Relationship Dating a man with ptsd

Makeupqueen1

New Here
I’ve been dating a veteran with ptsd for over a year now. It’s been long distance. There is a two hour distance between us. It’s been tricky but as of a month ago, it’s been worth it.
I’ve held off moving to him in case something like this happens bc I do have kids involved.
But as of a month ago, he’s been super off. He switched medications recently and I think that’s what’s effecting him. But what do I do? I told him I’d never give up on him and I meant that but this is almost impossible. I’ve given him space. I’ve waited for him to come to me to talk, but I could be waiting days bc he’s not budging. He’s cancelled plans with me suddenly, he doesn’t call to check on me and he’s even blocked my numbers at times. It happened instantly. One day he was so in love with me and now, he doesn’t know what he wants and it’s basically like we’re done.
My question is… will this pass? Is he just going through it and needs me to be patient? Or is there no hope? I’m so stuck. I knew what I was signing up for, so I’m trying with everything but I’m not mentally in the best place myself so I’m struggling and just need advice from someone that has ptsd themselves, or partners to someone that has it.
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
My question is… will this pass? Is he just going through it and needs me to be patient? Or is there no hope?

That’s the million dollar question. We don’t know. He probably doesn’t even know.

Welcome to the end of the honeymoon period. He’s probably been with you long enough to show his behind now. We all kind of get that rude awakening with our sufferers. We *think* we know what PTSD is because we know they have PTSD… but we don’t actually know until they let their guard down and start being symptomatic around us. It doesn’t seem too bad, until it actually is.

He could be isolating. It could be over. It’s hard to tell if it’s not an established pattern of behavior. Has he told you it’s over?
 

Makeupqueen1

New Here
That’s the million dollar question. We don’t know. He probably doesn’t even know.

Welcome to the end of the honeymoon period. He’s probably been with you long enough to show his behind now. We all kind of get that rude awakening with our sufferers. We *think* we know what PTSD is because we know they have PTSD… but we don’t actually know until they let their guard down and start being symptomatic around us. It doesn’t seem too bad, until it actually is.

He could be isolating. It could be over. It’s hard to tell if it’s not an established pattern of behavior. Has he told you it’s over?
He just tells me to go before it gets bad…
He mentioned not being able to get his meds until July for whatever reason and told me to leave before it gets bad. Every time I ask if we’re still together or what he wants, he doesn’t answer me. I can’t get an answer out of him so that’s why I haven’t left him yet, bc I don’t wanna give up on him if he’s just going through something. I’ve learned that he’ll talk to me a little bit, as long as it’s not about us at all. But he won’t talk nearly as much as he use to. For a straight year, we wouldn’t go longer than an hour or two without communication. Now, he might send me two texts a day and then go mia. This is all new to me so it’s really hard to know what to do at this point. That’s why I’m just wanting some opinions of others who have been through something similar.
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
As a supporter and knowing what I know now I don't think I could deal with a (my) ptsd relationship on top of raising healthy well adjusted kids. J has 3 grown children he's estranged from because of ptsd and combat.

J and I were in our 40's when we got together. I'm a different person than I was before my commitment to J. Not good or bad, but different. It is seriously a bumpy ride. Some days it takes everything I have to keep my 💩 together. And some days are completely dysfunctional.

I love the man with all my heart. And we work so hard to make things work and have a beautiful life together. BUT ptsd doesn't care. Ptsd can and will run the show if you let it.

J (My Veteran) is in therapy and tries every day to be better than yesterday. Doesn't always work but he tries. He works really hard to stay in this relationship. Although he likes to push me away too. We communicate more than most and I HAD to set STRONG boundaries. And follow through every time one is crossed.

Sorry. I sound like Debbie Downer. The reality is in the combat veteran world most (ptsd) relationships don't last. When J first got out it was extremely difficult for him. (3 kids he doesn't know, homelessness, addiction etc. etc.) He often says "War was easier than civilian life". Is your guy in therapy? Diagnosed? In denial?

