General Back to the dark place

sunrise80

New Here
Supporter of a Marine Vet here. Major PTSD And Moral Injury. We've been together 3.5 years. We're back in the dark place- "I don't really love him" If I don't answer a text within 3 minutes- because I know he's struggling and I should be there right when he needs me. "I don't really love him" If I don't stay up ALL night with him- because how can I sleep when I know he's hurting (he'll go 3-4 days with no sleep).

I have a reason for everything- I didn't look at my phone because I work in restaurant, or I was doing laundry, or throwing the ball for my dog. I can't stay up all night because I need sleep to function the next day- for work and my own mental health.

I understand my life is not going to be "normal" with him. I'm going to have to give a little, just like anyone else in any relationship. But I feel like I am changing as a person to be with the man I love. I can't make plans with friends in case he's having a bad day, and my work and social life is fading. It seems all of his PTSD stems from our relationship now, and not from war. Have I become his downfall?

It's a constant battle in my head- are my reasons legit, or just excuses that I should adapt and change for the man who would do anything for me?
 

bellbird

Sponsor
the man who would do anything for me
We're back in the dark place- "I don't really love him" If I don't answer a text within 3 minutes- because I know he's struggling and I should be there right when he needs me. "I don't really love him" If I don't stay up ALL night with him- because how can I sleep when I know he's hurting (he'll go 3-4 days with no sleep).

Just reading your post, I feel that these two sections are contradictory.
I also feel it's important you get the validation that based off of what you have written, it sounds like your actions are completely reasonable.
*Your sleep is important.
*It is unreasonable to have the expectation that you answer every text instantaneously.
*You have every right to be making friends, having a work and social life.

You are filling the role of "supporter" not "saver".

Is your Vet in therapy?
 

sunrise80

New Here
Is your Vet in therapy?
He was in therapy all of last year. I think it helped leaps and bounds, but the sessions ended and he hasn't re-started anything. We did couples therapy Nov-Jan, but it has tapered off because he feels like the focus is on his issues, and he thinks I'm the problem. I learned in therapy that my reactions aren't ideal for someone with ptsd- we now use a scale system based on how he's feeling and I tone myself based on it. If I feel disrespected in the moment, I've learned that I have to wait until he's at a 3/10 before we can talk about it.

I'm the one continuing to break his heart by 'not being there for him', and 'I knew what I was getting into with his ptsd so how could I be doing this to him'. It seems like he's waiting for me to be the perfect caretaker for his issues (when perfection is unreachable, so I'm always letting him down), while I'm waiting for him to be reasonable when he's in this state. I'm not sure either is ever going to happen- so who gives in to make it work?
 

Freida

Sponsor
so who gives in to make it work?
from the sufferer side?

Neither gives in.
You do what is best for you first, him second. Because if our supporters aren't caring for themselves they can't help us.

PTSD doesn't give us the right to be asshats who use our loved ones as our personal pinatas, and it doesn't give us the right to ask them to fix our problems for us. Which is what he sounds like he is doing right now. He doesn't want to do the work so he is expecting you to do it for him. And that's not fair to either of you.
I can't make plans with friends in case he's having a bad day, and my work and social life is fading.
If ptsd wasn't in play would you allow this ^^^ as part of a relationship?

You can't make him feel better
You can't make him feel safe
You can't be on 24/7 speed dial

You are not the problem
PTSD is the problem

You are not the solution
Therapy and hard work are the solution.

are my reasons legit, or just excuses that I should adapt and change for the man who would do anything for me?
Don't mean to be harsh but.... if he was willing to do anything for you then he would get his ass back into therapy and figure out why he is ok with destroying your life rather than dealing with his.
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
are my reasons legit, or just excuses that I should adapt and change for the man who would do anything for me?

Do anything? Like work on his issues instead of projecting blame? Needing sleep isn’t something that you can change about yourself. Needing to work so you can eat isn’t something that you can change.

he thinks I'm the problem.

