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Relationship Push pull from a combat vet with ptsd

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I've never had anyone in my life treat me like this. I've never been spoken to like he has spoken to me. I've never been pushed.

No. No. No. No one ..regardless of their damage....have the right to do this to you. Maybe...and it's a big maybe...If he was working seriously to try to get better you could allow a bit of this behavior. But at this point he's just being an ass
@RottieMama I’ve read this thread several times. Forgive me for saying this. If I’m out of line, I sincerely apologize to you and will accept whatever the mods send my way. If you were my daughter, this guy would be in the hospital longer than I’d be in jail. PTSD be damned, you do not deserve to be treated this way. In my mind and heart, this is abuse.
Since I first began commenting on your thread, I have left the combat vet I was with. My inability to set and enforce boundaries was only enabling his bad behavior. It seems like your guy's family is involved -- let them help him with this burden. Threatening suicide can be a form of manipulation (even if he is having suicidal thoughts). He was okay before you and he can be okay after you. And if he does make any bad decisions or attempts to follow through on hurting himself, it was his decision. He is making these choices. Plenty of people with PTSD never call their partner a c*nt, never push their partner, never hide other "friendships" from their partners.

Honestly? The reaching out to family would have been a huge deal for me. That was out of line on his part. And what was his end game with that but to hurt you? And if you stay with him despite it all, I can only imagine how that is going to affect your relationship with your brother.

A relationship shouldn't be the answer to a problem.
Hi all - well it's been a few months and here I am again writing about my situation... me and the vet continued to try... but it was a roller coaster - one good week, followed by several unstable, unhealthy, destructive weeks... verbal attacks, manipulation, him ending the relationship... it got to a point where I told him I wasn't sure I wanted the relationship any more and needed time to think through things... I finally got him to start the process with the VA and I forced him to find a counselor that could work with his work schedule... in fact, I saw his counselor twice on my own and then we saw the counselor several times together... his anger would settle for a bit and then it would fly off the handle.... he got so angry one night that when he walked out of my house and I followed him he was screaming at me in the parking lot and my neighbors asked me later that week if I was okay...well, despite all this he was applying for jobs and going through the process with a government agency and a fire department - good steps I thought so he could get away from what he's known for so long and caused some of his struggles.... well then he went and applied for a 6-month through hike geared for veterans... he was chosen... and he wanted me to tell him what to do... how could I? He's an adult and needed to do what's best for him... he's done things like this before - as I noted he took 18 months off work to bike all over the U.S. and did something similar that was like 5 months... while these may have brought temporary peace it did not address his issues... well he has chosen to do the hike... I told him that we should then use it as a time for each of us to heal... he flew off the handle, said I must want him out of my life, gave everything back and rolled out... that was 5 days ago and I haven't heard from him.. he stopped counseling because his counselor got in touch because she was concerned that he just discontinued care so abruptly... he leaves in 3 weeks.... while I know that was an extremely unhealthy, abusive situation I am still greatly saddened... while I saw the worst of him, I did see a tender heart and a person that is broken but who is not willing to really deal with his demons.... I guess my question at this point is how do I move past all this? It's been such a mind fu**. It has me questioning me. And why do I still care for him?? Why is my heart feeling broken when I know it shouldn't - not with what I put with!
Why is my heart feeling broken when I know it shouldn't - not with what I put with!

uhmmmm...because you are a decent, caring human being who is watching the person she loves self-destruct??? Just sayin......

Until he is ready to deal with his demons there is nothing you can do to help him and NO! he doesn't get to use you as his personal pinata to take out all his aggressions on.
You have done all you can. Now it's up to him.
Hi Rottie. I have read your thread and felt the need to comment. I apologise if this offends you in anyway. I was in a similar situation to yourself only mine lasted for 3 years. I was on the roller coaster with my PTSD Vet and my situation was almost identical to what you describe. It nearly destroyed me. Thankfully I have been free from my ex for over a year now and only now do I feel like I am starting to get myself back.

Read up on trauma bonding. There is a very good book by Patrick Carnes that explains why you are feeling the way you are towards him. I thought I really truly madly deeply loved my Vet. I thought we were soul mates destined to be together. Like you he was very quick at the start to tell me he loved me and he wanted kids and a future etc. That should have set alarm bells ringing with me but I guess I just thought it was so refreshing to hear someone be so open and honest about what he felt and what he wanted. But of course none of it was true. You can't love someone or even consider having kids with them after a few weeks. Lust maybe, love never.

It took me a long time to process the whole situation after it ended. I now realise I wasn't in love. It was an addiction. I was trauma bonded to him and when you are in constant contact with him it is impossible to break the trauma bond. Only once you go no contact can you break free.

My vet still contacts me now on occasion and still tries various ways to control me. Even though he is now married and I have a new partner. He gets frustrated when he realises that he can no longer control and he disappears and then contacts me a few months later. I am 100% in control of the situation now and will only speak to him on my terms because I have managed to break the trauma bond.

