Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- including complex trauma (cPTSD) -- is debilitating, breaking down the body through anxiety and stress, and it poses a significant suicide risk in sufferers. MyPTSD seeks to help and inform those who are directly or indirectly affected by these conditions through peer-to-peer support and educational resources.

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Support For Husband Of Wife With Ptsd

Discussion in 'Supporter Self Management' started by COPTSDHubby, Jun 24, 2009.

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  1. COPTSDHubby

    COPTSDHubby New Member

    I would like to meet people who are married to a spouse diagnosed with PTSD and how that creates intimacy issues. I am toughing it out, but losing steam and feel that commiserating would help as well as some advice on how to cope. We are in marriage counseling and she is in intensive personal PTSD therapy.
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  3. Shoka

    Shoka Well-Known Member

    Hi COPTSDHubby,

    Though not married, I have a deeply commited relationship with my BF who went through intensive PTSD therapy for two months straight. An "immersion" of sorts. I found it really helped him. It's great you are going to marriage therapy as well.

    The loss of intimacy is pretty normal, I think with this carer's really need to have some patience.

    Welcome to the forum

  4. TLight

    TLight I'm a VIP

    As a female sufferer, there are lots of things you can do that will create closeness and trust with your partner.

    Touching, talking, carassing, all in a non-sexual way will allow her the space to eventually go to that place without pressure and probably in a pleasurable way for the first time in her life.

    Be patient, be loving and above all, try not to project any sense of blame for her lack of desire. That would be really damaging.

    Take it easy.......T
    Sing2me likes this.
  5. ISupportHer

    ISupportHer Supporter Member
    Premium Member


    I don't know your specifics I feel a kinship with what you say. Even posted few questions about intimacy, etc.

    Looks like you are new and not out of moderation or I'd offer to message you. I think, I spoke in my intro about MY feeling like how I feel it would help for me to bounce things off someone with similar circumstances.

    I hope you find this forum helpful. I have. I post when I'm down and I post support for others when I feel I can.

    Hope the marriage counseling helps. In my case, wife has to deal with herself first. I would so much love to be in some sort of couples thing.
  6. pebbels

    pebbels Well-Known Member

    Hi COPTSHubby:hello:

    My ex lost all interest in sex with the combination of medications he was on and the intense therapy he was going through, he felt awful but i reassured him that it was not the b and end all of our relationship, that getting to a point of wellness was more important.

    Support, interestingly my ex's therapist suggested couples councilling as well as the therapy sessions, sadly we didn't take his advice. So it's great that you and your wife are doing both COPTSHubby.

    All the best,

  7. ISupportHer

    ISupportHer Supporter Member
    Premium Member

    Hi, just checking back in with you to see if things are doing OK.
  8. Jawn

    Jawn I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    I am interested in talking to husbands of wives with PTSD and getting tips on how to deal with it, her, and myself. I saw intimacy mentioned above and we lost intimacy about 5 yrs ago as her PTSD surfaced and she started a downward trend. At this point I don't get told she cares about me, she won't hug me or hold my hand. I am looking forward to the day she gives me a good hug.

    I am new, so you can go read my intro for more specifics to my situation.

  9. Nicolette

    Nicolette ♡ Supporter Admin ♡
    Supporter Admin

    Hi Jawn

    It is great to see you are reading and even going back to older posts.

    From Memory, there aren't a lot of male Carers around at present. From memory there is ISupportHer, AdamAnt, Tbam, Kilroy and yourself.
  10. Jawn

    Jawn I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    Thank you Nicolette.
  11. ISupportHer

    ISupportHer Supporter Member
    Premium Member

    Intimacy is a difficult thing. For me, that is divided into 2 areas. The closeness of sharing, hugging, reliance on your partner then there is sexual intimacy. Two seperate things in my mind. I think you have to be careful not to get them out of order.

    Without going into details, I truly believe that if dealing with a sufferer of sexual trauma, that sufferer has to call the shots as to what is acceptable and that the carers has to accept, somehow, someway, that this is the case.

