Relationship Broken Heart: UPDATE, Alone and wondering if he will come back

BrokenHeat

Learning
What would I say; call me when u are better?
sounds stupid but really. I did ask him once if it would be easier just to cut ties for a while to see if he misses us. He said no he couldn’t do that. It would crush him. But I wasn’t clear...I maybe should have said just me and not the kids.
 

BrokenHeat

Learning
BTW: it will be three weeks on Thursday that he left. And I’m already wondering when it will end but maybe that is bcuz of the back and forth with him too.
 

Freida

Sponsor
When my ptsd hit it upended my entire life. It cost me my job, my health and the majority of my relationships. It felt like I was drowning all the time and it was all I could do to keep dog paddling along. I stuck around the house because my health was so bad leaving physically wasn't an option. If it hadn't been for that I would have been gone.

Hubby wasn't even a blip on my radar most of the time in the beginning. Did it mean I loved him less? Nope
It meant i was so desperate the only thing I could do was just keep putting one foot in front of the other and not pull the trigger

You saying you feel invisible makes perfect sense because you are. Everyone is.
There was no energy to spare to deal with someone else's feelings because every ounce of my attention was focused on just getting thru the day
Drinking to dull the pain? Yep
Anything to stop the screaming in my head
Think of it like a grenade going off in your brain
Yep. Its that bad

Adding someone else into the mix?
Nope
Didn't matter how much they loved me
I had nothing to give to their demands for knowing what was going to happen next
Because I had no idea. I just wanted the screaming to stop

i think it boils down to realizing the answer you want doesn't exist because ptsd has different effects on different people. There is no right answer, no pattern, no timeline.
Its just trial and error

The biggest challenge? He can't tell you what he doesn't know

Here's the really ugly part...

You are only three weeks into one of the toughest things he will ever have to go thru and you are completely panicking because he can't give you the reassurance that you want right now.

It doesn't work that way.. You're not going to get that reassurance any time soon because once he starts therapy its going to get much worse before it gets better and its going to take a long time. Think in terms of months and years.

Go back and read the threads from the long term supporters because they can give you an idea of what you are in for as this thing continues. Really pay attention to the challenges they have, how they cope and how they set boundaries for what they will and will not accept in their relationships. It might give you some clarity for understanding what he's doing

Personally I don't know how they do it...I couldn't be that supportive. Because damn it seems like a lot of work. ☺️
 
My partner and I both have PTSD. We have to be steady about (1) making sure we're still living our own lives when the other person is having a hard time, and (2) knowing that we love each other underneath it all, and that we will always come back to each other and find refuge with each other. For us, that's the balancing act. We're here for the long haul, and that means each of us taking care of ourselves as well as each other.

It's not pretty, sometimes. We misunderstand each other. We trigger each other. But we're willing to keep learning and rebalancing. We trust each other to circle back.

Examples:
- I had a bad month from mid-December to mid-January. I took care of the bare minimum of my half of chores, but we talked and lowered some of the expectations on me (more leftover nights, for example). My partner spent more time with friends, so they weren't relying on me socially. We didn't know how long it would last, but we know that PTSD is episodic (comes and goes), so we figured we'd wait it out. It worked.

- Similarly, my partner is learning (1) when to ask for help (2) healthy ways to communicate and act when overwhelmed (3) how to simply walk away and calm down before engaging with me (a really necessary skill, for us).

If he makes choices that put you and the kids in danger, that's a really big problem. But if he can keep learning and growing and figuring out how to manage the PTSD, with you and without you, and you both want to continue to have a relationship, there's lots of skills and tools and habits that will help make that possible.
 