Your relationship is abusive. It will never bring you happiness. But you keep trying because you want to get back what was promised to you at the start. You will never get that back, it is long gone and it wasnt real. What is left in its place is abuse with little glimmers of hope of who you want him to be. But those glimmers are only served up.once in a while to keep you hooked.

It's so hard when you are in the situation to see it for what it really is. You don't want to accept it because you can see the good.

Honestly read the book or articles on trauma bonding. They will help you break free. My situation broke me. I was a successful intelligent business woman and the relationship pushed me to a break down where I was ready to end my own life. It is not worth it. I ended up seeking therapy to help me through because it really scared me as to whom I had become. I couldn't believe I had let myself be treated like that and I did not know who I was anymore. Therapy helped me understand it can happen to anyone.

Please take care of yourself first. You do not have a responsibility to help anyone especially when it is detrimental to your own well being. Do not let him manipulate you. The person you thought he was at the start and the life and love that he promised you does not exist. It's really easy to confuse addiction with love. Someone who truly loves you would never abuse and manipulate you. That is not what love is.

I don't know whether it's PTSD or just an abusive manipulative jerk. It doesnt matter what it is. Dont fall for the pity. It is not worth damaging yourself for. Please take care of yourself.
uhmmmm...because you are a decent, caring human being who is watching the person she loves self-destruct...
It does seem like his choice to do the hike is leading down a path of self destruction - it may bring temporary peace but I know the issues will remain until he deals with them. I appreciate your response!
It’s time to start your life without him.
From reading your thread it seems like you’ve had more bad times then good.
You seem like a loving and caring person. Now is time to put that loving, caring energy into yourself. I know you love him, but love doesn’t conquer all .
He can’t made you happy and to be honest he hasn’t tried to make you happy. It’s all about him, if your not giving him want he wants, he goes to someone else. Find you again, support you. Live the life you want and when the times right, find that person who will treat you like you deserve.
My thoughts are below. Take what is helpful and disregard the rest.
Do I walk away or continue to fight for him??
Sometimes walking away is letting someone have the space to work on themselves. He has been telling you for a long time by his behavior that he is not ready to be in a relationship with you. Quite clearly.
And why do I still care for him?? Why is my heart feeling broken when I know it shouldn't - not with what I put with!
You are a feeling human being, and that's ok. Love can be real - and love alone isn't enough to make a relationship work. It's totally ok to care about him. You are a person of great compassion and that is a darn good thing. This world needs more people who give a damn.
It does seem like his choice to do the hike is leading down a path of self destruction - it may bring temporary peace but I know the issues will remain until he deals with them.
You can know that he needs to deal with his stuff, but that doesn't make him ready to do that work. And it's heavy work. You describe "forcing" him to get help. What you are experiencing now is the reality that someone can't be forced to deal with trauma. They have to do it when they are ready.

I don't see any problem with wanting to do a hike designed for veterans. Those leading the hike probably know vets are trying to run from their stuff, and generally are there to try and help. His trying to escape his pain by connecting with support designed for veterans actually seems like a healthy option. He's running to connection and support. It may not be your support (which I know is super painful to accept) but at least he's going towards support for veterans. Quitting treatment wasn't wise, but treatment through the VA isn't enough for many (most?) veterans who are really struggling. Sitting in a room talking through the VERY worst of what can happen in this world isn't something everyone is ready or able to do. (I am not a vet, but I couldn't do it for PTSD myself for a long time.)

If he joined the same 6 month Appalachian trail hike for veterans that was recently reported on by NPR, Warrior Expeditions, damn, it seems like a great option. The whole point of hikes through that nonprofit is to help veterans work through their stuff. It may not be what you would do, but as you said, he's an adult. He's likely had feedback from you and his therapist, and it's good for him to make the choice to engage support, and which support he is ready to do.
I guess my question at this point is how do I move past all this?
Breakups are hard to face in the best of circumstances. It's going to be painful for a bit. Grief is part of the process. Connect with your own supports and friends as much as you can.
he stopped counseling because his counselor got in touch because she was concerned that he just discontinued care so abruptly...
It's probably time to step out of his care. Continuing to be a point of contact for his therapist will just bring you back into it again and again. He's got a treatment team there at the VA for him when he is ready, he's got options for other support. Now it's up to him.

Don't keep contacting him. Everything he is doing is telling you to give him space. Don't keep initiating texts or calls. Let him seek out other supports instead of contact with you. In time, it will get easier for you both to move on. It might also be worthwhile to work on what lessons you can learn from this experience and relationship. This isn't to state that anything he did was your fault. Nope. Not at all. He is responsible for himself, and you are responsible for you. You jumped in and have tried to do so much to change him. It might be a good opportunity, as you described, to take time and space to work on healing for yourself. Learning how to set boundaries (which isn't about changing or controlling others but ourselves and our own lives) might be a good skill to work on for future relationships.

I hope that the pain of letting him go gets easier soon. :hug:
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