My ptsd partner left me - now what?

A repetitive question by spouses and loved ones is that their sufferer walked out of the relationship with little to zero prediction of such event occurring. Some may have concluded that the end of the world would happen before their partner walking away from them would have.

At this point I can only say, I'm sorry for the pain you're enduring right now.

Two questions often follow this predicament:
  • Why did they leave me?
  • What can I do to save the relationship?
There are many possible scenarios surrounding a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sufferer leaving a partner. This article discusses the key situations and leaves open to comment further discussion for individual cases and possible solutions.

Relationships are complicated​

Relationships within our lives are anything but simple. We have those who are closer to us than others. We have specific individuals within our relationship circles with whom we connect better than others. We have those that we intentionally keep at arm's length yet enjoy catching up with every so often.

It is lovely to believe, or dream, that we meet the love of our lives and spend a lifetime with them. Through good times and bad, the relationship stands the test of time. For a rare few, this is a reality. Unfortunately, this is idealistic in today's society. As such, nowadays it is normal to have multiple marriages and multiple sets of parents.

Many factors are at work to create our modern societal view of marriage, divorce, remarriage, and the adaptions to the nuclear family that accompany these relationships and breakages. Our lives are high-pressure, expectations of marital bliss and compatibility in all arenas are often astronomical, and individuals are often influenced by a culture of disposability, and our society is vastly more accepting of that culture than it was only a couple of generations ago.

What does disposable have to do with anything? Because we no longer fix possessions: when they break, we throw them away and buy a new one. Our relationships follow a similar pattern today, in that we treat them like possessions -- disposable. The moment a relationship requires hard work, one or both partners are more prone to check-out and abandon ship.

When things get too tough, too complicated, we throw away the relationship and get a new one, one where that problem doesn't exist. We hope that a new relationship will be easier. Well... the honeymoon period that typically follows on the heels of new attraction is usually the best part, yet it is equally the most unrealistic model of the relationship.

The honeymoon period​

How magical it is to meet someone new, feel attraction, lust for that person, to learn one another, explore each other. Welcome to the honeymoon period of the relationship.

Everything is new. You don't honestly know one another well enough to begin making changes in the relationship dynamics. You likely even think each other's flaws are cute.

The honeymoon period can be months, and some may stretch it for years based on structuring the relationship between together time and individual time. Once the relationship shifts towards more routine matters, such as savings, moving in together, paying bills, performing chores, planning to be married and even starting a family of your own, the realities of what a real relationship entails are setting in.

All the fun, sex, adventures, romantic outings and spontaneity are slowing as day-to-day routine sets to strive toward goals for the future. Oh yes, they mentioned they had PTSD somewhere amid all that fun and adventure, but it didn't seem to bother them too much nor did it impact me.

As the honeymoon period wanes, the narrative changes. From where did this aspect of their PTSD suddenly spring forward? I've never seen that before from this lovely person. Welcome to the PTSD-affected relationship.

The PTSD relationship​

You awake and give one another a kiss and cuddle, say good morning and begin your morning routine. You're spending the day together, going to the beach. You have a lovely day out. You lay upon the beach, hold hands, talk, relax. You walk along the beach, throw stones in the water, chase each other in the sand, buy ice cream and have lunch. The outing is over, and it's time to go home.

On the drive home, not much is said. You're thinking maybe some romance tonight after such a lovely outing. You arrive home, and the sufferer walks in the door, lays on the couch, turns on the TV and zones out. The day was lovely, and things have gone great, so you ask for a hand to tidy-up the house and prepare dinner.

Explosion! The sufferer goes ballistic and enters a verbal barrage towards you.

"What the hell just happened?" you ask yourself.

The PTSD relationship can range from beautiful, to periodically argumentative, to full scale war zone. Verbal abuse is the rule, but physical abuse can be the exception. One minute everything is great. The next minute, the sufferer breaks down, isolates and becomes unresponsive, even highly aggressive. They may disappear for days or weeks.

The PTSD sufferer​

The effect of PTSD upon a person can range from mildly annoying to completely debilitating. Symptoms vary per person, regardless of PTSD severity. Symptoms will be influenced by factors such as how a person was raised, their morals and beliefs, the type of trauma experienced, socio-economic status, environmental factors and more.

