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Relationship Struggling to cope with my partners PTSD and losing hope

It is sooooo much harder loving someone with PTSD, than having it, IME/IMO.

Being someone who does both.

We are now in a period of real confusion, and I’m very worried for my own mental health. He hides things. Started mixing with different people, doesn’t stick to his word, just a completely different person to the beautiful soul he once was. I feel so sad, lost, confused and probably depressed and feel like I and we are losing everything. Please can someone reply with a positive story, because I’m starting to lose hope.

We’ve been together 11 years and he is my world
He’s still that person… who has been through hell.

When you know someone who has been broken, that way? Knew who they were, before? It’s something of a crapshoot on who they will become. Which, ironically? IS the positive story? I know countless people who are infinitely better, deeper, versions of who they were before… once they unf*ck their heads & hearts. I also know people I’d have died for, before, and wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire, after. FAR more people, in my experience, just become “more” of themselves. In time. Heck, maybe everyone does, and I’m just not happy with what that looks like?

But it does usually take awhile, if it’s not magically better in about 6mo with no treatment. (The vast majority of people with PTSD self-correct, in about 6mo, with no treatment.) Of those who remain? Over 90% become asymptomatic with treatment, over a longer timeframe. (I’ve read between 92-96%). That’s reeeeeeally good news / amazing stats. Even the teeny tiny minority who will experience symptoms forever… or at least ion a much longer scale? Won’t be unrecognisable assholes all the time. Just sometimes. Which? Can be worked around.

So the math is very much behind someone you’ve known deeply, for 11 years, pulling their head out of their ass. Infinitely better stats than addiction, or cancer, or a zillion other things.

But?

A whooooole lotta relationships just. do. not. survive. tragedy.

For a whole lotta different reasons.

Get some ‘official’ support for yourself. You’ve got skin in this game, a dog in this fight, & you’re worth it. Your relationship is worth it. He’s worth it.
 
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It is sooooo much harder loving someone with PTSD, than having it, IME/IMO.

Being someone who does both.


He’s still that person… who has been through hell.

When you know someone who has been broken, that way? Knew who they were, before? It’s something of a crapshoot on who they will become. Which, ironically? IS the positive story? I know countless people who are infinitely better, deeper, versions of who they were before… once they unf*ck their heads & hearts. I also know people I’d have died for, before, and wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire, after. FAR more people, in my experience, just become “more” of themselves. In time. Heck, maybe everyone does, and I’m just not happy with what that looks like?

But it does usually take awhile, if it’s not magically better in about 6mo with no treatment. (The vast majority of people with PTSD self-correct, in about 6mo, with no treatment.) Of those who remain? Over 90% become asymptomatic with treatment, over a longer timeframe. (I’ve read between 92-96%). That’s reeeeeeally good news / amazing stats. Even the teeny tiny minority who will experience symptoms forever… or at least ion a much longer scale? Won’t be unrecognisable assholes all the time. Just sometimes. Which? Can be worked around.

So the math is very much behind someone you’ve known deeply, for 11 years, pulling their head out of their ass. Infinitely better stats than addiction, or cancer, or a zillion other things.

But?

A whooooole lotta relationships just. do. not. survive. tragedy.

For a whole lotta different reasons.

Get some ‘official’ support for yourself. You’ve got skin in this game, a dog in this fight, & you’re worth it. Your relationship is worth it. He’s worth it.
Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. I wasn’t aware of those stats, so that is encouraging. Agree it’s so difficult when you knew the person for so long before hand, and we had a very close relationship and new each other inside and out - this is perhaps why now is so difficult.
Thank you
 
Thank you, yes maybe it would. I do feel exhausted with it all and not sure what I would say, as the stress continues whether I get therapy or not.


Thank you Cheri. Would you mind me asking - did you get therapy yourself early on? Or did you reach a point where you felt it was all too much? Also - what kind of thing does the therapy help you with - as the stress continues whether you have therapy or not. Thank you.
I wish I had gotten myself into therapy sooner. It was a couple of years into it, things had kind of plateaued, and I realized I couldn’t just white knuckle my way through this. My reactions were also getting bigger and I wasn’t always able to control my words and actions because I was reacting out of hurt or pain.

Therapy helped me put myself first in more situations so I would have less resentment.I learned to speak up for what I needed but to do it at a time and in a way that was most productive. It gives me a place to vent. My therapist helps me with strategies for my general mental health. A stronger me means I can be a stronger supporter. She helped me learn about boundaries. She also helped me understand ptsd better, what he’s going through, and gave me a realistic idea about the long term nature of this thing. I had in my mind that it would eventually just « get better » and while my husband has seen significant improvement in his ability to cope and live his life it has been much easier to see it as a life long issue which has ironically allowed me to focus more on myself.

I’m rambling, and on my phone so it’s hard to proofread and edit, but the bottom line is that therapy for me made a big difference.

My heart is with you…it’s a long, hard road.
 
I wish I had gotten myself into therapy sooner. It was a couple of years into it, things had kind of plateaued, and I realized I couldn’t just white knuckle my way through this. My reactions were also getting bigger and I wasn’t always able to control my words and actions because I was reacting out of hurt or pain.