Since he's isolating from you and blocked you, just give him space. It's obviously what he needs. While he's doing what he's doing take the time to really think about this. He will probably reach out again. It could be in a week or a month or even a year. Sometimes it takes a long time to get out of the rabbit hole. There's a great thread here called What Are They Thinking? It was started by one of my favorite people and starts off talking about isolation. A must read.

Good luck and keep us posted. I actually am rooting for you both! I hope he takes care of himself and more importantly I hope you take care of yourself too. Oh, and we have a saying around here... "take what works and leave the rest". I hope I wasn't too harsh.

💐
Just saw your last post. If you keep calling and texting it will only push I'm further away. He's begging for space. "Giving space is a loving act".
 
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Makeupqueen1

New Here
As a supporter and knowing what I know now I don't think I could deal with a (my) ptsd relationship on top of raising healthy well adjusted kids. J has 3 grown children he's estranged from because of ptsd and combat.

J and I were in our 40's when we got together. I'm a different person than I was before my commitment to J. Not good or bad, but different. It is seriously a bumpy ride. Some days it takes everything I have to keep my 💩 together. And some days are completely dysfunctional.

I love the man with all my heart. And we work so hard to make things work and have a beautiful life together. BUT ptsd doesn't care. Ptsd can and will run the show if you let it.

J (My Veteran) is in therapy and tries every day to be better than yesterday. Doesn't always work but he tries. He works really hard to stay in this relationship. Although he likes to push me away too. We communicate more than most and I HAD to set STRONG boundaries. And follow through every time one is crossed.

Sorry. I sound like Debbie Downer. The reality is in the combat veteran world most (ptsd) relationships don't last. When J first got out it was extremely difficult for him. (3 kids he doesn't know, homelessness, addiction etc. etc.) He often says "War was easier than civilian life". Is your guy in therapy? Diagnosed? In denial?

Since he's isolating from you and blocked you, just give him space. It's obviously what he needs. While he's doing what he's doing take the time to really think about this. He will probably reach out again. It could be in a week or a month or even a year. Sometimes it takes a long time to get out of the rabbit hole. There's a great thread here called What Are They Thinking? It was started by one of my favorite people and starts off talking about isolation. A must read.

Good luck and keep us posted. I actually am rooting for you both! I hope he takes care of himself and more importantly I hope you take care of yourself too. Oh, and we have a saying around here... "take what works and leave the rest". I hope I wasn't too harsh.

💐
Not harsh at all! I greatly appreciate everything you said! Like I’ve said, this is all new to me so I’m still learning. I knew it was gonna take patience. He’s already been divorced twice, so I knew what I was up against. In his defense, those divorces happened when he was in denial. So that answers that question of yours. He didn’t get diagnosed with ptsd until after this last divorce, so I was totally open to giving him a chance. He goes to therapy and is on medication and he was doing awesome for the first year. I would’ve never known he had ptsd if he hadn’t come out and told me honestly. He was great. Then some issues started happening with our physical relationship(sex) and he had to switch meds, which I was nervous about. He switched about a month ago and I noticed a difference pretty quickly. He was in denial at first, but I noticed he was snappy with me, and he had never raised his voice at me for the whole year. He almost lost his job after getting into an altercation. He started forgetting things all of a sudden. Completely changed behavior and when I brought it to his attention, he agreed that this medication wasn’t working and he needed to do something. Of course that’s what I think it might be, but I have my days where I ask myself if he means the things he’s saying/doing, or if it’s the meds he’s on causing him to act this way. It’s scary when it feels like it’s a completely different person you’re with now. I’ve been trying to stick it out until he gets his meds changed, but it’s so difficult some days. I guess I’m here asking for opinions so that it’s easier to handle knowing that everyone goes through this and it’s not just me.
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
The best advice I ever received here was to never put more energy into someone's healing than they put in themselves.