A sufferer with combat trauma may exhibit more aggressive and hyper-vigilant symptoms than compared to a rape victim, who may exhibit quiet, reclusive and security-conscious behaviour. Behaviour will also vary depending on situation, such as the person may be able to function well at work in order to make a living for themselves, to pay the bills, yet when she is home, she crashes and burns, physically and emotionally. He may have no social life as another consequence, unable to process human connection further than a work environment.

A sufferer may no longer be capable of experiencing love, affection or romantic emotions. The more complex the emotion, the less likely they are to experience it or identify with the emotion. It is not uncommon for a person without PTSD to confuse lust with love, so where trauma hinders emotional processing, such distinction becomes ten fold more difficult.

A common feeling for PTSD sufferers is guilt.

Guilt towards a partner​

Whether PTSD presents within a relationship or is present entering the relationship, changes in the relationship due to PTSD can easily cause havoc. The supporter wonders why they aren't "over it" yet, and the sufferer is trying to understand why the supporter doesn't understand. Both parties are lost and confused.

It is not uncommon that a sufferer feels extreme guilt that they're holding their partner back. They may not necessarily express this to their partner, but they watch how their illness is affecting the person they love. Guilt is powerful.

A supporter can often become a different person than they were when entering the relationship. They may become more reclusive to match their PTSD partner. A supporter may lose friends and family who can clearly see from outside the relationship that it is toxic and destructive to who the supporter is as a person. The sufferer can likely see this too.

Guilt creates toxicity.

The toxic relationship​

PTSD, more often than not, creates toxicity within a relationship. You have the PTSD sufferer enduring symptoms, struggling to understand how to stop themselves saying and doing things that even they don't like about themselves any longer. You have a partner who may try and understand yet really cannot. The partner is wondering when their time will be. What about them? Their life has changed for the worse as a result. Negative emotion is harbored and used as weapons against one another.

Home feels like a floor of eggshells. You, the supporter, feel complex emotions, counter-acting emotions. You may love your partner, yet even that emotion may be surrounded with negativity for you. PTSD can destroy the notion of love. A sufferer may love you enough to see they're destroying you, as a person.

This is a long way from that honeymoon period, right?

Where is this going?​

You may now be wondering where this article is going, compared to the original two questions mostly asked when a PTSD relationship has broken down:
  • Why did they leave me?
  • What can I do to save the relationship?
The answers are anything but simple, and they always vary per situation. Remember I said a sufferer will often struggle with emotion. They will find it difficult to feel or to understand what emotion it is they feel. In this way, making a decision to walk away from a relationship can be much easier for a PTSD sufferer, because they don't know what to feel about you. What they often do know is that they can't stay with you because it's making their symptoms worse.

Many a spouse has boggled over the situation of a sufferer walking away into the arms of another. Guilt is one reason. The inability to rationalize complex emotion is another. If you have been longtime partners and PTSD appeared in the relationship, guilt towards watching you sink with them may be a driving factor for leaving. Finally, the sufferer may, out of the blue, no longer feel love towards you. Yep, just like that.

It is easier for a PTSD sufferer to be with another person who doesn't know them. They can be someone different. They can pretend. They can wear a mask. They can even just be themselves, accepting that their new partner met them this way and accepts them. No pressure, in essence, especially if they felt pressured to get well in the previous relationship. They may simply begin to chase the honeymoon period, then exit, knowing what's ahead from experience.

Remember, PTSD sufferers struggle to understand complex emotion. Love is about as complex as it gets. They want to heal, but they may not know how. They may be in complete denial that there is a problem with them.

A final effort to recover​

Knowing what you have read, can the relationship be saved once a sufferer has walked out the door?

Anything is possible, yet unfortunately once a relationship has reached this level, it is highly unlikely. A relationship stands a much better chance if issues are dealt with while the relationship is active. It is the exception, not the rule, that a relationship will come back from this point, especially with the presence of PTSD.

