• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Husband Doesn't Really 'Get' The PTSD Part

Not open for further replies.


My husband and I have been going through a lot of marriage counseling in the past few months, and time and time again, he does not get the ptsd part. The places where I see improvement in my behavior towards him are like tiny blips that he doesn't even notice. I point them out to him, the ther. points them out, but he just keeps talking about finding someone else, and not caring anymore. And this after swearing up and down all over the place that he will do ANYTHING to make this marriage work.

Now that I have stepped up to the plate and been working really hard to get my shit together, and articulate what I need he is running in the opposite direction.

Just wanted to vent...
That is too bad Moki, hopefully he will get it! Remember, you can't change someone else, you can only change yourself.

I know what you mean, Monarch. The ther. is constantly reminding me that the only person I can change is me. It is just so disheartening when he has never, ever made any attempts to educate himself about all of this. He thinks he has been supportive but has never picked up a book about anxiety or depression let alone ptsd and never even searched any of that on the internet. I don't understand the avoidance.

It sounds like you have a good understanding of the reality that you are the only person you can change. It also sounds like you have underwent alot of personal growth. Sometimes if people as a couple do not grow together they grow apart. Just remember, grow, heal, and change for Moki, not for your husband. Do not try to grow and heal to what he expects you to be. (this coming from Needie Ninnie herself at one time) lol! Rather, work on healing from the PTSD for your own benefit. I am so sorry that your husband is not being more understanding. It almost sounds like he's made up his mind what he wants, or at least thinks he has. I hope he will keep true to his committment to you and I hope that you can find healing and inner peace. I too have PTSD and that is what I am currently working to achieve. Its a long and arduous road but I know that when I achieve this it will have been a worthwhile endeavor. I wish you well in your healing journey.

Marilyn S.
Hi Marilyn, thank you for your supportive post. I cried and cried last night for over an hour, got up and was shaky as usual, then this afternoon I just got calm for some weird reason. Then my husband came home and although I didn't talk to him, I still felt calm. Then he came downstairs where I was ironing, and asked if he could talk to me. We talked a little bit about the marriage counseling - but mostly I talked to him about how essential it is for him to educate himself on ptsd and all of the symptoms and ways to help if he wants a chance at all to stay together. I told him this would be a major shift in the way he's done things in the past and that it was up to him, but was an essential component to a continuing relationship.

He seemed to understand that, at least more than he ever has, and said he had started to do some research on the internet. I told him what he needs to look for and that it doesn't matter how someone gets ptsd because people who suffer from it all have similar symptoms.

I was still pretty calm after this and that surprised me.

Then he came in a half hour later and told me that he was committed to taking the marriage counseling thing to the end, no matter how it turns out. He said that he wanted to help, even though that might not mean staying together. Honestly, that's all that I want at this point since I still have not been able to muster up feelings beyond care and compassion (not love) for him. I don't know if it's still dissociation or if I really have lost most of my emotional attachment to him over the past few years that have been crappy as far as our marriage goes.

You know, I am on this forum quite a bit always looking, looking for answers. I usually don't get them, but the support calms me for a bit and makes me feel not so alone. Thank you.
The title of your post caught my eye because I've said the same thing in the past. I went and dug up an old post of mine.

I had a therapy appointment this evening and one of the things I wanted to talk about was the fact that I felt like my family and friends really didn't seem to believe me about my PTSD. I know I have problems with being hyper-sensitive and feeling paranoid. It's different when it's co-workers or acquaintances, but when it's close friends and family...well, that just hurts. Especially when it's my husband. It makes me feel really alone sometimes.

My therapist explained to me, in no uncertain terms, that no one that in my support system is going to be able understand what I'm going through. Because unless they have PTSD, they'll never get it. They'll never understand the thought processes that someone with PTSD has to deal with. I have to take ownership of my PTSD and know that the support is there even if the understanding can't be.

That was a tough pill to swallow. But maybe it will help me stop feeling like I'm :wall: :wall: :wall: all the time.

I hope that things work out for you and your husband...but you've got to understand that your husband, you family, your friends (unless they have PTSD) are never going to 'get it'. Asking them to puts undue pressure on them and you and causes frustration all around. Voice of experience there with that one!

Books, articles, online sites about anxiety, depression and PTSD can give a lot of information (although I find a lot of it dry and not really all the useful-my opinion). My husband has never picked up a book about any of this either. But, trust me, he knows a hell of a lot more about PTSD than most people because he lives with me and we've had to learn together what that means, how it affects our lives, how it affects me, how it affects him, how our lives have had to be adjusted because of the PTSD. Living through it and with a partner that has it is quite and education that the books can't touch. Again...just my opinion.