You can research and study the science behind ptsd all you want but if HE isn't doing the work it wouldn't do you much good. He has to be the one to learn not only about ptsd but about his symptoms, triggers, meds, grounding techniques.... the list goes on and on!

Be sure to take care of yourself. When we are struggling with ptsd symptoms that's when I hang out more with friends and family. I do the things J is unable to do because of ptsd.
 
P

Paula

I’ve been dating a veteran with ptsd for over a year now. It’s been long distance. There is a two hour distance between us. It’s been tricky but as of a month ago, it’s been worth it.
I’ve held off moving to him in case something like this happens bc I do have kids involved.
But as of a month ago, he’s been super off. He switched medications recently and I think that’s what’s effecting him. But what do I do? I told him I’d never give up on him and I meant that but this is almost impossible. I’ve given him space. I’ve waited for him to come to me to talk, but I could be waiting days bc he’s not budging. He’s cancelled plans with me suddenly, he doesn’t call to check on me and he’s even blocked my numbers at times. It happened instantly. One day he was so in love with me and now, he doesn’t know what he wants and it’s basically like we’re done.
My question is… will this pass? Is he just going through it and needs me to be patient? Or is there no hope? I’m so stuck. I knew what I was signing up for, so I’m trying with everything but I’m not mentally in the best place myself so I’m struggling and just need advice from someone that has ptsd themselves, or partners to someone that has it.
Start working on yourself immediately. Self care is most important. Get into therapy especially EMDR. Do give yourself the gift of healing. I believe one must work on oneself before taking on someone with PTSD. I know from personal experience not to become involved with someone who is being triggered. Being in a relationship is not the end all to happiness. Happiness is an inside job.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I know from personal experience not to become involved with someone who is being triggered. Being in a relationship is not the end all to happiness. Happiness is an inside job.
Paula, please take a few minutes to read this thread: Sufferers: You Must Read This Prior To Posting

Stay mindful of not projecting your own narrative as a sufferer onto the supporters in this forum. Thanks.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
Med changes are hell.

Some people turn to alcohol or drugs or sex or yes isolation as their coping mechanism.
Raises hand in agreement!
This is me --- something goes wonky and I isolate. I know it hurts my people, but it's better than being around them and being in raving bitch mode. In my mind anyway. It's taken years!!! of therapy to get me to try to find better ways to deal instead of isolating and even then those coping skills don't always work.

From the sufferer side? You aren't doing anything wrong
He has to fight his demons-- and for most of us it comes down to fighting them alone because, well, pstd makes it like that.
But ptsd doesn't give us the right to mean to those who love us.

You can research and study the science behind ptsd all you want but if HE isn't doing the work it wouldn't do you much good. He has to be the one to learn not only about ptsd but about his symptoms, triggers, meds, grounding techniques.... the list goes on and on!
This.
So much this.
You can't be held responsible for his behavior.
The idea you will push him over the edge? Its' a scary thought but it's HIS actions that count in his dealing with his problems. Not yours. You aren't responsible for him.

The saddest thing I see on the supporters side here is when people realize that they can't love their person out of ptsd and how heartbreaking that is. But at the end of the day we have to be willing to do the work. And sometimes, we just can't. No matter how much someone loves us. And that is so sad - for both sides.

But YOU aren't doing anything wrong.
 

Friday

Moderator
He mentioned not being able to get his meds until July
I’ve been trying to stick it out until he gets his meds changed, but it’s so difficult some days.

-IF- it’s a med-issue driving this? Depending on which meds, he gave you a timeline right here… If he’s going to come around? It will most likely be sometime in July -or- Sept -or- January. Some meds don’t need a ramp up / ramp down time period, but are instantly in/out of your system; many need a month (each) for the old ones to taper down and the new ones to build up; and a whole helluva lot need 3 months for each med.

