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New To This Forum - Fiance Was In Iraq

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by tiffany, Sep 17, 2007.

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  1. tiffany

    tiffany New Member

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    I'm new to this forum, actually, I'm new to any kind of forum. I've never really needed to talk to anyone because I've always had friends or family with similar situations and was able to talk to them. I've found myself in a rut, though, and I'm not sure what to do. I've dating my fiance for over 2 years now. We met 6 months before he left for training for the war. I fell in love as did he and this past December when he came home for his 2 week leave from Iraq he proposed. I was the happiest I had ever been in a long time as was he. Sure, we had our fights, but that's to be expected when the person you love is thousands of miles away and the only way of communication is phone, internet, and letters. He just returned home in July after a 3 month extension and things seemed to be pretty much the same. Until this last month.

    I noticed that he was acting really distant and that he wasn't as emotional as he had been. He was extremely irritable, trouble falling asleep and then awaking numerous times at night. He's also moody and just this last week he told me that he was basically numb to his emotions. That's when we started falling apart. He told me he didn't know if he loved me anymore and that he didn't know why he was feeling like he was. I fell apart and we met the following day and he said he was just stressed about finding a house and a job before getting married this December. We decided to push the wedding back which was fine and it seemed like things were looking up. We were just going to take things slow and go from there, no pressure of marriage, finding a house right away, or a job.

    Then just two nights ago he told me yet again that he thought his feelings had changed for me. I fell apart yet again and told him we need to talk in person. He came over the next night and we talked and as of right now we're not together. He says he has no desire for a relationship right now. He told me numerous times that it wasn't me, that it was something to do with him. He has no explanation as to why his feelings are as they are. When I asked him if it was just me he had no feelings for anymore, he said no. He said the only person he felt close to at all was his dad and I think that's because his dad can relate because he too spent time in Iraq, 3 years before and knows what he's going through.

    After talking to his family and friends, some say they think he has PTSD and others thinks he just needs time to hang out with the guys and be a kid. Last night a friend of his and mine called and said they had talked to him and that he said he might've just made a huge mistake. I don't know what to do. I'm afraid that if I just wait around that in a few months he'll say he made a mistake and that he does love me...of course I'll want him back, I love him, but what about if he changes his mind again? I can't go through this again. I have done nothing but cry every time I hear a song or see his picture or just think about the situation. I have grown so close to him and his family and I love them and it hurts to know that I may never be with him again. He hasn't talked to a doctor yet, he's very stubborn. My only sign of hope is that last night when I said he needed to talk to someone, he said he really thought he needed to, also. And that maybe that would fix things between us. I can only hope because my heart is crushed and I don't know what to do. Any advice would be great
     
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  3. ryair

    ryair Active Member

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    Tiffany,
    Welcome to the forum, you are definately NOT alone!
    I will post more of a reply soon, I just wanted you to know quite a few of us have experienced what you are currently going through. Read as much as you can, and feel free to vent if you need to!!:thumbs-up
    Ryair
     
  4. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Welcome to the forum tiffany, lovely to have you. I must apologize for not responding to your thread sooner, however the last few days have been exceedingly busy, and I fear I only have 10 minutes now this evening, as I am being called away once again. :rolleyes: I do hope to respond in more depth first thing in the morning. Welcome once more, and take care.
     
  5. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Well here I am once more tiffany, as promised. It is a bit of a complex situation. Some of what you describe sounds like PTSD. However, it could also simply be, as your family and friends suggest, that he is having the proverbial "cold feet" regarding a committed relationship. It it difficult to judge for certain and truly unfortunate that he will not see a doctor to be evaluated. A diagnosis one way or the other would make matters clearer for both of you.