A sufferer may feel the only way forward is to start anew with another. Reasons are comprehensive, at best. Saying that, a few things you can do may be:
  • Ask them if they will attend couples therapy, if not to save the relationship, to help understand residual emotions to help you come to terms with things. You never know; it may get them talking openly when there is no pressure of reconciliation and inadvertently rekindle the relationship. At best, you get some closure.
  • Write them a letter, carefully. Do not blame or use it to vent towards them, certainly not if your aim is to fix the relationship. Express what you feel, and leave everything else for another discussion.
  • Ask them to a casual lunch meeting as though it is just for closure. They may be more open to communicate then.
  • Ring them, as they may feel more comfortable to express themselves over the phone.
The above are merely a few suggestions. At no stage should you place yourself in a position where you become a doormat for your separated partner. Relationships are a compromise, not one-sided. The strongest relationships are often where both parties view their partner as equals. Status, employment, so forth, are not viewed as a measure of importance within the relationship.

Parting words​

Remember the start of this article? Relationships are complicated. Love is complicated, as are the complexities of a healthy relationship, let alone one with mental illness present. Health problems in general can test the strongest of relationships, breaking them apart for one reason or another. Health, physical or mental, can truly test a relationship's ability for communication, commitment and the presence of love for another.

What you have just read, I wrote - a PTSD sufferer, two divorces later due to PTSD, and the third marriage I started to implement significant change into my own life, thus I am still married and with the same partner for now 13 years. I took responsibility for me, and that is what your PTSD sufferer must do too. We own our choices and behaviours. Work with them to help them, but do not compromise your own life. We get one life with no time frame, use it wisely.
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This is long, and looks like a rant, but it isn't. Please excuse the long-windedness, but hopefully my message will be helpful to someone out there.
I have C-PTSD. Initially, I struggled in my teens as a result of surviving multiple instances of child abuse. I endured much betrayal and abandonment during those years, but as a consequence, I learned to value those people who were generous and caring towards me without demanding anything in return. About 7 years ago, at the top of my personal and career success, I found myself in the belly of the beast again. I was stalked and severely sexually by an ex-boyfriend who decimated my life through identity theft and false allegation court actions. I suffered from a brain injury from the assault, and the ex-boyfriend obtained full custody of my child by getting a child protective services workers to believe I was crazy and thus incapable of being a Mom. My attorney told me that if I took the years to prosecute for the stalking and assault, I wouldn't see my child during that time, if ever again. So, I stitched myself together mentally, swallowed my dignity, and eventually proved to the court that I was fit to parent my child.
While in the hospital recovering from my physical injuries, my new husband, to whom I was married only a year, cleared his belongings out of our home and abandoned our marriage forever. Of course, being left in that rock bottom state brought me back to how I felt as a helpless, abused, abandoned child.
Although I wasn't exactly the life of the party during this time, there were a few people who helped me get through bit by bit. No one person was willing to walk by my side day by day. I cried and begged for my husband and my close friends to return, but no one could believe that I was truly blameless for what happened to me. They just couldn't reconcile what happened with me and their belief that bad things don't happen to good people. I missed them, I cried for them, and I tried everything I could think of to invite them back in to my life. Although I wasn't successful, I made it through that awful time, mostly because of my dog's unconditional love for me, the small acts of acquaintances and strangers, and God's grace.
I bring my history up here to remind everyone on this forum that we are all responsible for our own actions. I still struggle with CPTSD. I feel like I live deep inside myself but project a safe, happy, false image of who I wish I was and believe others want me to be (because they feel more comfortable). I am very lonely, but I am deathly afraid of extending myself to meet new people. No one knows this. I talk to friends and family on a daily basis, and I wear my mask of safety. I just can't figure out how to not feel afraid constantly. I see things that are beautiful around me, but I feel like I am separated from it by a thick plate of glass.
Never, ever would I want to harm people, particularly those that show care towards me. I know how it feels to be hurt, betrayed, abused, and abandoned, so why would I want to spread that around?
Just because someone has a mental health issue like PTSD does not mean that they are unable to avoid abusing others or treating them hurtfully. I found that having a mental issue makes me even more conscientious and compassionate. If I am having a tough time with symptoms and I worry I might act short-tempered if I socialize, then I stay home, watch comedy shows, and cuddle my dog. I have bad habits like over-eating, so I'm no saint. But No Way am I going to hurt those that care for me!
If someone treats you badly, and that includes breaking a relationship unilaterally, abruptly, and/or with little explanation, then frankly, that person is a jerk. Ending a relationship that way is not OK. It doesn't matter whether that person has PTSD or not. That's my opinion. We need to be responsible and considerate about how we treat one another. No excuses!
Thanks for reading.......


