Supporter Hi everyone!! Newlyweds dealing with PTSD

MattieT

New Here
Hi there.
I’m Mattie T and I just came across this forum and I’m hoping to get some insight and support to how to navigate my new marriage with my spouse who is a veteran. He has only just admitted to himself that he is suffering from PTSD and he’s going through a really tough time. I don’t know how to be around him right now and I feel I’m constantly walking on eggshells when it comes to communicating with him.

we’ve only been married 8 months and this is hurting us both. We both have heavy hearts and we are struggling.

Any advice or just some comfort would be greatly appreciated 🙂
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @MattieT, sorry to hear that you and your husband are having a tough time. Does your husband have a therapist/counsellor? What do you think are some of the main problems at the moment?
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @MattieT,
I'm very sorry to hear of your dilemma. PTSD presents one of the most difficult struggles a person can face, as a sufferer or as a supporter. You are both in for a long, rough road.

That is the necessary bad news. The good news is that while difficult, it is not impossible to live with PTSD or to support someone with PTSD.

As a Complex PTSD sufferer myself, I think a huge aspect of what makes PTSD so very hard on relationship is the emotional dysregulation and "fight or flight" defense mechanisms. Coupled, these two features of PTSD can make it seem nearly impossible to maintain a meaningful relationship.

There are two diametrically opposed forces operating in a PTSD sufferer which are madening and threaten to tear the sufferer apart from within. On one side is love and a desire for meaningful relationship. Juxtaposed to this is an uncontrollable inability to be vulnerable. This adversity to the perceived threat of vulnerability is inexplicable and absolutely overwhelming.

Against our will, the slightest trigger can put us in a place of being so overcome with a terror like feeling that we MUST escape it or eliminate it one way or another. It fries our ability to think. It hypersensitizes our emotions. It brings the most horrific torment to our body, mind and soul.

In most cases, our response puts our caregivers on eggshells, not because we don't love them nor because that's how we want to act or who we want to be, but because we can't stay in that triggered state. To stay in it would be too go crazy or worse. So we fight or flee to find safety. It sucks!

We can't even be the person we want to be nor who we always thought we were. We have to somehow figure out how to be a totally different person, whom we don't even recognize nor know our own selves. This person who we have to learn to be is crippled and debilitated in so many ways.

On top of having to learn to be someone we don't recognize, we have to deal with how this effects our loved ones. If we are (or were,) compassionate people, it is soul-rending to see the hurt our condition causes others. This adds shame and guilt to our already fragile sense of self.

PTSD is truly a horrific condition. Therapy can help. Support groups like this can help. Time can help. But there is no quick fix and no easy way out. Life with PTSD is a continual battle and constant learning experience.

Please keep posting here. Vent honestly. Cry out for help. Get angry. Be true to yourself. We will be here for you. We will provide comfort, support, a listening ear, various perspectives and view points, and some commiserating among other things.

It is easier to cope with PTSD when you know you are not alone. You are not alone.

Welcome,
Woodsy
 
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