    Junebug likes this.
  12. kclarkesocal

    kclarkesocal Member

    I fit this profile.

    Intimacy issues since wife's PTSD diagnosis and beginning of trauma treatment. Once trauma therapy began, she was regularly getting triggered by any physical contact with me. Think she just endured this for a while, but ultimately it became too much and the intimacy stopped. Actual physical contact of any sort is relatively rare at this point, maybe a hug now and again. I am told this will get better, but that it can be a long trip. And while I love her very much, my mind does wander now and again to thinking about whether I will be able to make this difficult journey. At this point, I long for a "normal" relationship. where you can hug and/or kiss your partner when you come home from work, and there are normal expressions of physical intimacy. I just miss the human contact at this point.
  13. Harry

    Harry Member

    I am also a male carer. during her Depression phase, intimacy was really hard for both of us.
    I like the image of a dragon, to use here as an analogy.
    When her dragon comes out, she would actually need me to be close to her.
    But at the same time, I, as a male person, representing the male gender, am also representing the dragon.
    So the dichotomy between 'I need you - I am afraid of you' , I love you - I hate you'. which is going on in her mind, is so difficult for me to handle. I feel rejected, but at the same time she needs me.
    What I am learning is to see through this, and respond to her need for closeness with me, while being scared.
    lonetree likes this.
  14. lonetree

    lonetree Active Member

    wow, so much to say and yet coping means not looking at it.
    Well put Harry. Walking the tight rope!
    Jawn I feel your anguish. I wish I had an answer. I know your not staying with your wife right now but I'm sure it feels the same. There are times my wife has a flashback and comes out of it needing a hug. sometimes I am able to catch her before she goes and can get her back with a soft touch and a hug. some day's she is so Depressed I want to wrap my arms around her and make her feel everything is OK. My trouble is that with this open feeling and closeness sometimes my head slips into what I guess a normal relationship would be and I want to be closer and more intimate.
    thats when world War three goes on in my head. I don't want to push her away but I need to tell her we need some space for the good of both of us as I am not strong right now. I know it may make her feel Guilt but I try my best to let her know its OK and we are good no matter what.
    From what I have been reading I know things could very well get worse and there may be no physical contact at all so I guess I'm glad for what I have.
    Is that an answer? No. but at least its a message that your not alone. Do I think of alternatives. Of course I do but I don't see me doing that. It may be fine for some and that could be the solution for some. For me it would only compound the stress.
    She dedicated her life to me and I to her. What I am suffering is not equal to what she is suffering. It may not be fair to me but I committed to be there for her. I didn't do it, I want to avenge it, I want to make it all better. I do not have that power. What else can I say. I need to make her well.
  15. Angus McGee

    Angus McGee Well-Known Member

    Right there with you. At 6+ months. This life is the new normal.
  16. charlieb

    charlieb New Member

    I'm in the same situation as yourself, married 12 years, together close to 20 and tonight on the verge of separation....probably not what you want to hear huh!

    To be very honest with you intimacy should be one of your last concerns at the moment. If your wife is getting help you need to be there for her, if she's getting help she's one of the lucky ones that is able, or willing to ask for help. Keep supporting her and hope and pray that she will come out the far side. When she does you'll get all the hugs you could every want.

    Just be prepared for a long wait, I'm sorry to be so blunt but it's a fact, don't expect it tomorrow, next week or next year, steel yourself against the hurt and pain you are going to feel for quite a while.

    SeekingSerenity and amethist like this.
  17. ISupportHer

    ISupportHer Supporter Member
    Premium Member

    WOW, it's weird seeing something I wrote 2 years ago.

    One thing that I have said before, but feel it bears repeating is that "no means no". This means that if ANY partner is not ready for sexual activity, then it is the responsibility of the other partner to respect that.

    Secondarily, this can mean any form of intimacy. Even touch. If one partner cannot handle it, then it is wrong to force it on them. This is very hard for a supporter that, as a rebound reaction to the absence of intimacy, desire to make up for what they feel is missing. Hope that makes sense.

    SeekingSerenity likes this.
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