Relationship How to get through to him?

Rosan1507

New Here
Welcome.
PTSD is very painful. And very REAL.
I can't add much to the knowledge or wisdom already expressed.
I will sure agree distancing is a critical survival tool and very painful to experience. I commend you on your path toward learning and healing.
As painful as it may be to do and to hear, focus on healing yourself that you may be able make the best decisions for yourself and those you care for.
There are incredible resources here and you are very very welcome to partake.
I send my wishes for strength and healing.

Thank you for your kind words ?
I know PTSD is different with every person, so its so confusing when I hear: distance is the key...and the next thing I notice is he texting me. It's not about emotions or how I am doing...so safe subjects, but still. He is "reaching out".
Today we saw each other and I noticed that after 3 hours he was tired and wanted to rest. We had a lovely day and he was happy chatting away. It was difficult and I had to stay strong not to cry. When I asked him about his emdr, which he is starting soon, he changed subject. So I know that was too much and thats ok.
When I left he gave me a hug and we stayed like that for twenty seconds...it felt so good to hold him. ? last week he wanted to "elbow" me goodbye, and that hurts. So now that he hugged me hello and goodbye is confusing.(not complaining:)) I'm trying to read some signals but dont want to get my hopes up high. Curious what my counselor will say this week.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
He had a good day, but for me it also looked like he was already over me.
I am saying this in the most gentle way possible. Truly.

He has told you his need to be out of the relationship, as it stood with you. And his actions match that. I am so sorry for the pain that brings you.

this is all new to me and I think I need help too, because my life is falling apart at this moment. And I need to be strong, in order to be strong for him.
No, you just need to be strong for you. Sometimes the cracks in others that we are close with help us to see the cracks in ourselves. And I think you really got a glimpse through all of this of what your needs are. You said it right here. Rather than focus on helping him with his PTSD, do you think it would be better to address what is happening in your own life instead?

And if that is a difficult thing for you to focus on, then yes, absolutely, I would try to find help for that by way of therapy. The real goal here - for your own best interests, would be to make sure YOU are okay. Not him. That, imho, is what the issue is here.

I do wish you all the strength so you can get back to self care for yourself in this situation.
 

dcb2410

Not Active
My two bob’s worth. Listen to what others here say. In my experience sweetpea is likely to say it in terms that are less forceful. Others may (and without drawing anyone out in particular just general read from this site and not specific to anyone who has responded to you) a little more bluntly.

I didn’t understand the behaviour of my ex partner. I’ve had to come to terms with that as bizarre as it was. I can only encourage you to move on and not look for answers you probably won’t ever get.
 

Rosan1507

New Here
Thank you all. I know the message is: focus on yourself and talk with a counselor. Im having an appointment this week so i hope she can give me advice and it will help me move on a bit.

But...it is hard to let him go and give up on him, because he is staying in contact with me and wants me to stay in his life. Yesterday he said he wants to look after my dog a day a week when im going back to work. He hugged me very close when i left, etc. On the othe side, he is not been able to talk about anything that feels unsafe and thats ok.

Im actually very proud of him: he is using less screentime, so no negative news can come in, he is cleaning his house (downside: removed our pictures together, but i understand thats distracting you if you need to focus on yourself), he started to jog again every day, he is looking for jobs and is seeing two friends twice a week and they are doing their work together.
so positive thing....but the journey to “recovery” is now about to start when emdr starts. that treatment starts soon and he is not avoiding it.

Hopefully I can also let it go a bit and focus more on myself.
 

Butterfly64

Confident
Dear all, I want to thank you all for the responses and for trying to help me. It's a lot of information and I have to read it a couple of times to let it all in. My head is just all over the place and there is a difference in what my head and my heart says. I'm new in all of this, never experienced this before so doing the right thing is hard. So that's why my responses is also all over the place: heart and head are both saying different things.

