Husband refuses to learn and understand

Ok well that’s certainly something. Tell me the good things or don’t I dunno think them write them down. Do they honestly balance out the horrible shit he says to you? If they do great I highly recommend couples therapy. I think I mediator could help you both.

perhaps it would be easier for you short term to take a break from each other. If it’s possible to live separately for a while until you’re less activated. Not a lot of constructive partnership stuff gets resolved when you’re in survival mode. It’s probably best to put that to one side while you try to get yourself right. One thing at a time.

You never know it might be how you are coming to him eg tone, inflection, body language. It’s much harder to see and mask what you might ordinarily to “keep the peace” while you’re highly symptomatic. He might feel to blame and is acting out in defensiveness. Or you know he’s just a tool.

Perhaps inpatient might be ideal if it’s a doable thing for you/ in your area. There are options, it’s f*cking awful right now but it won’t always be. And honestly have a look around the forum. This was always going to happen (not the husband part) there are some of us that struggled away for decades before the dam burst, but it always catches up with you. Eventually you would’ve had to deal with your trauma.
“Do they honestly balance out the horrible shit he says to you?” I’ve been asking myself that a while.... he really has been good to me with the exception of this whole PTSD thing..... there‘s no material thing he wouldn’t provide/gift, but then i‘m like one of the lowest maintenance wives any guy can have. my material needs are junk food — the hard to find stuff. no desire for jewelry or anything expensive. so I know everything he does for me in trying to give me what I could possibly want and make me happy whether it’s a special occasion or not, takes brains. and he is a good father.

Problem is, this reluctance and refusal to learn about mental struggles is HUGE. It is a big part of me. Not that I want to hang on to it and never in my life have I ever played up the victim card. But it’s significant. With EMDR, with therapy, with meds, there is no saying I can be “normal”, like completely “over it”.. yeah there are people who after treatment no longer meet the criteria for PTSD but at least right now, I don’t see me ever not needing this separation, even after at some point I’m a whole lot less symptomatic. my immediate wish at the moment is to just get back to my old level of “craziness” and be able to see straight to drive more than an hour at a time. the question is... can he be there for me in this journey in a positive way.

Actually he has been away for a couple months. We’re in the middle of a transition — his career change and us moving to a different state. But we’ve been communicating in these two months and in this “communicating” is where most of the stuff in my original post happened — the continuing to trample all over my feelings with the manure he says and his continuing refusal to acknowledge, learn, and understand. So nothing was really helped by his being away...... there’s no tone, no inflection, no body language, just words, and his rebutting literally everything.

He and I are intending to live separately after moving. I don‘t think physical distance is the issue... if he continues to refuse to learn and understand, the only solution would be complete silence and a cut off of communication because he can’t stop his mouth....

He isn’t a bad person. It‘s (I think) a massive ego and superiority complex that makes him unable to acknowledge wrong, without a “but“, so he is always defensive about anything remotely resembling a criticism coming from me. And then there’s the lack of understanding of mental health struggles yet refuses to learn.

He and I have been talking about couples therapy. I’m not very confident he’d be willing to accept anything anybody else says if they carry a hint of criticism of him or of any wrong on his part. He is very good at blaming me, for his actions.


As PTSD sufferers, we are responsible for our own triggers. If a behavior of his triggered you, it's up to you to work through the trigger. We can't expect everyone else to know and keep up safe from our triggers. He is not to blame for you being triggered. PTSD is. The only person you can change is yourself, he must change himself if he feels the need. Maybe if you did go to couples counseling you might find a therapist who can navigate through and show each of you how to better communicate and appreciate each other.


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Maybe not a terrible person... just terrible at this particular issue ... and it’s the refusal to learn and understand that really hurts.

I can understand his frustration with my issues and accept his rationale for the backyard stunt he pulled and that he did not know at the time it would be a severe trigger.

What I cannot understand, and accept as being acceptable, is his refusal to acknowledge, nearly 2 years later, that it was in fact severely triggering and this incident is what got me on meds and in therapy. I‘ve said to him I’d like to think if he had made an effort, a single attempt to talk to me in all the years prior to that incident, he wouldn’t have done it. But he continues to show no interest in learning what it’s like.

The video he made of me is hard to watch. And it really felt like an assault the second he pointed his phone at me. It feels so validating that you said it made you literally gasp.

If only I can somehow convince him it’s gasp-worthy.........?
Your husband sounds emotionally unavailable - if not in general than certainly with this issue. It’s possible that your inside/outside world is triggering him and he has no capacity or awareness for what he’s feeling so, he blames/abuses/undermines you to cope with his feelings. In this way, he gets caught in his own mental space and simply cannot be available for you and your needs. If this is the case, this dynamic will not change unless you begin creating very strict boundaries and/or he begins his own therapy.



And really... he isn’t a bad person. Just ego, superiority complex, and callousness when it comes to mental health struggles.
As someone who had parents who stayed together "for the kids," I can confidently say that your relationship with your husband could be doing major harm to your daughter. I didn't see you mention her age, but if she is living with you and if you are anything but absolutely supportive and committed to one another while she's in the house, she's very likely going to be affected.

Good to hear he's not a bad *person*, but it sounds like he's a lousy supporter, and it doesn't sound like it's going to change. People who see mental health challenges in the same way he does do NOT change.
this reluctance and refusal to learn about mental struggles is HUGE.
Oh, I so understand. I went out with someone who was a beautiful soul. Caring, loving, gentle--but he had absolutely NO understanding (or care) with regard to depression or PTSD. I NEEDED that, and I've come to see that folks with this attitude very seldom change, so I left. It was so hard, and I still miss him, but it really was the best decision for me I could have made.

I know you're looking for answers/ideas to get him to want/care to learn and understand, but the only person you can work on is you. A good therapist is a start.

I'm sorry you're stuck in this situation. It's an awful place to be.