    Tiffany, how old are you? How old is he? If you are both quite young this may also be a factor. In any event, the only thing you can really do is educate yourself about PTSD and take care of yourself as much as possible. Think about what you want for your life independent of your fiance. PTSD, if he indeed has it, is a lifelong illness with no cure at present. Those with PTSD can reach a management stage where they are quite well and high-functioning, but they must be willing to examine themselves and receive treatment to reach this stage. As your fiance will not even see a doctor at present, if he has PTSD, he is currently in the unmanaged stage, and could very well remain that way for years to come. Similar to someone with a drug or alcohol problem, there is nothing you can do to force him to receive treatment and become well; he must do these things himself in order for it to be effective. You can be there to encourage him, and you can learn techniques and tools to make his life less stressful, but it in the long run only he may help himself.

    You said you can't go through this again. That is valid. Please listen to your instincts. Perhaps you should let him know this, if you haven't already. Not as pressure or as a threat, but simply the honest truth. Honesty is important in any relationship. If he truly loves you and wants to be with you, perhaps you telling him this will be the kickstart he needs to see a physician. However, it may not happen overnight. It may take weeks or months for him to reach the realization, even after speaking with you candidly. That is the nature of PTSD unfortunately.

    I am sorry I cannot give you any definitive answers tiffany. Truly, there are no easy solutions. You must concentrate on your own happiness, as difficult as that is at the moment. Seek comfort in friends and family, read and learn here as much as you can. Seek professional help for yourself if you find you are depressed or this is otherwise interferring with your life. Remember you count too. I do wish you all the best and look forward to chatting with you more if you like.
     
  6. tiffany

    tiffany New Member

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    Thank you Ryair for the welcome and letting me know that I am not alone. And thank you Kathy for the helpful information.

    I would like to say that I am 21 and Sean just turned 25 a few weeks ago. I would like to say that things seem better than they were just the other day when I first posted on here. Sean called the VA clinic yesterday and set up an appointment for evaluation. I am extremely happy that he changed his mind, but shocked because it was like he did a 180 overnight.

    We've talked on the phone the past two nights and instead of arguing or awkward silence, it was a calm and steady conversation. He was happy, and even laughed which I haven't heard him do very often, especially not over the phone for our conversations are usually short, uneventful, and sometimes angry.

    If it is PTSD that he has, I'm here for the long haul. I know, though, that I do need make sure I take care of myself also. I have support from his and my family, from friends and I have everyone here. I've already received a lot of advice just from reading other posts. So thank you for listening and I hope things continue to get better. :thumbs-up
     
  7. msktaylor0207

    msktaylor0207 New Member

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    you are definatly NOT alone. my husband was in the OIF1 during the invasion. and we went thru hell when he returned. 3 years later and were still going thru hell. all i can say is support him every way you can. even if you arent "together" right now, supporting him will show him that he is cared for and loved and sometimes that can show him theres something to get better for. my husband took 2 years before he finally said HELP ME! but i know within the first few months of his return home that something was wrong. he was not emotional at all. he didnt care about anything that he used to. it was the worst feeling ever. but i gave him my promise that no matter what i have to deal with, i am sticking by and helping in every way i can. i was 19 when we got married, i had our daughter 11 days after he left for iraq, and 5 years later were still hanging in there. and its something to keep in mind and be prepared for. i tell my husband all the time that there is taylor #1. and taylor #2. and i really dont like taylor #2! thats the angry soldier who hates all. but anyways.. sorry to keep rambling! if you ever need to talk im here! im actually going thru a major ordeal right now becuase of my husbands PTSD and mental disabilities. so i can relate! hang in there! and stay strong!
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    Welcome tiffany and msktaylor both. Always good to see new members. Most definitely you are not alone. There's a few spouses/family members of military personnel kicking around this forum. Not to mention, anyone dealing with PTSD, regardless the cause, is not alone here.

    Jim.
     
  9. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Tiffany, that is indeed exceptional news! It will be far easier for the both of you, knowing exactly what is going on. Do keep us updated.
     
  10. tiffany

    tiffany New Member

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    I feel horrible because I've been so busy at work that I haven't been able to reply to anyone else's posts.

