Relationship First Time Post

Cherie73

New Here
My partner and I are relatively new, but quite serious already. He suffers from PTSD and told me of this right away. This is the anniversary of his traumatic event (battle), and he has shut down completely. Prior to this, when he would get overwhelmed or irritable, he told me that he needs normalcy. Now normal isn't cutting it and he is saying that he is dealing alone and is used to it. I feel hurt. I'm asking what he needs, he won't tell me.....I try checking in, and messages go unanswered. Then again "I'm all alone".
How can I help?? Which of my own boundaries do I respect?

thanks so much
 

Friday

Moderator
How can I help??
If he’s asking for space to deal with things alone? That IS helping.

It’s like cooking a giant meal for someone with the stomach flu, or bouncing on the bed to punk rock when someone has a migraine? Aren’t helpful things. They just make things worse. What IS helpful for someone with a migraine is leaving them alone to lay down in the dark, cool, quiet… & going out to eat, rather than filling the house with nauseating food-smells, rather than being hurt they aren’t overjoyed at all the work you put into cooking.

Not everyone can leave someone they love alone, to puke in peace, or manage their stress. If you’re someone who has to be holding your loved one’s hair back as they vomit for 3 days? Someone who needs hourly updates via text/phone even on girls/boys nights out? Being in a relationship with someone who isolates probably isn’t for you. If you’re kosher with 3 days no contact, irritated at 4 days, and infuriated after a week? Best to be with someone who can touch base AT LEAST every 3 days.

There’s no right/wrong with how much contact anyone needs or wants. Some people live together, work together, and in 50 years never spend a night apart. Others? Cheerfully go 6mo+ a year on opposite sides of the world without so much as a postcard.

Personally, I swing my legs over the extremes. I PREFER to live & work together, but am also perfectly happy with months spent apart. Most people? Fall more midline in what they prefer & can be happy with.

My very strong suggestion is to work out where YOUR happy-place is, and what you’re NOT unhappy with; to find the zone you want to be in with your partner, & then have a convo with them (after this rough patch is over) to see if your zone & theirs has an overlap the two of you can exist in.

I have PTSD. I mostly date people with PTSD. Just because I/we grok the isolation and stress management thing? Doesn’t mean that the way EITHER of us need works with what the other needs. Other times, with just a few tweaks, we get on like a house on fire. But there’s nearly always some negotiation in the early days as we figure that shit out.
 
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