Mytime

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @BrokenHeat, I’m also a supporter. I’m more than happy to share my experience. It sounds like we have a lot in common. Having a good relationship with our hubby’s and then bam!!
It is very hard right now, you don’t know whether your coming or going. My husband went numb also and didn’t feel like he was still in love with me. That was a hard pill to swallow, for sure. He deflected everything on to me, I was his problem, I was his anxiety, anything negative he felt was because of me. He was angry all the time and it was because of me. Your in the beginning of him being sympathetic and if he has started therapy, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. I know your feeling in limbo and you want answers and your life back. It seems at this moment he is unable to give you anything. He’s just trying to keep his head above water. My advice is, anything that has to do with your relationship needs to be on hold. He is unable to give you what you need right now. That’s why you hear so much on here about putting yourself and needs first. It’s about learning how to met your own needs, how to be happy within yourself and not rely on him. I completely understand how hard it is to go from being in a happy, strong, thriving marriage, to being rejected. I hurts like a b*tch. What helped us is putting our marriage on hold and living in our friendship. We sent a boundary, that there would be no relationship talk in our home and it helped lessen his anxiety when he did come home. As I started working on myself things got a little better for me. I was doing things with my kids, my friends and it helped taking some of my focus away of try to fix everything (because you can’t fix it, he has to do the work) I was always open with my kids if they asked any questions. I started setting boundaries and I found it not only helped me, It helped my husband. I wasn’t going to except his anger or deflection anymore. If he started losing his sh*t I made it very clear I was removing myself from it ( I learned this thanks to @Sweetpea76 ) by doing this my husband would have less guilt to carry, because he wasn’t able to lash out at me.
My husband was planning on moving out and we were separating and then moving forwards divorce. I had no choice but to let him go in order to save myself, because my kids needed me to be strong and happy. My husband was in therapy, I was in therapy. We started communicating through emails and that helped lessen the stress for him and it also helped give him time to respond and figure out his thought process, because it wasn’t the same as it use to be. I was the same as you, everything was left on me, the kids, the house, the animals ect. He had in his mind what the separation looked like and I had my own. Even though we were still living in our friendship I felt we needed help with communication as co-parenting so I asked him to go to counselling with me so we could co-parent our kids in a positive manner. As things started coming out and he had been in therapy for 7months at this point, he started coming out of this numbness. He realized that he did in fact still love me and the counselling turned from co-parenting to marriage counselling. He learned coping skills and his love and affection came back. It’s 5 years later and he’s still in therapy. But we are getting there, I still have boundaries and I 100% would not put up with bad behaviour. I understand your need to feel close to him, but I think you needed to ask yourself,” is us sleeping together the best thing for us” is the guilt he feels or the rejection you feel after benefiting the two of you? I know it’s hard right now and it scary but you can get through this. Sending hugs if you accept and support.
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
Hi there. I'm glad you're here looking for help, information and answers.

This is going to be a long bumpy ride for everyone involved. I feel for you. You and your children may need your own support system through all of this. Do you have outside support?

This is new to all of you and I'm sure you are all worried and scared for the future. While hubby is just trying to make it through the next moment, minute, hour or day.

I am a supporter of a combat veteran with a history of child abuse and MST (military sexual trauma) and multiple t.b.i.'s. And it ain't easy!

It sounds like you are both doing the best you can and that is all anyone can do. I'm glad you are able to still communicate with each other. That's great!

If I were you I'd take advantage of your separation. Research PTSD. Read all you can about the disorder and it's symptoms. Knowledge is power!! I also wouldn't make any drastic decisions right now.

PTSD relationships are extremely difficult as you know. Im guessing your hubby has had it for a while and he is no longer able to control and hide his symptoms. You may have already witnessed his symptoms up close and personal. This is the beginning of your journey and it will be difficult and painful. I'm sorry!

Your husband is in a very hard place. Like Friday said every choice he makes will hinder his career if not end it completely. That's a hard pill to swallow for a "protector". His entire life is going to be affected by any choice he makes.

I can't say I agree with Deanna's comments. At least not at this time. Is he being an ass? Yes. Is he purposely trying to hurt you? No. Is he seeking help? Yes.... You're married. This is all new to both of you. He hasn't even decided if he wants to pursue therapy or not. Or decided on meds yet. Etc.Etc.

As for the alcohol... No it's not the best way to cope but sometimes that's all that slows the thoughts and lets my guy get a little bit of sleep. He doesn't abuse it and only has a shot or two of whiskey. It is what it is. When PTSD is running wild you do what you can to control what you can.

This isn't about you right now. He is trying to stay alive. He has a long painful road ahead of him and the last thing he needs is to worry about you and your feelings. Dont get me wrong I know your feelings and needs matter but you are going to have to put them aside until he gets himself sorted. Unless a PTSD relationship isn't for you. And that is something you are going to have to decide. Not today or tomorrow but eventually.

PTSD is a mental disorder with no known cure. It does not go away. It is cyclical and can be managed but any stress or added trauma you can be right back to square one. Which is why I advise reading all you can on the disorder because it all makes sense when you learn how the brain has changed and how PTSD manifests.

I'm kinda rambling because I wanted to address a lot of your questions, sorry about that. I guess all I'm saying is go slow and give him the space he needs right now. And take care of you!! He can't be what you need him to be right now. It sucks and is painful and so is ptsd.

Read around the forums, lots to learn here.

