Relationship My partner has been isolating himself - what is the best way to ask about it?

D-sweet

Learning
We are kind of in a new relationship (7months). He has once causally mentioned that he has PTSD. He is currently very stressed and has been disappearing from our relationship for week(s) each time from time to time when he was overwhelmed by demanding workloads. When he reappeared, he would be like nothing happened. i tried to talk every time but still very difficult to get to a point.

I don't want to make PTSD as an excuse for bad behaviors but I am concerned that it could be the reason. What is the best way to get an understanding?

I just wish he could give me some clues (even without telling me what the trauma was) if it's PTSD acting in between.

thanks
 
G

glo

We are kind of in a new relationship (7months). He has once causally mentioned that he has PTSD. He is currently very stressed and has been disappearing from our relationship for week(s) each time from time to time when he was overwhelmed by demanding workloads. When he reappeared, he would be like nothing happened. i tried to talk every time but still very difficult to get to a point.

I don't want to make PTSD as an excuse for bad behaviors but I am concerned that it could be the reason. What is the best way to get an understanding?

I just wish he could give me some clues (even without telling me what the trauma was) if it's PTSD acting in between.

thanks
I'm reading everybody's comments and answers are we talking about the same guy I feel like there's three four people talk into this person that's having the concern the problem but everybody's talking I feel like we're talking about the same guy does his name start with an m
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
Does he know who he really is talking to you because when you have PTSD you mind gets overwhelmed and if you don't make it clear who's speaking with them then it's got so much stuff in their brain they're not going to take it in

They know who they’re talking to… or rather, who they are avoiding. It’s not a delusion, it’s a coping mechanism to avoid stressors.

I'm reading everybody's comments and answers are we talking about the same guy I feel like there's three four people talk into this person that's having the concern the problem but everybody's talking I feel like we're talking about the same guy does his name start with an m
Yeah… I don’t think we’re all talking to the same guy. This is common behavior with PTSD sufferers. Avoiding and isolating is easier than dealing with stressors. If you suspect your partner is talking to other women that is specific to your situation. Isolation is one thing, being distracted by other women is another all together.
 

D-sweet

Learning
I know you're sort of acknowledging this here:

But I'm going to push back a little, because of the part I bolded. It's important for your therapy to be about you, period. Work on finding how to be emotionally centered in yourself because you want to feel more secure in yourself - you can't make your partner the motivation for your own therapy, that will just not work - and IMO any decent therapist would push back on this. So, I think they are actually doing right by you.

Well, without context it's hard to know what they meant. I think @Freida's advice to get a new therapist isn't necessarily good advice.

What's important is that you feel comfortable working with a therapist - THAT matters a great deal.

But your therapy is only about you. It's not about how you can be a better partner for someone with PTSD.
I agree its important to work on myself. I have started new session with a female therapist and she made me feel more comfortable and not judged. The ultimate goal is also working on myself
 

D-sweet

Learning
To update, I have unexpectedly met my partner and we talked but he wasn't in his good days. I felt insecure and asked for assurance as it felt like it would be the last time we meet, he said he would stay in touch, but he also seemed to be annoyed and irritated after I kept seeking reassurance, at the end, he hasn't been staying in touch as he said he would.

I don't know if I should continue sticking around or move on.

would be great to have some of your comments especially @Freida @Sweetpea76 @joeylittle and @Weemie thanks
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
asked for assurance
this?
I can't do this when I'm in a good space. When I'm in a spiral it's inconceivable.
And if someone keeps bugging me about it? I'm gonna bail.
Because I know it's not something I can do, so my options are either to lie or to get pissed off.
Both end badly for me.

I simply have nothing left to give when it comes to someone else feeling insecure. And it's gonna piss me off because my supporters insecurities are not my problem - they are theirs. I've got enough to deal with in my own head without having to constantly make sure my supporters aren't feeling insecure or unloved. Screw that - I'm out.

And yes, I know that sounds harsh. But..... ptsd is harsh. 😞

If you read the long term supporters, one thing that I think makes them successful is that they have their own lives to live along side their sufferer. They want their sufferer in their lives, but they don't need them. And they are amazing at drawing hard boundaries and then following them, but those boundaries are drawn for THEM. Not their sufferer. Them. They know what they will tolerate and what they wont and they stand by that. Basically they won't take our crap. ( @Sweetpea76 feel free to tell me if I'm way off base ☺️)

I think the one thing that new supporters don't quite get is that this is a lifetime thing. It's not going to change next week or next month or next year. It's who we are. Even with counseling, ptsd isn't going away. It can be managed, but it can't be "healed." So these behaviors he is showing you? They will come and go. Some times will be better than others, but underneath ptsd is always waiting for it's chance to come out and screw up our lives. And when it does there is nothing left for anyone else's issues.

