General Ptsd boyfriend constantly breaks up with me - is something else going on?


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I’ve been friends with and dated a retired marine; Honorably discharges due to a head wound, for about a year on and off and in that time he’s either decided to cut me off or break up with me a handful of times. And alway comes back. He told me when we first met he had ptsd and I understood that because I suffer with depression and anxiety myself.

So I never shut him out because he was mentally ill. I knew the basics about ptsd. The anxiety, the flashbacks, and that they push people away due to the disorder, but he pushes me away or gets upset with me if I say or do something that makes me feel like I don’t want to be bothered with him or like he’s not the focus of my attention.

Say if I don’t answer his many phone calls. Or if I don’t call him on my lunch break from work, which I regularly do if he’s awake. It’s like a switch was flipped and he goes from this grown man to this needy toddler with separation anxiety. Which isn’t the problem in itself. It’s that he lies about the real issue. Instead of admitting that he feels neglected, he fabricates another reason to be upset with me and lash out at me to make me feel hurt because I hurt him. He immediately goes into this manner of thinking that just because I did one thing that upsets, everything else is bad too. Like he just focuses on this one specific event that hurt him, even though we’ve had plenty of happy times together. It’s like the relationship just has to be the way he pictures it or it’s no good.

So we break up, I’m hurting and he’s just cold as ice to me.

But he’s calling me afterwards like nothing happens. Like if you just broke up with me, I’m upset. I don’t want to talk to you. I try to talk to him anyway because I know it won’t last and I know it’s not him, it’s his disorder. But even after the break up, he’s still telling me things to deliberately hurt me. As if he’s trying to get back at me for hurting him, which I never intentionally try to do.

If I ignore his calls, he eventually comes running back to me like some child that’s been spectated from their mother too long, and wants to be especially affectionate with me. It’s like two sides of him. I’ve recently read that PTSD sometimes be comorbid with NPD or BPD and I wonder could be suffering from one these and what I’m seeing and dealing with is the subtle manipulation they use to keep you around?? I’ll admit, he comes off as very narcissistic. When it comes to him protecting his feelings, he couldn’t care less about anyone else’s. But when he has this episodes, they seem to always stem from him feeling neglected or he’s not getting the attention he wants.

Can anyone share experiences with either a narcissistic or bpd pwPTSD? And what would be the best way to encourage him to get some help without making him think somethings wrong with him?
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Honestly, I wouldn’t go looking for zebras when you have a horse right in front of you.

Those behaviors, unfortunately, can be plain ole PTSD. Well, not necessarily “PTSD”, rather how he’s reacting to his PTSD.

Welcome to being a supporter… you’ll spend a great deal of time in WTF-land. It can be overwhelming when your partner is symptomatic, and there can be some times when you’re not sure if he’s lost it or if *you’ve* lost it.

It takes a while to figure out his own particular brand of PTSD. What he’s like when he’s symptomatic, *is* he symptomatic or just being an ass, what causes him to be symptomatic, how he responds to stressors, how he responds to triggers. It’s a learning process. I’m still learning after almost a decade.

Lashing out, black and white thinking, and the push/pull dynamic are very, very, VERY common reasons supporters come here. You are not alone. Honestly, I’d stop worrying about comorbid disorders too.