During those kinds of 3-6mo med changes a lot of people lose everything (homes, careers, friends, lovers, family) unless they take steps for some kind of leave of absence. Some choose psych hospitals (or have that choice forced upon them). Some leave the area -new job they don’t care about losing or developing a terrible reputation with, amongst people they don’t care if they hate them, nor how they themselves are treating those people- with plans to return so that the people & jobs & lives they care about are 🤩 happy! 🤩 to see them in XYZ months, next year, etc. instead of just being one more piece of pissed off wreckage wishing them dead/ never having met them/ finis-done-over left in the wake. Some attempt to juggle a some from column A, some from column B, remaining in intermittent contact with no strings, so that when they’re having a good moment they can share it, but the bad moments are kept elsewhere… there are a whole lotta ways people attempt to manage the unmanageable… but a helluva lot of people just end up burning their lives to the ground. For good reason. Not the burning. That’s bullshit. Especially if it’s already happened once, so you know it’s likely. Meaning anyone would be an idiot to keep anyone else around after A-Z totally f*cked up over-the-line behaviors risked their own lives, (and the lives of friends/family/people they’re responsible for), livelihoods, broke every ethic and moral they hold dear, etc..

It may NOT be a med issue driving this. He’s burned his life to the ground at least twice that you know of, already. So that’s a real possibility.

As is it “just” being the end of the time most people can be someone else for someone else (most people have about a 6mo cap for outright invention, but a 2 year cap for making sacrifices instead of finding compromises).

Or a whole lotta other things. Cyclical, one off, situational, temporary, permanent.

No real way to know what’s going on with him, without him both knowing that AND sharing it in a way that the two of you can work with/find a working series of solutions with. He may not know. He may know but not be able to communicate it. He may know and be telling you left right and center what’s up but you’re not hearing him. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

***

The one thing you DO know, is you.

Some people can handle 6mo (or a year, or 3 months) pfft! As easily as breathing! I just need to know so I can plan around it!!! Others can’t handle a week. Nothing right or wrong in either case, it’s just one very small aspect of personal preference; knowing who you are and what you want & need.

So that’s what I would focus on right now. Ditching romantic nonsense of “I would never” (Really? He could hurt your kids and you’d abandon them for him? …Yes. I would hope that falls under the starry eyed “He would never” so therefore “I would never” 😍🤮) …BUT… You probably (I hope!) have dealbreakers. And other boundaries. And goals for your own life, your kids’ lives, your life with a partner, etc. Time to break those suckers out, dust them off, and look realistically at who you want to be, what you want your life to look like, and define your own limits. I’m not saying leave him, and I’m not saying he would every cross those limits. (Except he already has crossed a few soft limits, or you wouldn’t be distressed by this situation, and is probably nearing some hard limits). That’s not what this is about. This (getting really secure in your sense of self) because you don’t know what’s going on with him. It may be over. It may be the start of forever. And anything/everything in between. But what you need/want? Is really vital for whichever way things go, to be the way that’s best for you, instead of just where you find yourself.

My 2.02
 
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Makeupqueen1

New Here
It’s been one week since I’ve heard from him. The last time we talked, he wasn’t the person I knew and as much as I wished I could help him, I had to cut him off. Not that he cared, but I had to do what was best for my own mental health and my kids. It feels like I’m mourning someone that died and I’m not sure if or when this feeling will ever go away, but I pray it does. I truly believed he was my soulmate. We had so much in common and I felt like I had known him my whole life. He got me out of really bad place and ten year abusive relationship that I thought would never end. He worshipped the ground me and my kids walked on and treated me better than anyone ever had and I needed that after the last ten years. But now it’s all gone and I’m really struggling. As much as this hurts, I hope that he somehow focuses on himself and if anything good comes out of this, he gets better for himself and his own kids. I’ve truly never wanted the best for someone else and if that means he can’t commit to me, I hope he can commit to getting more help that he needs.
They say if you love someone, you let them go right?
 
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