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Hubby's Corner

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Kims_Man, Sep 23, 2006.

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  1. Kims_Man

    Kims_Man Active Member

    Here in the US, there is a set of TV commercials that feature some big-named male celebrities (actors, athletes, pro cowboys, musicians) sitting around a table making up Man Rules! They have a scribe who is recording these rules into a huge leather-bound book, as if it is the ultimate set of rules for men. Funny stuff! But how many knew there really were men rules? Not to be confused with men roles. Actual rules that we feel we must live by. Not all men follow every rule, but for the majority, you can bet your paycheck on how a man will act/feel about certain things.

    One of the biggest is how we deal with things going on around us. Man Rule #437 says, "Men will not talk freely about their feelings." (Rule #87 sets forth the rule that we only have 1,627 words to use in a 24 hour period) So getting guys to read posts on this site is one thing, but getting them to actually post something is really special, as it goes against who we are (Way to go, Johnny Longtorso!)

    Another rule, #482, says, "Men will select a mate, then protect, provide and care for that mate through good & bad." So imagine how we men feel when our mate has something that has a death grip on their inner most souls, sometimes squeezing the life out of them, at other times letting them alone to have a good day, and we, as the protector, can't do a damn thing about it! It goes against everything we have learned! If it were an intruder who was threatening our mate, we would have a target onto which we could direct our wrath! We could lash out, strike at them, inflict pain on them, and truly protect our mate in the traditional MAN way.

    PTSD has robbed us of our target. We can only sit by helplessly and watch as our mate is attacked from within, almost as if an invisable spirit had invaded them, causing them to become something other than what we first met and fell in love with. What is the cruelest of all, our mates don't change physically. They don't take on the appearance of this evil being, but instead remain looking like the one we love with all our heart. So we don't strike at the evil being because it looks like our loved one. We can't strike it down because we would be striking down our partner. What kind of crap is that?

    I went back and re-read the Man Rules, and there is nothing in there that covers this. We're on our own when it comes to dealing with this. Another new problem for us is that for the most part, we can't turn to our one true tutor in Man Rules, our fathers, because they have no idea what we're going through.

    So, what I'm saying is:

    1) Men, we're on our own, and must come up with our own set of rules when dealing with our mates, and how to best help them. We can either do this as individuals, sitting quietly and figuring things out alone, hitting and missing as we go along? Or we can begin opening up with each other, sharing ideas and perhaps amending the Man Rules to fit our needs

    2) To our partners, you have to understand what WE are going through, as well as us attempting to figure out your PTSD. We were given training that never mentioned PTSD. If we as men suffer from it, we're lost. If we as men have a partner that suffers from it, we're lost. We men tend to want to jump in and fix things. We have found that duct tape and baleing wire can repair just about anything that breaks. But not this. We can't patch it, or re-wire it. No welding is going to fix this. Please excuse us for trying, but remember that's what we've been taught to do. Once we catch up with the fact that we can't fix it, then bear with us as we start to learn what it is we CAN do for you.

    Oh, and men, I know this has been posted on a few different threads, but it bears repeating here:

    When I ask you to listen to me
    And you start giving advice
    You have not done what I asked

    When I ask you to listen to me
    And you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way
    You are trampling on my feelings.

    When I ask you to listen to me
    And you feel you have to do something to solve my problem,
    You have failed me, strange as that may seem.

    Listen! All I asked was that you listen.
    Not talk or do
    Just hear me.

    We're in uncharted waters, men. Stick together, tread lightly and good luck!
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  3. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

    Yep... the male code of conduct is synonomous in Australia mate... kind of like a set of unwritten rules we are just born with. :)
  4. superd

    superd Member

    I'll try...

    Though not so much a hard and fast rule, some of the lessons I have learned are as follows:

    1) You are not a therapist. Don't try to act like one.

    2) PTSD sufferers cannot distinguish between your anger and frustration at the situation you find yourself in ("I'm frustrated because we both have to deal with PTSD in our lives and it sucks") versus anger and frustration at them for putting you in it ("Why can't you just get over it? This PTSD of yours is killing us..."). Even if they could tell the difference, they would translate your anger and frustration into thier own personal guilt trip, which has exactly the same effect or worse. No easy answer here....

    3) Prepare for the ultimate roller coaster (Disney has nothing on this one)...to expect stability is to set yourself up for incredible disappointment, and believe me, you want SO BADLY for this latest episode to be the last, that you'll find yourself believing it...BAD IDEA. Enjoy it while it lasts, make the most of it, and know the downward slide is coming soon. When it comes, go take care of yourself.

    4) You have to be able to sever that emotional tie with your spouse when they go to the "dark place". If you can't or won't, you are going there with them. Some call it co-dependency, some don't, but either way, you will be in a bad spot that you don't want or understand. Don't go there...just be supportive and take care of yourself.

    5) Maybe above all else, try to remember that it isn't you. You didn't cause this to happen, you didn't make it worse, and you are not the reason it's still around. What you ARE is the closest thing to a target your spouse has, so be prepared to find yourself the recipient of much anger and accusation. Let it pass, they will feel guilty for blasting you, and will realize eventually that it isn't you they are mad at. You are simply in the right place at the wrong time.

    All I can think of right now...
  5. johnny_longtorso

    johnny_longtorso New Member

    Superd-sounds like you might have learned several of those lessons the hard way! I would like to echo that it is up to the Ptsd sufferer to take the big ride of working through the illness, and THERE IS NOT A DARN THING that I/we can do to shift the load over to ourselves---we can't "fix it." It was very hard for me to realize that when my partner shared some of her black thoughts and feelings with me, not only was I unable to do anything to remedy the situation, but I was not expected or wanted to.
    Another point-when your spouse retreats from the world a bit, and can't deal with it, you will have to pick up the slack-this means in addition to everything you were already doing, you will have to find a way to cover for what the spouse ordinarily handles. This can quickly become overwhelming. Forget any visions of "Leave it to Beaver," it's not gonna happen.
  6. Kims_Man

    Kims_Man Active Member

    Amen to that, Brother!
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