    This paragraph is dedicated to venting...
    I terribly dislike those friends that try to push you into doing something! I can't stand how some will tell you one thing and turn around and tell the other something completely different. Two-faced, that's what it is! A good friend is there to hang out with, no opposite sex needed for enjoyment. A good friend let's you figure things out on your own with no interruptions or ideas, just comfort knowing they're there for you! I wish some people would butt out! Leave things alone! It's none of their business and frankly, they're making things worse!

    Ok, the venting is over for now. So Sean's thinking about coming up this weekend to go out on our boat with us...and bringing his up too. But he says it's going to be awkward. Am I right in saying that it's only awkward for him if he makes it that way? All I want is for him to see that I'm here for him and that I'm not pushing him into anything, just trying to let him see that I want him to relax too. I just don't want him to feel pressured. I want him to know I'll anything for him.

    I'm just stuck in a rut with nowhere to go
     
  11. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Please tiffany, no worries about responding to others' posts! You are busy person and that is not expected of you here, at least not by myself. Please just post as you wish, no pressure or obligations to do so.

    I would like to answer, however I believe you left out a word here by accident? I placed question marks in the spot where I think there should be a word. I assume it is some other person? You are correct, it is awkward only if one allows themself to feel uncomfortable, however not caring what others think or do is a skill which most must learn, regardless PTSD, and Sean may not be at that point yet.

    In any event, how was the weekend? I do hope it went well for all concerned. I agree with you regarding your friends; they should not be trying to fix the situation for you. Perhaps you should tell them how you feel? Do take care tiffany.
     
  12. tiffany

    tiffany New Member

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    Actually, the word I left out was boat, but oh well.

    So he came up. By himself. Things went really well. I tried kneeboarding, only because he wanted me too. So a plus for me for taking an interest in something he enjoys! Everything was great until it came time to say goodbye. He gave me this awkward hugs. You know, the kind you give people you barely know where you barely touch them...
    So I made him do it again. It was much better and he kissed me on the cheek. He called when he got home and we talked about the day. He said he had a good time and when I asked where our relationship was going, he said he didn't know. Not in a bad way though. He told his mom I seemed more grown up since our break-up. I wasn't nagging him, or starting arguments, things like that. He likes this me, the person I was when we first met. Maybe he feels like he's missed out on things with his friends. Maybe that's why he's pushing me away (combined with the PTSD...his appointment for evaluation is October 12!)

    I forgot to mention that this past weekend me and my best friend went into the city to visit Sean's sister. We went to some clubs and some bars and Sean text me the whole night and ended up calling me several times. In one of his texts he said he wished I were there with him. During our last conversation I told him I loved him and I hoped he had fun with his friends. He said ok and I told him in a cheery voice that I'd talk to him later. About 2 minutes later I got a call from him and all he wanted to say was that he loved me too. I was shocked. And excited. But I don't want to be like that. I don't want to be excited because I don't want to set myself up again. Is it ok for me to be like that? I just don't want to get hurt. Everyone tells me that they don't doubt he loves me, but I don't know that for sure and I just don't want to think he does if he doesn't still. I'm just rambling on...long day at work. Maybe things are looking up?
     
  13. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    To be honest tiffany, if you had been nagging and arguing with him a great deal, and he does have PTSD, that is a recipe for disaster and he would likely be pulling away from you as a result. Many with PTSD simply cannot take much conflict and criticism. Remember that a person with PTSD is already in a pretty much constant state of stress, so any added stress, especially of the negative kind, is only going to make things worse for them. So they will tend to avoid anything, or anyone, who adds to that stress. Have you read Anthony's article about the PTSD cup? It explains things rather well:

    [DLMURL]http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread63.html[/DLMURL]

    Well done though on your change of attitude towards him. It seems to be working a bit? I hope it continues! I certainly do hope things work out well, for both your sakes. Best to keep the lines of communication open. Hopefully things will be much clearer for you both after the assessment.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2015
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