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Boyfriend is an Iraq vet

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Katie~, Oct 2, 2006.

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  1. Katie~

    Katie~ New Member

    I have been with my boyfriend for 6 months now and our relationship has become very serious. He had just left the Marines when we met and had served for 2 years in Iraq. Though he rarely talks about it, i know that it must deeply bother him everyday.

    He's startled by loud noises and gets very anxious whenever something happens that makes him jump, though he will deny it up and down. Almost everything about his experience in Iraq is kept to himself. Shortly after we first met I found that he had very bad scars on his shoulder and upper arm, the fact that he didn't tell me he was wounded and waited for me to find out made me very concerned.

    It's as though he has two sides and doesn't want me to know how he really feels. I love him to death and I don't want him to be hurt, but He gets anxious when I try to talk about it and changes the subject very quickly. He was put on anti-depressants and sleep-aids by the VA, but i know he needs more therapy than that. Should I talk to a private counselor, and convince him to go along with me? Or should I just give him space until he realizes that he needs help?
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  3. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

    Hello, and welcome to the forum.

    I, myself, suffer from PTSD...but I do know that the only person that can convince him to go to counseling is himself. Take comfort in knowing that probably one of the reasons why he doesn't want to share his experiences in the marines is because he's trying to protect you in some way. I know that seems exasperating, but when I described my experiences to my husband, I will never forget the look of horror come across his face. He was never touched by such horrors of human life and I was the first to introduce him to it. AND, it happened to someone he loved.

    It does sound to me like he has some of the symptoms of PTSD and it would benefit him to see a therapist, but he needs to be ready to go. Otherwise, even if he does go, he may not open up which then is just a waste of time and money. To some of us, those kinds of sessions are just exercises in covering the truth with more BS.

    This is the perfect place to meet other spouses/partners. You can vent and have people that understand you completely hearing you. Isn't that nice?

    Welcome aboard.
  4. Jaynea

    Jaynea Member

    Hi Katie...My husband has PTSD and I know how frightening it can be to not know how to comfort or calm. I spent four years saying "snap out of it" or variations on that...until I realized that all the questions and asking was making it all worse and causing him even more pain. He still hasn't talked and there are still rough times but trying to understand PTSD has helped me alot to accept him, and his behavior and the acceptance has brought us alot closer...Good luck.
  5. Katie~

    Katie~ New Member

    Thank you for your replies. I know that ultimately he is the one who needs to decide whether he has a real problem and needs to seek help. It's just that I feel like there is no progress being made at all, and he will continue this way without ever seeking help or opening up.

    I feel like he is getting worse every day sometimes. He can't sleep through the night, gets up numerous times and wanders around the house, isn't responsive when I ask what's wrong, and In the morning when he has calmed down again he just acts like the whole thing didn't happen.
  6. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Hi Katie,

    What you are describing is normal PTSD behaviour before they get help. Its frustrating, I know but I suggest giving him a little time and space to come to his own realisation of needing help. Pushing him will only make it worse and create havoc in your relationship. Its early days for you guys yet and although he will tell you he trusts you, he may not trust you very well at all. That is also part of the PTSD spectrum. One other thing, don't feel to upset about him not sharing his experiences with you, its likely that he never will.........not because he doesn't care, its because he does and won't want to burden you with what he carries. Its sad the destruction and heartache that war brings to those directly involved and its just as sad for those of left to deal with aftermath. Take care of you and be gentle with him at the moment, there will be plenty of times for kicking boots but now is not one of those times.
  7. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi Katie,

    Welcome to the forum. Maybe you need to find some to the point literature, make him read it, or even read it too him, and see what he does then! Let me help you, by saying if you print this one off, and ensure he reads it, maybe he might see some relevance to himself and get help without so much force.

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