New Here
My husband just left me saying he didnt love me anymore after ten years together and i didnt see it coming. He is a veteran and had undiagnoses ptsd with childhood trauma. We have gone through so much, he has a new stressful job and we were going to renew our vows in may. He says he still cares for me deeply but has been lying to me about loving me for about 6 months. I am so lost.


New Here
A repetitive question by spouses and loved ones is that their sufferer walked out of the relationship with little to zero prediction of such event occurring. Some may have concluded that the end of the world would happen before their partner walking away from them would have.

Well, this pretty much spells out my relationship with my beloved girlfriend. Her ex was physically abusive, I had no idea the ramifications it would have on us. I felt that I was a great boyfriend, successful, loving, caring willing to go the extra mile to listen and be attentive. After a wonderful weekend I left her house on Monday morning to start my work week, we discussed that she might come to my town later than evening, instead, I call her and hear that she has a lot to deal with right now and she doesn't know "if she can get there"... I have no idea what this means. Over the next few weeks, I only get sparse responses to my texts and somewhat aloof partial phrases. Within a 24 hour period following that call, I had a friend commit suicide, I proceed to text her and let her know what I was dealing with and all I got was "I'm so sorry". Finally after a couple of weeks, we have a "good" conversation and agree to meet the next evening. When we saw each other it was like everything was fine, I spent the night and we felt super close.

I told her I would give her space and we would see each other the next weekend, either an over night or whatever. She asked if I was going to stay and that she wanted me too. Later that evening as I crawl in bed, she came and told me that her daughters were coming home and their grandmother was really sick from the virus and she was not comfortable with me there. The daughters are college age. I quickly got up and grabbed my things and said "you don't need a boyfriend" and left. I didnt hear from her the next day, nor the day after. She blamed me for being "mean" and said she didnt want to talk about it. She has admitted the PTSD thing and how it affects her. We had a good conversation when I went to get my things a few days ago. Since I have not heard from her, but she asked if we could still maybe go to the beach, but she didnt want to hold me back and she felt terrible.

I'm sure all this sounds way to familiar. This was a person I was talking about marrying and we discussed very serious matters. I had visited her parents. Out of no where, I'm out and I don't even get a "hey, how are you?" or "how's your day". Should I just quit pursuing all together and give her that space or touch base and let her know I'm here. It's very confusing and as much as I can say I can move on and I've been very strong through all of this, it's hard to just abandon the relationship and her. I told her I would help her through and would support her in a healthy way. Where do I go from here? I don't want to be a doormat, but I don't want to abandon someone I care so deeply about and had so many hopes and dreams. Any thoughts suggestions? T
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Hi @anthony and everyone,
This forum did help me alot.
She doesn't want to break up with me and she still on healing progress which we are very little contact ,i still have to move on focus mylife right?
just stay interaction with her like normal online friend?


My husband just left me saying he didnt love me anymore after ten years together and i didnt see it coming. He is a veteran and had undiagnoses ptsd with childhood trauma. We have gone through so much, he has a new stressful job and we were going to renew our vows in may. He says he still cares for me deeply but has been lying to me about loving me for about 6 months. I am so lost.
I'm sorry what you have been through,you're not alone
alot Ptsd supporter here almost having same heartbreak and frustration


