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Husband with PTSD

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Jessica, Aug 10, 2006.

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  1. Jessica

    Jessica New Member

    My husband is a text book case of PTSD, but I can't get him to see the seriousness of seeing a counselor. He has become so bad that he is divorcing me and send me and the kids off. He says he still loves the kids, but it's kinda hard to see when he isn't even moving to where they are going.

    He was in Iraq, he is a Marine and hasn't been the same since. I guess without spilling out the whole story...I want to know what I can do to help him relax a bit, and not be so distant. I really want him to see my counselor, but making time is hard.

    Any tips on what I should say, what I shouldn't say? How I should act to put him more at ease?

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  3. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi Jessica,

    Welcome to the forum. Jessica, nothing you say will likely be right to him, especially if his PTSD is pretty out of control at present. I am a veteran, have PTSD, and have beaten it to the point of controlling it 99% of the time. It has no cure, but certainly can be controlled.

    There are two things you can do for your husband to try and get him to understand what he is doing is wrong, and not what he may necessarily want for himself, but he just can't see it.

    Tell him to go to http://www.battlemind.org and you both watch the video for soldiers and families. Next, when he wakes up a bit to the reality of what he is going through, tell him to come talk with me, a person who has walked the exact path he currently is, divorce and all. Force him to come chat with me on here, and he might just get a rude shock, that he is not alone, what he is suffering, he is not the first, nor what he is doing... plenty before him, including me, have walked this path from operational service, except he now has the opportunity to fix it faster that we before him did, as there is now more education, more people like myself and the members here, who are aware of what is going on, and proactively getting on top of it fast as possible.

    You will have to push him to help himself, but he must want to help himself, and deep down, he most likely does want that.
  4. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Hi Jessica,

    This is one of the hardest points with PTSD. They are very difficult people to motivate if they don't want to. Have you told him that you think he has PTSD? Perhaps obtaining some brief information (I say brief because his concentration will be low) to leave for him to read. I don't say that my tactic will work for everyone but I ended up tossing a Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service (VVCS) contact card on Anthony's computer desk, told him I thought he had PTSD and that he needed to get it sorted or I was on the way out. Never mind feeling sorry for him at that point, our lives were a living hell, he was in denial and I had, had enough!

    Trying to talk reason to him at this stage will probably not work and appealing to his emotional side won't work either. He has probably shut down most of his emotions right now. The trouble with PTSD before it is diagnosed is that they don't know what is going on, they know they are different but don't really know why or what to do about it. To add insult to injury they will try and push you away because they won't want to burden you with either themselves (who are unwell) or the details of what caused his trauma. It is likely that he would never speak to you about the trauma anyway......thats just their nature and its worth respecting. Military training just reinforces their determination to be the same as they once were - the cold hard reality of that is if he has PTSD he will never be the same person again.

    The best thing that you can probably do right now is take care of you and the kids and point him in the direction of some real help. A counsellor who knows about PTSD is what you want don't waste your time with anyone else. Don't make yourself ill by trying to to do for him what he won't for himself. He has seek treatment and he has want that treatment bad enough for it to help him. Please feel free to keep posting here, its one of the hardest parts of the journey with someone who has PTSD. Hopefully you can benefit from our experience and save yourself some grief along the way.
  5. HoldingOnKate

    HoldingOnKate New Member

    I am some what in the same boat that you are Jessica as far as struggling to get some one I love to get counseling he does go sometimes but openly admits to me that he pretty much just sits there and tells the counselor where to get off cause she can't help him. WHICH IS HEART BREAKING. I have known him for about 2 years and I love him dearly I have had some down right bottom can't go down any further moments with him and but my all into and got stuck. I am still there for him all the time but you do have to balance yourself and him more focusing on staying strong for the both of you. I know its hard so if you need anyone to talk to about, private message me... I will keep you in my prayers hoping that you and yours will find strength.


    <Added by Anthony: Cease posting your email within your posts. Private messaging is already available.>
  6. Rick A.

    Rick A. Member

    I was married once for 27 years and my wife tossed me to the curb after I was diagnosed. If you truly care about your 'soul mate' ... stick it out. As for me ... I spend my days & nights alone in the dark. This too shall pass.
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