I don't want to discourage you - truly. I mean, hubby and I are on year 24...so it can work out
It's just gonna be a beootch some times.
 

D-sweet

Learning
this?
I can't do this when I'm in a good space. When I'm in a spiral it's inconceivable.
And if someone keeps bugging me about it? I'm gonna bail.
Because I know it's not something I can do, so my options are either to lie or to get pissed off.
Both end badly for me.

I simply have nothing left to give when it comes to someone else feeling insecure. And it's gonna piss me off because my supporters insecurities are not my problem - they are theirs. I've got enough to deal with in my own head without having to constantly make sure my supporters aren't feeling insecure or unloved. Screw that - I'm out.

And yes, I know that sounds harsh. But..... ptsd is harsh. 😞

If you read the long term supporters, one thing that I think makes them successful is that they have their own lives to live along side their sufferer. They want their sufferer in their lives, but they don't need them. And they are amazing at drawing hard boundaries and then following them, but those boundaries are drawn for THEM. Not their sufferer. Them. They know what they will tolerate and what they wont and they stand by that. Basically they won't take our crap. ( @Sweetpea76 feel free to tell me if I'm way off base ☺️)

I think the one thing that new supporters don't quite get is that this is a lifetime thing. It's not going to change next week or next month or next year. It's who we are. Even with counseling, ptsd isn't going away. It can be managed, but it can't be "healed." So these behaviors he is showing you? They will come and go. Some times will be better than others, but underneath ptsd is always waiting for it's chance to come out and screw up our lives. And when it does there is nothing left for anyone else's issues.

I don't want to discourage you - truly. I mean, hubby and I are on year 24...so it can work out
It's just gonna be a beootch some times.

Thanks Freida - I understand how annoying it can be when sufferer is already suffering then being bugged for something they can’t do. My insecurity wasn’t coming from the isolation (well to an extent it added up) but it’s mainly something he did while he isolated (about he ex). I was shocked.

Is there any remedies could be done? I tried to apologize for my insecurity but I’m worried that he feels more pissed because it might make him feel I was trying to get his attention. :(

I accept his limitation, can I expect my one off reaction be equally accepted?
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
he also seemed to be annoyed and irritated after I kept seeking reassurance,

Is there any remedies could be done?

I tried to apologize for my insecurity but I’m worried that he feels more pissed because it might make him feel I was trying to get his attention. :(

My advice? Leave him alone, give him some space.

Imagine you are sick with a stomach bug, and you’re vomiting your guts out… and your boyfriend is knocking on the door every 5 minutes expecting you to eat the meal he cooked. It means a lot to him and he worked hard on it. Don’t you love him and want to make him happy? Tell the truth… you’re not eating because you don’t love him. Why won’t you come out and talk to him!!!

Meanwhile you’re throwing up. You may have promised to eat the meal yesterday, and you may want to eat it and make him happy…. But you cant, because you’re sick. You can’t do anything but vomit right now.

He’s sick. He can’t deal with relationship issues or your feelings right now.
 

D-sweet

Learning
Ya, even without ptsd being in the mix this would be a hard one to answer. 🥺
Thank you for your reply Freida. My therapist told me to learn to look after my own feeling first. I think I am trying to accept the fact that thing isnt working between us.

My advice? Leave him alone, give him some space.

Imagine you are sick with a stomach bug, and you’re vomiting your guts out… and your boyfriend is knocking on the door every 5 minutes expecting you to eat the meal he cooked. It means a lot to him and he worked hard on it. Don’t you love him and want to make him happy? Tell the truth… you’re not eating because you don’t love him. Why won’t you come out and talk to him!!!

Meanwhile you’re throwing up. You may have promised to eat the meal yesterday, and you may want to eat it and make him happy…. But you cant, because you’re sick. You can’t do anything but vomit right now.

He’s sick. He can’t deal with relationship issues or your feelings right now.
thanks Sweetpea, i agree that i should give him space but i think i have given enough space to-date that i have neglected myself. it is sometimes really difficult to take a balance between giving space and not giving excuse for poor treatments
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
If you need more contact in a relationship then that is valid. He cannot give you what you need, and he’s not the man for you.

Being with a PTSD sufferer is not for everyone. I think a lot of long term supporters are types who enjoy their own personal space as well, because isolation comes with the territory.
 
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