No offense, but he has a mental health issue. I know it’s hard to wrap your head around it. I’m a supporter too, and for some odd reason it doesn’t always instantly occur to me that my vet has a diagnosed psychiatric disorder, and sometimes it affects what is going on in his noggin. Sometimes that results in all kinds of bullshit gymnastics to protect himself from his broken stress response. It’s easier for you to be the problem than for the problem to be something in his head that’s going to take years of work and therapy. Just because he thinks it doesn’t make it true. Do you honestly think that you are bad for his mental health because you fall asleep at night?

so who gives in to make it work?

You have to function in the outside world. You don’t have to give in to his demands because he is unwell. You are allowed boundaries. Being empathetic is one thing, falling down the rabbit hole of his mental illness is another.

I know how hard it is when you’re dealing with it 24/7. You may not have PTSD, but you’re living in PTSD land, and somehow you end up being the “responsible party” because you’re the healthy one... don’t hop on that train. YOU are not in charge of his mental health. YOU are not the reason his isn’t doing well right now. YOU have the right to take care of reality (bills, home, kids, work, your own mental health) as a priority and necessity. The world doesn’t have to revolve around him.

It can be exhausting. Caregiver burnout is real.
 

sunrise80

New Here
Thank you all. I've heard before what you're all saying. I just can't believe I'm back here again.

I guess when I said he would do anything for me, I meant when we are in a good place. Our good times are better than anything I can ever imagine. Everyone around us always says they've never seen a happier couple. But they can't see behind closed doors. And for as great as the good is, the bad nights are the worst.

It builds up for months and gets to a point where I can't take it- caregiver burnout if you will, and I bail because we end up on such different pages. It's the same issues over and over again. He takes care of himself a little with therapy, then stops the therapy and we're back to square one. Then when I leave, he takes care of himself again to get me back.

How does the toxic cycle stop? What can I do, or is it all on him?
 

nursenurse

MyPTSD Pro
Imagine a life time of this...how can the good times be so good, if it always ends up like this? It seems like he puts in the minimum to keep you around? But then lets it slide. You have to value yourself first, and it isn’t selfish to do so. I can tell you this, being blamed for everything in a non-PTSD relationship is wearying, never mind adding PTSD in the mix. When anyone, PTSD or not, choses to neglect ownership in their part in a relationship, and constantly shifts the blame for their own personal responses to any situation to their partner, that relationship is going to be toxic and doomed. You are not there to make things so comfortable for him that he neglects to work on himself properly. You will be treated according to what you tolerate. What you are describing is emotionally abusive, and the few therapy sessions sound more like manipulation tactics to keep you involved.
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
"I don't really love him" If I don't answer a text within 3 minutes- because I know he's struggling and I should be there right when he needs me. "I don't really love him" If I don't stay up ALL night with him- because how can I sleep when I know he's hurting (he'll go 3-4 days with no sleep).

I'm a sufferer and this above is not ok nor is it a PTSD thing to me. This is a controlling thing in my view.


I have a reason for everything- I didn't look at my phone because I work in restaurant, or I was doing laundry, or throwing the ball for my dog. I can't stay up all night because I need sleep to function the next day- for work and my own mental health.
Totally reasonable and totally 100% ok!

But I feel like I am changing as a person to be with the man I love.
Personally, do you want to change as a person just to be with him? Maybe it would be easier to work on boundaries? You have a life and so you won't be looking at your phone every minute. He needs to deal or he needs to leave. You won't be staying up all night because you are human and need sleep. You aren't his therapist. You need to set healthy boundaries for you and your own mental health. I apologize, I haven't read any replies and I'm sure everyone has said this already. But he needs to deal with him and not expect and untrained person to do that. Not even a therapist would do all of this. I think he is very controlling and that maybe a symptom of PTSD but that does not excuse his behavior towards you.

are my reasons legit
YES!
 
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