New Here
Hi @ Anthony and everybody. I am writing to get some guidance on how to proceed. I’ve been in a relationship with an ADSM who has PTSD for almost 2 years. About 8 months into our relationship, he shut down emotionally and wouldn’t really respond to texts and phone calls. When this occurred, he sent a text message saying that he was overwhelmed, and he felt like he “was losing his shit.” I gave him space and time and would text him occasionally to check in and provide encouragement. At the time, he did have a lot going on at work and some unexpected things occurred in his personal life. It seemed like things just kept coming at him and he couldn’t get a break.
About 3 months into his shutdown, he went to a program for 5 weeks. When he was at the program, he contacted me and thanked me for being there for him. He wanted to work on things when he returned. When he came back, he wasn’t ready to communicate and continue our relationship. He avoided meeting and when I confronted him about it, he drove off and said he was good. He contacted me a few days later saying he was content being alone and getting himself together. Three months later he contacted me. We discussed things and tried again. This past Christmas he proposed, and we became engaged. I went home with him for Thanksgiving and met his family. He met my family at Christmas. We were planning to get married in July 2020 but due to COVID-19 those plans changed. Also, we were going to do couples counseling together starting in early April but that also didn’t occur due to the pandemic.
When the pandemic occurred, I was concerned about how he was doing mentally with the isolation. Also, he had to work more and take on more responsibility at work due to being a medic and I was also working more because I’m a nurse. He has been going to behavioral health for years but when COVID-19 happened he couldn’t have in-person appointments and didn’t get seen as often as he usually does. He also, wasn’t officially diagnosed with PTSD until about 2 years ago. In early June, he said that he was anxious about his upcoming medical board in terms of the process, how long it would take, if he would get to med board, and what his finances would look like. He said this was why he didn’t want to do a small wedding in August since that’s when he planned to begin the medical board process. I was fine with that but wanted to be sure he still wanted to get married. When I asked him if he still wanted to get married, he said yes.
He seemed to be doing fine until mid-June. At that time, he started to not answer phone calls. His communication became less frequent. When I texted I would get a one sentence answer. I could tell he wasn’t engaged. He texted that the isolation was getting to him and he was going to contact behavioral health. He also said he would love to meet people who are like him, meaning who have PTSD, anxiety, and depression. At the time, he hadn’t been able to go home to see his family since Christmas. When he contacted behavioral health, he was told that it would be a month before he could be seen by the therapist, he has been seeing for over 2 years. During the pandemic, he has been going fishing with some acquaintances from work, but they didn’t really talk when they went fishing.
I saw him a few days after he sent the text about the isolation getting to him, we talked, and he seemed engaged. He did express some feelings of anger toward the police due to the George Floyd situation. He felt like that could have been him. I contacted him a few days later to see how his day was and he said it was serene. I thought maybe he didn’t go to work but he said he was at work but that he’d been dreaming and that they were pleasant dreams. I told him I was going to come by after work, and he asked me not to. I reminded him that if he was feeling like he was going into isolation mode he had agreed that we would communicate and work on it together. I didn’t go by and gave him space for a few days. At the end of the week when I contacted him, he said that I deserved better because he has issues, that he doesn’t love me as much as I love him, that he knows it’s selfish but he just wants to take care of himself and not have to worry about anyone else.
This was two and a half months ago. I left him alone to again give him space and time and get seen by behavioral health. I did contact him about 2 weeks after we last saw each other to wish him a happy birthday. He then wished me a happy birthday a week later but put in parenthesis if you haven’t blocked me. He defriended me on Facebook and took me off of a membership we shared (without telling me). I contacted him by text a month a half into everything and we had a good conversation. I didn’t bring up anything having to do with feelings. He brought up how the medical board process was going and thanked me for reaching out.
A friend of mine said he’s in crisis and told me about a PTSD program he went to about 4 years ago that really helped him. I looked into the program and it seems like it would address some of the things about the other program he went to that he felt hindered him. The program is only a week in person and then there’s follow-up with zoom sessions and calls for a year and a half. My friend said that the people you go through the program with hold each other accountable for attending the follow-up sessions and form a bond of brothers. The program is not medication based, it’s run in part by combat veterans, everyone in the program is a combat veteran (this was one thing he found he had issues with at the other program because not everybody had PTSD due to combat so he had trouble connecting with them), it’s not affiliated with the military or VA, he may be able to bring his dog, and it’s for one week in person. My fiancé doesn’t have any friends here and really only has one good friend who is in halfway across the country. His family knows about his PTSD but doesn’t know the extent of it. In his previous relationships, he didn’t disclose the extent of his PTSD. He has told me things that he has only told a therapist before.
When he was doing well this past year, he would try new things, even though it made him anxious. He would communicate with me that he had thought about how he could get out of going but he would go. Some things weren’t for him and some he said he would do again. He communicated why certain things weren’t for him and why he would do certain things again. He has admitted to having communication problems in general and to having trouble being able to express his emotions appropriately once he joined the military. He has discussed some of the things he saw when he was deployed and his feelings of guilt and how he felt God was punishing him due to some events that have occurred in his life. He also has expressed feeling guilty about reenlisting because his grandmother, when she was dying, asked him not to reenlist.
I did text him a few weeks ago and that went well. He shared with me that he was going home for Labor Day weekend, that he’d been fishing and was going to take some of the fish home to his family, and sent me a picture of the fish he’d caught. We even joked about his sharing the fish with his dog, who was in the photo looking like he couldn’t wait to have some of the fish. I want to reach out again and see how he’s doing and if he looked at the information. My therapist said that it seems like he’s coming out of his shell again, maybe because some of the stress has decreased due to his knowing he will be able to med board and has a time frame, and that he needs some coaxing to continue to come out of his shell. Right now, kind of reminds me of how things were when he got out of the 5 week program he attended previously in that he’ll communicate but you just can’t go too deep into things having to do with feelings.
I’m wondering about the best way to proceed regarding his thoughts on the program and our next interaction. I would ultimately like to have a face to face conversation. I know that now isn’t the time to approach that but would like to in the next month or so. Also, if anyone has any thoughts or insight into the emotional shutdown and isolation, such as if this is common, thoughts on our recent communications, and what should be my next steps should be I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