To answer the question about only friendship: I don't know now if I can be just friends with him and that's what upset me a lot. I don't want to let him go because he got PTSD and that's the reason he zoomed out. Because he can't help it and he is in pain too. So I know that if I want to be in his life, I have to put my emotions aside so I can be there for him, but that's difficult. I know it's a positive thing he is still in contact with me and I have to focus on that. And when we meet it's when he wants it and at his place, because that's the place he feels safe. I'm not pushing him or telling him how I feel, I just wanted to know from you guys, if I had to share that (gently) with him or not.

That's also why I came here: to ask for advice, but also to see if somebody had experiences with somebody with PTSD who broke up with you because he/she felt numb and what that person did. And I wanted to know if somebody has experience with EMDR therapy and if/how that has helped you dealing with emotions again and get your life back on track.

Again: this is all new to me and I think I need help too, because my life is falling apart at this moment. And I need to be strong, in order to be strong for him.

ps: it's hard for me to express because English is not my first language.
No - you have to be strong for you ❤️
When I found this site almost a year ago, I hoped the lovely people in here would tell me, that PTSD relationships do work out....I needed a pat on the head and people to say...everything will work out for you and your sufferer. Well! That is not what I got...I got the truth..PTSD is a bitch and most relationships don’t work out, because a lot of sufferers can barely cope with their own lives so how are they supposed to also be able to be there for their supporter?
Was it tough for me to get some answers here? Hell yes! I was in complete denial even though I knew after then two years of push/pull, hot/cold, “I can’t be in a relationship ever again
so we are exclusive but not in a relationship“, that it was time to run for the hills and don’t look back.
You have to remember that the good people in here have heard stories like yours and mine soooooo many times before and still, they offer good, solid advice❤️ even though we may not like what they are saying. And the stories in here are so similar it is scary...the sufferes fall in love and then they run and it is confusing a f*ck...it is simply mind blowing!
My best advice to you is to leave him alone for now...I wish I had done that three years ago! I know that it is next to impossible to do that, because what if he doesn’t reach out to you...well then you get on with your life? Remember ...you only get one life...why spend it pining over a man who is not capable of being in a relationship. It is possible to walk away....trust me and one day you will be ready to do so. I wish all the best ❤️
 

Rosan1507

New Here
I understand what you are all trying to say. ? It's hard to hear of course. Letting the one you love and care for so much go, is not something that is easy to do. ?

But call me a fool or whatever, but I really see potential in him getting 'better'. His ptsd will never disappear and he needs to learn to know what his triggers are and he needs to learn how to deal with them. He was doing good, but the shit load he got on his plate was just not normal anymore, so I'm not surprised it went down hill.

But as I was saying: I already see so much progress the last couple of weeks. He WANTS to get better and he is working on it. He is getting therapy, he is avoiding screen time because that could be triggers for him (the news), he is active and is jogging again, he is looking for jobs, knows he needs relax time by doing a puzzle or work in the garden and he is staying in contact because he wants to keep me in his life. (whether as a friend or future girlfriend...the future will tell). He has 2 other friends here and he sees them a couple times a week. He knows having a routine will help him. (they are safe, because they don't know anything about his problems.)

And maybe in a couple of weeks/months I will say to you: you were all right. ? I wasted my time...but for now: I just can't let him go. He has so much potential and he is working on it. He is really trying and I believe in him. And the last thing I'm going to do for now, is giving up on somebody who is trying so hard to get his life back on track. It feels like a back stab. He told me four weeks ago: I need help, because I'm not going to waste anymore years, like I did before my running away for it.
And yes, that means it's harder for me. It's 'easier' to walk away, but I'm not going to leave him, I'm here for him.
I'm not going to sit down and wait, I need to get my life back on track. But I'm not going to erase him out of my life...not now.
 

Freida

Sponsor
And maybe in a couple of weeks/months I will say to you: you were all right. ? I wasted my time...
oh hun -- no one wants to be able to say this to you. :hug:

I love that you want to try to ride this out with him and that you understand it is going to be a tough time for him. You said you have a therapist yes? If so, ask lots of questions about ptsd and what to look for in your own reactions when things come up for him. That might help you stay sane. PTSD for families is from the VA but it applies to non military folks also it has a lot of good info for supporters. Gift from Within is another really good site.

