Relationship interracial marriage, caretaker burnout, combat vet with PTSD

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Hey everyone,

I've been a caretaker to my husband for over 5 years since he's discharged from the marine core, he is a white man and I am a black woman. He has severe PTSD and distrusts the majority of people from his experiences at war as well as his experiences with other soldiers.

Within the past year, he's told me lots of stuff that has been.... difficult to hear. Specifically about all the very aggressive and violent racist stuff that his sniper platoon participated in. One particular story that gives an example of the nuances of our situation: His sniper platoon (largely white) had an ongoing group chat and anytime they saw someone in an interracial relationship with a white person, they would take pictures of them and draw crosshairs and targets on the people's heads as if they were going to snipe them.

My spouse has never deeply questioned the horrible racism that he's witnessed in the military until he dated and then married me. Since we've been together he has cut ties with at least 4 people who have refused to stop saying racist things towards me; his own mom outright said to him, "I just don't get along with black women" and his brother who said, "Why doesn't she move somewhere shes welcome like Detroit?" and ironically, one of his black military buddies who lets his white spouse calls him and their children the N-word as a "term of endearment" (she also called me the same word.) When my spouse tried to explain to all of these people why it was inappropriate to talk to me this way, there was a variety of excuses and a continuation of the behaviors.

Today when we were driving, in the middle of talking about his frustration and depression, he announced "I have no one, and because of you I had to cut everyone off." This hurt me because I can not control if other people do not accept me. And I've made a conscious effort to speak to his family that DOES accept me (2 couples of extended family), which was difficult because I didn't trust the majority of his family after his mother and brothers were so nasty to me. I feel triggered and sad, my mother is Asian (with a racist mom/family) and both of us were rejected by her family when I was born. But at the same time I year for him to have familial support because I am his sole caretaker and supporter (aside from his 4 cousins who live an hour away)

Any advice on how to genuinely and sensitively address this topic? Are any of yall experiencing similar intersections? And no "color blind" advice people, pretending race doesn't exist doesn't prevent racism, it just ignores it.

ALSO, there was one more person he "cut off" after me. It was his highschool best friend, the longest best friend he's had. It wasn't anything particularly racist. Instead the friend beat up his wife, and then a few months later stole 3 grand for us ("sold" us a car, took the money and the car.) He told me in the car that he would still talk to this friend if it wasn't for me, but I had to put my foot down after the woman beating and stealing money from us.



“No. Not because of me. Because you are too strong to allow anyone to disrespect you & the woman you love, and they were too spineless to accept they’d made a mistake to challenge you on it. Ain’t my fault you’re alpha, and protect what’s yours. Ain’t your fault they put their tails between their legs and slunk off, rather than squaring their shoulders, admit they f*cked up, and stand beside you. That it hurts? Doesn’t make it wrong.

If you’d been another man? Too weak to stand up for what’s yours, too cowardly to protect it? You’re right. I wouldn’t be with you, and you’d still have those people in your life. Is that what you want?”

You don’t have to kick a man in his balls (point of fact: better not to, unless you plan on killing him shortly thereafter), to remind him he’s got a pair. They just forget sometimes, is all. All men turn into little boys when they’re hurtin bad enough.


10 NOV 1775 is tomorrow.
And Veterans Day is the day after. I’ve been out nearly 20 years now, & have done a helluva lot of stuff in between, and that date is still seared on my bones. Celebrate & mourn. Celebrate & mourn. 10Nov is the day that really matters. There’s a reason why that date is bolded but 11/11 ain’t, as important as it is. When you’re active duty?Today (10Nov) we celebrate. Tomorrow (11/11) we mourn. But once you’re out? It becomes both. There are no Marine Corps Balls (to attend or miss). There are no brothers to stand with, raise hell with, drag home, or flip shit at. There are only memories and ghosts. The pain is still real, but the joy is only a memory.

Expect him to be a teensy weensy f*cked up this time of year. For probably the rest of forever.

My best years... I’m outta town this week. Doing some kind of heavy lifting fun shit. Snowboarding up north, surfing down south... something, anything, to get me out of my head, and my body burning fuel like there’s no tomorrow. I was helping a friend pack out and move this year (less fun, but at least busy), but we finished early so I’m back home with nothing but time on my hands. Sigh. I’m okay right now, (I’d be f*cked sideways if I hadn’t just spent the week roadtripping and working hard) but I’ll probably kill a bottle of scotch tomorrow.

I’ve already got the first and last lines of the anthem drifting through my mind. Can take a fair bit to chase them back out again. But I’m not lookin to be guarding heaven’s streets anytime soon, and the... longing... to be a part of, to belong again... can get a bit heavy.
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