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Relationship In need of some hope - any ‘success stories’ here?

I can only offer success stories of familial relationships to the table, my own self. My marriage crashed and burned for reasons unrelated to PTSD, though.

As far as romantic relationships go; the majority of my friends/former colleagues with PTSD are in -truly brilliant, amazing- long term marriages (10+ & 20+ years). True, many of those are 2nd & 3rd marriages, as PTSD (or bad choices) wrecked the first marriages. But? Once they sorted their shit out, they got it right. And are still getting it right.

About half of whom are now hitting the grandparent stage of life, the other half with small children at home. Same age group (40s & 50s), just depending on whether they started having kids in their 20s or 40s. <<< Which I mention, because those major life changes tend to throw PTSD for a loop, and getting though those stages, marriages intact/better for them? Is no small thing.
It hasn't always been easy and some days are extremely difficult but my guy and I have been together 12 years. (We were also high school sweethearts.)

We have a good life together and have big plans for the future.

My guy is 57 yo and didn't actively start the healing process until we got together. For obvious reasons his previous relationships crashed and burned. He was an untreated mess in the early years.
My husband and I have been married over 25 years. He was diagnosed three years ago but likely suffered before that. It hasn’t been easy, and I was worried about our marriage for a bit, but once he sought therapy (and so did I) things have been good. We definitely had to give each other a lot of grace during the most difficult time.
just passed my 43rd anniversary. we haven't lived together for all of those 43 years, but we have held the love sacred (especially when we couldn't feel loving) and worked through the yaddahs of the blahs, both individually and together.

i earnestly believe the years we lived separately were the most important years of our marriage. those were the years we learned how to love unconditionally instead of continually trying to **fix** one another.

small steps, big faith and lots of prayer. let god lead the dance, even when you can't hear what tune the celestial orchestra is playing.
tough one, mike. my more gossipy family and friends treated our separations with facebook brutality. there was enough domestic conflict within those separations that i didn't even try to argue. fact is, if one or the other of us was fonder of lawyers and/or dating, we probably would have divorced during the first separation.

ptsd is a mean dance partner without the physical components to hold it into one, predictable set of dynamics. how does love remedy ghosts? unfortunately, healing is an inside job. nobody can do it for you. what's love got to do with it? our solution was not premeditated. we **just** took it in small steps with big faith and lots of prayer. we held the love sacred on the days we could not feel that love. always let god lead the dance, especially when you can't quite make out what tune the celestial orchestra is playing.

insert john michael montgomery here:
life is a dance you learn as you go
sometimes you lead
sometimes you follow
don't you worry about what you don't know
life is a dance you learn as you go
I'm here today after a rough one, but I'd still call our relationship a success. Is it what I always dreamed of? No. Does everyone understand? No.
We spend a lot of time apart, in separate countries, actually. But its been over 10 years and I still love him and know that he loves me. Whats the hardest is knowing that I make sacrifices for him every day - the living apart being the biggest one - but also realizing that just moving through life every day is a sacrifice and challenge for him. When hes low he doesn't like for me to see/experience it, so it's often me that sends him away when I see the bad times coming, now.
But god do I miss the highs... I also miss those when he's away - the acknowledments of my sacrifice and love, the loving eyes and smirk when he says "one day... I'll make an honest woman of you...", earnest apologies for things he doesn't even remember saying during the dark times, him dancing in the kitchen like a fool to 70s funk while I prepare our Friday date night pizza...

OMG I'm crying at this now. I needed to remember these. Because when times are tough and he is brittle, lashing out over the littlest things, his demons telling him the world is sh*t and even I'm against him and he's better off alone and what I'm feeling is just *my* insecurity... I forget. I forget the good, much like I suppose he does.

We've grown so much together and I have confidence that every progress he achieves is for me, for us. I learn to speak up... at the right moments. Even today we got in a tiff over something stupid and I pissed him off and he hung up. I refused to let him end it like that - I need us to talk. I may have been snippy and rude, but you can't just end it. Not anymore.

My advice;
- Throw away all expectations
- Set boundaries and "rules"
- Know when to have the serious conversations
- See the love (sometimes distancing is love... but there have to be rules - I need at least one check in message and I love you per day)
- Enjoy it when it is good. Don't take it for granted.

Finally - you need to also know whats worth it and what your drop dead dealbreakers are. Only you can make these decisions.