Remember -- EMDR is hard, hard, hard. All his symptoms may escalate so be ready to give him space and to ask your T to help you with not thinking it's about you. If you can get that going now I think it will really help.
 

Rosan1507

New Here
oh hun -- no one wants to be able to say this to you. :hug:

I love that you want to try to ride this out with him and that you understand it is going to be a tough time for him. You said you have a therapist yes? If so, ask lots of questions about ptsd and what to look for in your own reactions when things come up for him. That might help you stay sane. PTSD for families is from the VA but it applies to non military folks also it has a lot of good info for supporters. Gift from Within is another really good site.

Remember -- EMDR is hard, hard, hard. All his symptoms may escalate so be ready to give him space and to ask your T to help you with not thinking it's about you. If you can get that going now I think it will really help.

Thank you for your kind words :)
Yesterday I talked to my therapist, but I didn't find it very helpful. She really can't help me much because I'm not letting go so she can't help me with that now. She told me that EMDR therapy can already change things within 6/7 sessions. So, I have decided to wait that time and see if I can see some changes. If not, than I can contact her again so she can help me with letting go. It gave me a little piece of mind because now I have a time-frame for myself.
I already contacted other therapist to see if they can help me with cooping with somebody with ptsd. Because I think sharing my story already can help, but with the therapist I spoke with yesterday, that's not very helpful.

My question here is: would you have appreciated it if somebody texted you after your emdr just to to let them know they are thinking of you?? yesterday was his first emdr and I didn't contacted him, I leave it up to him. I want to give him the space he needs, but I'm curious if that is the best thing to do.
 

mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
What's helped me, more than just about anything with my sufferer (we both fit into that category) is to just focus on the friendship, rather than have "relationship" expectations.

I had to let go so many times. Firstly because he wasn't up for it. Was terrified and wary of being involved with a woman.

But was needing a friend.

The lack of expectations helps a lot, in fact, it's the only way it's possible, IMO.

We live together now. We are 10 years strong and going well now.

For us, our very traumatic pasts helps us understand each other. But I had to totally let go so many times.

If it's meant to be, it will happen.

Follow your own heart and listen to what he wants as well. Respect his need for space. That is one of the things that will help him relax the most.
Come from your heart when you talk to him.
Tend to your own needs. Don't put him in a position where he feels pressured or put upon to fulfill your needs.
Cry and grieve if you have to. Don't try to fill the void with him. Be prepared to take full responsibility to fill your own void.

Just be a good friend. And be a good friend to yourself.

If it's meant to be, it will happen effortlessly, as long as you can let go, stay in the moment, treat yourself with the most kindness FIRST.

You know what the cliche says about the road to love. It's rocky. It's not smooth. It can hurt. It takes courage, lots of it. It is risky business. It means coping with uncertainty. Lots of it.

Follow your heart and be kindest to yourself and don't blame him or make him responsible for how you feel.

He may disappoint you lots and you may have to develop a saintly amount of patience. If you think you've got what it takes, great, but, remember, you deserve your own consideration FIRST. Then, if you still have energy for reaching out to him, do it without expectation of an outcome, or you could be setting yourself up and you might resent him and that will surely be a recipe for heartache.

Many of us sufferers need lots of time to ourselves. We are often not very social people. So going out on dates a lot? Nope, not something many of us enjoy.

It will probably be hard work with lots of energy being put out and sketchy returns. But if he is your best friend? You will not put the relationship pressures on him and it might work out.

Good luck.

Opening your heart to someone is the bravest thing. Be prepared to feel everything. It will, most likely, be the most intense emotional rollercoaster of your life. So make sure you have self care practises in place that don't rely on him. You have to fill up your own cup. And that counts for whether it develops or not.

Also, one more thing, don't fall into the trap that you tell yourself or think you can make things better with your words. Sometimes, words make it worse. Just being there when he needs a friend is better. Maybe a hug or a hand squeeze, but, sometimes any words hurt and don't help.

You can't, necessarily, make it better or help any of his pain go away. Just being a solid, reliable, friend is probably what he needs more than anything, but, don't try to change him or "fix" him.

Does any of this make sense? Just take what rings true and helpful, and leave the rest.
 
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