Winter Cricket

Hello lady, I'm going to apologize for the short reply but have an oh too early day tomorrow. But I did want you to know that what I see in your letter is indeed pretty standard stuff and I went through it all with my Veteran. We aren't together any longer but we communicate from time to time and I continue to encourage him from a distance even though I had to move on. I forgave him for letting me down once I realized his energy was going to managing so much more inside of him. He wasn't healthy enough to be there for me, and I'm glad yours is doing things to seek treatment. In my opinion, they simply won't be able to maintain a stable relationship until they get a dig and make real progress tackling the PTS, and no matter how we try to support, this is their dragon to slay. You have a tribe out here that understands. Fortify yourself and be strong, he may not be able to be the whole capable man you need him to be now. I wish you much luck on the journey.
Hello slewis94.

It has been a while since I have been on this forum, but your post caught my eye. I will also apologize for the berevity of my reply, but I did want to praise you for your loyalty and raise some questions for you to mull over.

It sounds like you love your sufferer very much and have put a lot of effort into the relationship. You have been careful to not push too hard and have been incredibly understanding. I understand all of this very well.

When it comes right down to it, the question is, are you getting everything you need and want from this relationship? Not just once in a while, but consistently. Because that is what you deserve.

Relationships in these situations are challenging. Sometimes, even with therapy, what your describing does not change. The cycle repeats itself over and over and over again.

How do you feel when he disappears?
When he does not communicate?
When you are left wondering where you stand and if you will heard from him again?

If he did not have PTSD would you accept this behaviour? Would you stay in the relationship?

From a loving place - I have been there.



New Here
Thank you for replying Winter Cricket and SweetPainfulLoving.

Thank you for responding. When he is not shutdown, he is very thoughtful. He will surprise me with small gifts and notes. I know I can count on him to talk to when something is bothering me and we talk, joke, laugh, and hang out. When he disappears it saddens me and adds additional stress. The first time I was concerned that he was having a breakdown and might hurt himself. This time I wasn’t taken completely by surprise since I saw the signs and he said what was going on with him. I wasn’t as concerned about him this time because I understood he really wanted to be alone. It saddened me and made me angry.
If he didn’t have PTSD, I wouldn’t accept this behavior. Last time my best friend said I made excuses for him. This time I haven’t really done that. I know he made a choice to do this and I decided this time I had to take care of myself. This was part of the reason I didn’t contact him to check on him like I did the first time. The only excuse I’ve made this time is that I can’t imagine how the isolation and social distancing would affect someone with PTSD. It has affected all of us, and I can’t imagine for someone with PTSD or other mental health issues how much harder it is for them. Part of the reason I struggle with this is that I can’t help but wonder if we had been able to do the couples counseling and work on the communication if he would have shut down. I wonder if he had at least had that therapist to go to, when behavioral health told him they couldn’t see him for a month, would he have shut down.
Another development is that he contacted me last weekend. This is the first time he has initiated contact since everything started. He said I crossed his mind. I asked him why I crossed his mind and he said he isn’t sure what made me cross his mind. He joked with me. We discussed his Labor Day weekend, voting, fishing, sports, etc. He volunteered information regarding his hurting his back. I’m taking it as a good sign that he reached out. However, it does confuse me and leave me wondering if he is doing better and coming out of his shutdown. Thoughts? Thanks.


