect. This is equally true of therapy. Not to mention, it is largely up to your wife to do the required work in therapy, and therapists vary greatly in their abilities as well. I do hope she is seeing someone who specializes in trauma. You may consider going into therapy yourself also, to work on your own issues. Self-awareness is vitally important for both of you.

    Do take care, and good luck to you.
     
  4. Damiea

    Damiea Well-Known Member

    Also figgure out if and how much you truly love her... after reading all you can about PTSD and put aside as much of the things that have been said and done as you can. Do you love her as a person.. and love her enough to stay with her through all this and the future hard times to come? even with help and therapy it will be hard. If you don't think you can stay with her.. then don't stay out of guilt or feeling like your just giving up. If you don't put your whole into it then you most likely will be hurting her more in the long run becouse she WILL feel that lack of love.
     
  5. joseph

    joseph New Member

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    Hi, Dameia, thanks so much for your perspective. I'll post more later, after work- but I deeply appreciate the advice and the things to think about.

    more later

    j
     
  6. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum Joseph. You've come to the right place - good people here and great information. Must agree with both Kathy and Damiea. They both mentioned loving your wife. That is most important. Do you love her enough to be in it for the long haul? That's what you are facing, if she has PTSD. There's no quick fix. If you love her that much and decide to stay, learn as much as you can about this illness. Arm yourself with knowledge, as it will be your best defence against this "enemy". Take care and all the best.

    Jim.
     
  7. Alienne

    Alienne Member

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    Joseph,
    sometimes it´s healthy, and perhaps even necessary, to try to distance yourself, emotionally as well as geographically, from the ptsd-sufferer. At times it´s difficult to maintain a "sober" outlook, living with someone who is unwell. This sounds very difficult, and no doubt, it is! When it´s as negatively overwhelming as you describe it, it´s difficult to have a healthy perspective and see "the whole thing" from "the outside", so to speak. For me and my husband a separation was unavoidable-we were like cat and dog, we couldn´t talk about anything without ending up in an argument and things just spiralled out of hand. Now, a couple of months later things have calmed down considerably. We live in separate houses, but spend most of the days together and get on really well these day, in fact better than ever, I feel. He has found a tiny bit of peace getting away from the bad stress we experienced together (and which obviously made his symptoms grow even worse), and has so become a little more stable, which obviously is crucial for his healing. On my own behalf, I have finally managed to get the "right" perspective on things with ptsd I think, and am now beginning to feel that I am able to support him in a competely different way than I possibly could have before. Reading stuff in this Forum has made a huge difference for my understanding and I now feel that there is hope for a future together for me ad my husband!
    Best of luck to you!
     
  8. joseph

    joseph New Member

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    Thank you, all, who replied. I agree that I need to learn more- I think I've been frustrated that she named herself in the past as suffering from something like ptsd, but in any given interaction, her reality is what it is, whether anger or frustration or whatever.

    I have such a hard time just letting reality be what it is and not trying to convince her (or anybody else) to see things "logically"- meaning, of course, as I do!- that letting go not only of having peace in the moment but the letting go of needing to feel heard is what's so hard for me.

    BUT, these perspectives are good, and are helping me think about what I need to do differently, and are part of how I just want to fix my own reactivity and reorient myself so I don't get angry or sucked into conflict, no matter how crazy I feel.

    Does that make sense?

    I feel like my first step is to step away from the conflict in the moment, both physically and emotionally, and then let things unfold as we slowly move forward and try to make decisions.

    more later

    thank you all!

    j
     
  9. Nicolette

    Nicolette ♡ Supporter Admin ♡ Supporter Admin Sponsor $100+

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    Hi Joseph

    Welcome and I echo the words of what the others have said.

    I also wanted to say well done to Sandy (Alienne) as for someone who was hesitant in writing what she did post was interesting reading:claps:
     
  10. fatherof3

    fatherof3 New Member

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    When my wife and I hit rock bottom in our relationship she was convinced that cheating on me was her ticket out. She wanted to put the decision on me. But I did not let her. I found my fix and did what I needed to do to be a better husband. It has been a complete 180 for her and her attitude towards our marriage. She of course is still suffering from her ptsd, but she is no longer degrading me. I treat her like a queen even when I don't think she deserves it. But she will always deserve my love. When our marriage was on the brink of divorce, it was only then that we were able to grasp how powerful ptsd is. I encourage you to always have an optimistic perspective, and that is very hard to do. For me I have to constantly look at what lessons can be learned and what actions I can do to show my wife that she has someone that will be there for her always. I fairly new also. I wish you good luck. :smile:

    The storm will pass, and when it does the sunshine will feel magnificent.
     
  11. Ubu

    Ubu Active Member

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    Well said father of 3...... the only thing i could add is dont lose yourself trying to fix this. If you love her with all your heart like i do my wife. You'll understand you can't fix it. You need to take care of yourself.
    Like father of 3 said work on being the best husband you can be and the best person you can be for yourself. Be positive. It is hard to be positive all the time. Like the last few days ive had the internal battle fight of the negitivity. I try not to let my wife see that because it doesnt help her when she is already trying to deal with PTSD stuff day to day. Positive, strong, loving, and helpful. O and don't forget to ask God for help. Life is a journey and a lot of it is in his hands.
     
  12. joseph

    joseph New Member

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    Hello again all, sorry I've been away for a week or more but it's been a bit crazy around here. Wife and I have not communicated in about a week, except by email and text message, after I just about blew up and said I couldn't stand the hostility any more, and wanted a separation, by which I meant time to cool off and again perspective. Not clear what she wants or what our plans are but it's actually been peaceful being alone, better than feeling rejected all the time. I started with a new therapist for myself- too early to tell if he's the right person- but it feels like we're so far apart that we're either going to get unstuck from the pattern, or break apart, and frankly, either is better than the way things were before. I'll keep you posted.

    J
     
  13. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Sorry to hear things have been rough Joseph, however therapy is definitely a positive move. Good on you for being willing to examine yourself as well, that is most important. I wish you the best of luck and please continue to keep us updated.
     
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