General Do men with ptsd want your empathy?


I want empathy from people. It helps and shows that people care and are investing time and concern in someone's life. That can really help rebuild someone's sense of self. And I guess in a way it could be also seen as a loving act. Maybe for different reasons some men would decide that they didn't want that but that's just their choice for their own reasons. And if they don't want it then stop being empathetic. But I know I want it.


I meant have you discussed what he wants from you. Cos I get how you'd be confused about it all if he is obviously struggling and not letting you in sometimes. That can usually be cleared up if he's able to be like "when this happens, I'd like you to do this" then you can agree or disagree to that.

He wants me to drink with him but I really don’t want to do that often. I don’t like drinking that much.


Empathy is a persons ability to recognize and share the emotions of another person, seeing someone else’s situation from his/her perspective, sharing his/her emotions, including his/her distress.

Empathy is stronger and more intimate.
“ I feel your pain.”
@Sweetpea76 in her example showed empathy in her Description of her SO having a nightmare and her feelings of moving closer because she able to understand his emotions ect.

Sympathy is a feeling of care and concern for someone, offen someone close and wishing him/her better off or happier.

Sympathy is weaker and more distant concern, not shared with emotions “ I care for you.”
Sympathy unlike empathy does not involve a shared perspective or emotions, while facial expressions of sympathy show caring and concern, they do not convey shared distress.

I hope this helps understanding the difference between the two. I believe most people have an easier time with empathy because it’s more about YOUR ability to understand someone. To me it seems a little quieter and shown through actions. Sympathy can be mistaken as pity if it’s not present in the right manner.
Your husband exploring someone else’s feelings and thoughts is him expressing his empathy and emotional intelligence. Which go hand and hand.


That's a hard question to answer. There are so many factors involved.

The topic.
His mood. (Tired? Mad? Sad? Depressed?...)
How full his stress cup is.
Has he started the conversation?

After an "episode" we always ask the other if they are ok. "You good"? covers alot until we can discuss what the issue is.

When he's hurting I always show empathy, compassion and sympathy. He usually accepts and if it bothers him (makes him feel weak) he'll say so and I leave it at that.

If he's already feeling "weak" I don't ask anything of him. It makes him feel worse.

Sometimes when he's depressed he'll tell me he needs a snuggle. We do hugs instead of words sometimes.

After a bad nightmares I'll just cuddle a little closer or whisper that he's home and safe.

If we are in public I do those things without anyone knowing.


Thanks. My vet has a lot of nightmares recently and I wish I could just cuddle him and tell him he is home and safe... but for him... I guess it doesn’t feel safe... because he always has to do perimeter check and if I tell him “Don’t do perimeter check. It’s safe“ he feels like he has to do it nevertheless... and he has the nightmare still in his head and feels that he needs to drink wine/liquor.

I would love to cuddle him tell him he is safe and then he feels very safe and loved but unfortunately it doesn’t work like this - because I think he is unhappy when he had a nightmare and needs some time to get it out of his head. Did that ever happen to your vet? Had a nightmare and couldn’t get it out of his head until he did perimeter check, had a drink and so on.


Do your guys sometimes have nightmares they cannot shake off?

I'm a sufferer but yes, totally! Many times a nightmare can stay with me for weeks or even longer. It can cause all sorts of symptoms to spike.

It really depends on the person, the trauma, and any coping skills they have learned along the way though.


Empathy is what gave me my first taste of healing from trauma, so yeah, ...I like empathy. I don't however like pity. My dad had love and pity confused and I don't want others to feel sorry for me. I want understanding and caring. Because people here can understand what I am going through, they show empathy and concern for me and I find it to be really helpful 'cause I know I am not alone in the world.

Sometimes though when I am grieving, I tend to get silent, which is typical for me. However, when it comes to trauma, silence may have made things more difficult. I have noticed that when I am angry I get silent and it is then that I don't want to discuss things. It is times like that when empathy feels like a bit of an intrusion. I need time to withdraw a bit and sort things out for myself. After that, I can welcome empathy, but I do believe every man is different.
I also get silent when I'm upset or angry. I literally find it very difficult to talk. I end up feeling very emotionally confused as all my different traumas get mixed up.


J has a few different nightmares that he has all the time. They have changed a little through the years. They are about actual events and people he loved.

The most recent discovery I made was about when he wakes up sick to his stomach and vomits. One of his traumas was when his "brother" was shot in the neck. J performed life saving measures. His friend died in his arms.

Through the years this nightmare has changed. It all plays out the same but the person he is trying to save, is himself. You have to remember these nightmares are real. He can taste the blood. Smell the sulfur. Hear the gunfire. The screams. Feel the sand on his face, in his eyes, nose and mouth. Etc.

We actually talked about it the other day. When he wakes up and vomits. He is literally choking to death and cant breathe.

When they are that bad he goes out to the living room to catch his breath. Sometimes he watches tv. Sometimes he prays. Sometimes he cries. Sometimes SI kicks in. It takes him whatever it takes to groud himself and realize he's home.

Que the survivors guilt and self hatred.


@Never_falter2 empathy is not something I receive in life but it's something I would like. It shows that the person cares and is attempting to understand, that person it thoughtful IMO. You don't want someone questioning asking a lot of questions but I appreciate this type of expression. In m,y current situation I wouldn't even say I was in terrible pain from a migraine....I know there will be silence, brushed off, I don't in any way expect that type of treatment. My sister was visiting one year and in the morning asked how I was feeling because of a migraine the prior evening. I was brought to tears because I just don't receive that type of care.
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@LuckiLee Thats very sad.? Don’t know what to say now. Does praying and watching TV help him.

My vet actually often has nightmares of things that have not happened but could happen such as his loved ones dying of coronavirus... and when he wakes up he realizes that coronavirus is really a problem and his loved ones might catch it... before coronavirus it was other dancers he dreamed of... but I think he hasn’t found anything that helps now apart from drinking.