@slewis94 Hi there. I meant to reply a while ago, but it slipped my mind! I hope you've had a good week.

I wish I could answer all of your questions. I can't, I'm sorry. But I wanted to let you know (if you don't already!) that you're far from alone with your predicament. All of the supporters on here have their own stories, many of which overlap with yours. It really is a crappy situation that you're in.

Personally, and I base this on nothing scientific 😉, I would hazard a guess that as he got back in touch himself, he's at the very least interested in maintaining contact with you - even if that feels like nowhere near enough for you at the moment. This is a MASSIVE generalisation on my part, but I don't think men do things they really don't want to do. (This is where all the men who read this start shouting!)

I completely understand that if he didn't have PTSD, you wouldn't accept this kind of behaviour. It's not how someone normally acts if they're interested in being a relationship with you, is it? So, I know how off guard it throws those of us on the receiving end. But he DOES have PTSD. And he sounds like he isolates to cope with stress. AND he did give you warning this time. I've learnt (from this site and from recent personal experience) that is HUGE.

I don't want to get your hopes up. And I don't want to give you platitudes. Only you really know if this is the kind of relationship you can keep putting energy into. It's not easy, is it? In fact, that's a complete understatement!!!!

Good luck and take care of yourself x


I have been married to my husband 25 years then he got ptsd . 6 months ago he left the family home . he visits me daily for an hour but then says he has to go. he says he has no love for me or our children or even his mother anymore yet he still wants to give me a kiss hello and goodby. he still wants a cuddle especially if he is tearfull. he says he feels guilty for leaving and hates himself. he constantly returns to the place he suffered his trauma. he is drinking heavily now too. I’m really struggling .I love him and miss him and don’t know how to fix our marriage. my friends say I should walk away ,that he just wants a single life but if this was true I’m sure he wouldn’t come round and phone me. this is the hardest thing iv ever had to face I’m heartbroken. I cant bare the thought of him never coming back and finding someone else.
So how things worked out with your husband? I'm in your husband's shoes right now. Broke up an 18yrs relationship after coming back from a 3 months training that completely drained me. My girl friend didn't see it coming either. We are still living together at the moment due to financial constraint, we get along and have a friendly relationship so far. No touching, kissing or sex, but that was my partner for 18yrs so sure sometimes I feel like it but haven't. I feel sad that we are where we are at. Hopes and dreams we had just vanished. It pains me. I live in a small town and need to move out cause it triggers me but I don't know where to go, what to do. I feel it is scarier to be single and move away and risk isolating myself then staying with her even if we are no longer together. I hate this. I whish things were clear in my mind.
So how things worked out with your husband? I'm in your husband's shoes right now. Broke up an 18yrs relationship after coming back from a 3 months training that completely drained me. My girl friend didn't see it coming either. We are still living together at the moment due to financial constraint, we get along and have a friendly relationship so far. No touching, kissing or sex, but that was my partner for 18yrs so sure sometimes I feel like it but haven't. I feel sad that we are where we are at. Hopes and dreams we had just vanished. It pains me. I live in a small town and need to move out cause it triggers me but I don't know where to go, what to do. I feel it is scarier to be single and move away and risk isolating myself then staying with her even if we are no longer together. I hate this. I whish things were clear in my mind.
I think it is amazing that you are reaching out on here.
Look up anhedonia. I have no idea if that fits with what is going on or not, but it may be helpful.