Welcome aboard. 💐
 

BrokenHeat

Learning
Hi BrokenHeat, I’m also a supporter. I’m more than happy to share my experience. It sounds like we have a lot in common. Having a good relationship with our hubby’s and then bam!!
It is very hard right now, you don’t know whether your coming or going. My husband went numb also and didn’t feel like he was still in love with me. That was a hard pill to swallow, for sure. He deflected everything on to me, I was his problem, I was his anxiety, anything negative he felt was because of me. He was angry all the time and it was because of me. Your in the beginning of him being sympathetic and if he has started therapy, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. I know your feeling in limbo and you want answers and your life back. It seems at this moment he is unable to give you anything. He’s just trying to keep his head above water. My advice is, anything that has to do with your relationship needs to be on hold. He is unable to give you what you need right now. That’s why you hear so much on here about putting yourself and needs first. It’s about learning how to met your own needs, how to be happy within yourself and not rely on him. I completely understand how hard it is to go from being in a happy, strong, thriving marriage, to being rejected. I hurts like a b*tch. What helped us is putting our marriage on hold and living in our friendship. We sent a boundary, that there would be no relationship talk in our home and it helped lessen his anxiety when he did come home. As I started working on myself things got a little better for me. I was doing things with my kids, my friends and it helped taking some of my focus away of try to fix everything (because you can’t fix it, he has to do the work) I was always open with my kids if they asked any questions. I started setting boundaries and I found it not only helped me, It helped my husband. I wasn’t going to except his anger or deflection anymore. If he started losing his sh*t I made it very clear I was removing myself from it ( I learned this thanks to @Sweetpea76 ) by doing this my husband would have less guilt to carry, because he wasn’t able to lash out at me.
My husband was planning on moving out and we were separating and then moving forwards divorce. I had no choice but to let him go in order to save myself, because my kids needed me to be strong and happy. My husband was in therapy, I was in therapy. We started communicating through emails and that helped lessen the stress for him and it also helped give him time to respond and figure out his thought process, because it wasn’t the same as it use to be. I was the same as you, everything was left on me, the kids, the house, the animals ect. He had in his mind what the separation looked like and I had my own. Even though we were still living in our friendship I felt we needed help with communication as co-parenting so I asked him to go to counselling with me so we could co-parent our kids in a positive manner. As things started coming out and he had been in therapy for 7months at this point, he started coming out of this numbness. He realized that he did in fact still love me and the counselling turned from co-parenting to marriage counselling. He learned coping skills and his love and affection came back. It’s 5 years later and he’s still in therapy. But we are getting there, I still have boundaries and I 100% would not put up with bad behaviour. I understand your need to feel close to him, but I think you needed to ask yourself,” is us sleeping together the best thing for us” is the guilt he feels or the rejection you feel after benefiting the two of you? I know it’s hard right now and it scary but you can get through this. Sending hugs if you accept and support.
@Mytime
You are my saviour right now! I have been scouring the internet to find something that talks about a sufferer detaching from his spouse. Your story sounds like what I have been living so far. My husband doesn’t have angry outbursts but has gone from being one of the most patient people I know to irritable and impatient. I am aware it is just the beginning and we have a long road ahead. As long as there is hope and wanting on both ends I will continue to work for it.
thank you so much for sharing. It means more to me than u will ever know. I will definitely be in touch with more scenarios if that is okay?!
thank you for the story and a success story which is what I was looking for!! ❤️
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
I thought about my responses in your thread and I was on the verge of not being a supporter anymore. ( I had no idea) Today, was the day. I wish you the very best. It can be a long, hard road and can end up very rewarding. Five years was enough for me. I imagine we'll be friends but I'm incredibly tired of the the whole PTSD life. Good luck!
 

BrokenHeat

Learning
I thought about my responses in your thread and I was on the verge of not being a supporter anymore. ( I had no idea) Today, was the day. I wish you the very best. It can be a long, hard road and can end up very rewarding. Five years was enough for me. I imagine we'll be friends but I'm incredibly tired of the the whole PTSD life. Good luck!
Wow thank you for letting me know. You are a wealth of information.
I wish u all the best as well. Take care❤️
 

Freida

Sponsor
And it ain't easy!
and @LuckiLee wins the Understatement of the Day trophy! 😁

I think one thing that might be helpful in the long run is that you are getting advice and info at the very beginning of this journey. It seems that a lot of times the supporters don't get to the education point for a while because they keep hoping it will go away. When it doesn't they get stuck trying to play catch up and that makes it even harder.

Hopefully getting you and the kids into therapy to learn coping skills early will make it easier...
 
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