Good luck.
Thanks for your response marlene. This is one of the 'biggies' i've struggled with, especially since I have such big abandonment/neglect issues. The fact that my husband hasn't researched this stuff on his own just brings up all of those old feelings and I feel like I'm just not good enough or something. He told me last night that he was starting to educate himself on this stuff and that he was committed to going through with marriage counseling until we reached a mutual decision...either way.

So, I guess that's better than before when he said he just doesn't care anymore and wants female companionship whether it's me or someone else. Things are changing rapidly at my house, kid going away to college, my new job, intense marriage problems and my ongoing treatment for ptsd (which is progressing very rapidly too). I just don't know what each week will bring, and not in a good way.

The weird thing is I'd almost rather just know how this is going to turn out (no matter which way) so I wouldn't have the anxiety of being in limbo...That seems almost as important to me as what the final outcome will be. Just an uncomfortable spot to be in, I guess.
The weird thing is I'd almost rather just know how this is going to turn out (no matter which way) so I wouldn't have the anxiety of being in limbo...


Unfortunately life doesn't give us the option of a fast forward button (or a rewind button for that matter!) and we sometimes have to go through the limbo of not knowing for a while...all of us go through it.

As to your saying you don't feel good enough, etc...oh yeah, been there before. Actually for most of the 20 years I've been married. It's only been recently when I figured out why I felt like I wasn't good enough to have my husband that I figured out how to change it. That's where the digging into your traumas and past you hear about here comes in. Yeah, you deal with your traumas, but you also deal with all of the little stuff that you beat yourself up with that gets built onto those traumas. I hope that made sense.

Wow.I just read through the posts and it really made me have an AHA moment. Exactly, no one COULD understand this because it is so far from the way most people live their lives. For years I said, I just want people to understand.people meaning friends and relatives. I am so glad I found this site and that finally there are people who "get it".
Thank you for your words of encouragement.
Take Care All
it just is too bad when people say. You need to get on with your life, all people have things they go through, other people have terrible things happen to them, get over it, why now, why me (meaning and ex-boyfriend who just couldn't understand why it was years later and it could affect me, he was too involved feeling bad for himself because I was not the person he met)
Anyway, i just needed to vent. Sorry!
jokes not funny anymore

Yes, I know the 'why' behind me feeling the way I do about myself...it's just that sometimes he makes jokes like when he was talking to my 18 year old about something on the computer. My husband didn't know how to do it (and I'm ALWAYS fixing his computer and telling him how to do stuff on it because he's too impatient to figure it out), so I said to my son 'why don't you help your dad out? My son said ' no, because I don't know how to do it'. Then my husband says ' it can't be hard since your mom figured it out". It was all in joking and he didn't mean it - it was just a joke...

However, it's remarks like that that piss me off and make me feel very small. ( my stepfather constantly made me feel llike a nothing and my husband knows this) So, about 5 minutes after that, I told him in a very calm manner, that comments like that were not okay, especially not now since we are in the middle of such intense marriage problems, and they might never be okay. He said he didn't mean it in a bad way and I know he doesn't ever want to hurt me intentionally...but god, I wish he'd just grow up and not say things like that.

He used to joke around the first few years when we were together and when I'd say 'excuse me', he'd say 'there's no excuse for you' then laugh and I'd laugh sort of, but after a while I told him to never say that again because it made me feel bad. So, he stopped. But there are other little things he says that just remind me so much of my stepfather that over the years they pile up and eventually I've built so many walls that I'm where I am now. Thinking of him like he is just like my stepfather and reacting to him in this way, which is the ptsd stuff.

This is just a small part of the whole picture, but man, I do NOT want to live the rest of my life with comments coming at me like that even though they are well meaning (meaning just in fun and not to hurt). I need to find out if I do this to him too and am not aware of it. I'm sure I used to years ago, but I don't think I have since I started having all the depression problems so many years ago.

I don't know. I'm probably making too big of a deal out of it. All I know is that we were having the first nice day we'd had in months and it felt almost like a normal family day, then he said that, and I just shut down and am back in the bedroom, my sanctuary, on my computer.

Just venting, but am sure this will come up in the next marriage counseling session. There is so much crap to resolve and I just don't know if it's possible.
I'm with you here on this! My (2nd) husband refuses to understand & has a hard time being supportive (just like my 1st). I'm trying to make things work because I don't want to get divorced again but, he's doesn't try so much. He's normally quite intelligent (genious level) but even though he rec'd all A's in college, he flunked psychology because he says it's B.S. It's sooo fustrating trying to make it work with someone who doesn't understand it in the 1st place (nor will try)!
Not open for further replies.