Therapy helped me put myself first in more situations so I would have less resentment.I learned to speak up for what I needed but to do it at a time and in a way that was most productive. It gives me a place to vent. My therapist helps me with strategies for my general mental health. A stronger me means I can be a stronger supporter. She helped me learn about boundaries. She also helped me understand ptsd better, what he’s going through, and gave me a realistic idea about the long term nature of this thing. I had in my mind that it would eventually just « get better » and while my husband has seen significant improvement in his ability to cope and live his life it has been much easier to see it as a life long issue which has ironically allowed me to focus more on myself.

I’m rambling, and on my phone so it’s hard to proofread and edit, but the bottom line is that therapy for me made a big difference.

My heart is with you…it’s a long, hard road.
Cheri. I can’t thank you enough for your reply - and you absolutely did not ramble.

The phrase - white knuckling my way through…that describes perfectly what I’ve been going through this last few months - and this week realised how much it’s affected my own mental health to the point we’re I can eat, sleep or stop crying!

so thank you - your message has finally made me realise I need therapy. It has also been very helpful in affirming me wanting to stay with him - only online stuff I’ve read is about leaving him. As it sounds in your relationship - we have been together a very long time, we have grown together, had so many adventures together and want to spend forever together - lending the relationship is just not an option. I want to help him heal, but without cracking up myself.

Thank you Cheri.

I wish I had gotten myself into therapy sooner. It was a couple of years into it, things had kind of plateaued, and I realized I couldn’t just white knuckle my way through this. My reactions were also getting bigger and I wasn’t always able to control my words and actions because I was reacting out of hurt or pain.

Therapy helped me put myself first in more situations so I would have less resentment.I learned to speak up for what I needed but to do it at a time and in a way that was most productive. It gives me a place to vent. My therapist helps me with strategies for my general mental health. A stronger me means I can be a stronger supporter. She helped me learn about boundaries. She also helped me understand ptsd better, what he’s going through, and gave me a realistic idea about the long term nature of this thing. I had in my mind that it would eventually just « get better » and while my husband has seen significant improvement in his ability to cope and live his life it has been much easier to see it as a life long issue which has ironically allowed me to focus more on myself.

I’m rambling, and on my phone so it’s hard to proofread and edit, but the bottom line is that therapy for me made a big difference.

My heart is with you…it’s a long, hard road.
Sorry Cheri, do you mind me asking… perhaps a stupid question….what does it actually mean looking after yourself, or focus on yourself more? I think what I’ve lost is a massive amount of money trying to keep a rough over our heads, and that has limited my options - so should I stop bailing out with money. Does it mean I should be going out to spend time with friends or family away from him? Etx.
 
Cheri. I can’t thank you enough for your reply - and you absolutely did not ramble.

The phrase - white knuckling my way through…that describes perfectly what I’ve been going through this last few months - and this week realised how much it’s affected my own mental health to the point we’re I can eat, sleep or stop crying!

so thank you - your message has finally made me realise I need therapy. It has also been very helpful in affirming me wanting to stay with him - only online stuff I’ve read is about leaving him. As it sounds in your relationship - we have been together a very long time, we have grown together, had so many adventures together and want to spend forever together - lending the relationship is just not an option. I want to help him heal, but without cracking up myself.

Thank you Cheri.


Sorry Cheri, do you mind me asking… perhaps a stupid question….what does it actually mean looking after yourself, or focus on yourself more? I think what I’ve lost is a massive amount of money trying to keep a rough over our heads, and that has limited my options - so should I stop bailing out with money. Does it mean I should be going out to spend time with friends or family away from him? Etx.
I think taking care of or focusing more on oneself is going to look different for everyone. I even learned what that was for me in therapy.

I was really letting his emotion change mood in a given situation and I would be in a bad mood for hours because of one comment. I wasn’t asking for what I wanted because I was afraid of rocking the boat. I learned sometimes I need to take a break, communicating that clearly to him, and come back later to finish a conversation or disagreement.

Even just mediation and breathing exercises for me helped to calm my own nervous system so I didn’t get overwhelmed as much.

Therapy isn’t a magic pill. But it was huge for me. Just saying out loud « I’m in therapy to take care of myself » was empowering to me.

Adding on…my therapist even challenged me a couple of times when I was defending him. I said something like « he wasn’t being selfish » in a particular situation and she was like « actually it kind of sounds like he was ». I don’t know why that helped but it really did. To know I had someone objective to help me sort things out.
 
I think taking care of or focusing more on oneself is going to look different for everyone. I even learned what that was for me in therapy.

I was really letting his emotion change mood in a given situation and I would be in a bad mood for hours because of one comment. I wasn’t asking for what I wanted because I was afraid of rocking the boat. I learned sometimes I need to take a break, communicating that clearly to him, and come back later to finish a conversation or disagreement.

Even just mediation and breathing exercises for me helped to calm my own nervous system so I didn’t get overwhelmed as much.

Therapy isn’t a magic pill. But it was huge for me. Just saying out loud « I’m in therapy to take care of myself » was empowering to me.

Adding on…my therapist even challenged me a couple of times when I was defending him. I said something like « he wasn’t being selfish » in a particular situation and she was like « actually it kind of sounds like he was ». I don’t know why that helped but it really did. To know I had someone objective to help me sort things out.
This is very powerful for me to read Cheri.

The point you make about his mood affecting yours - that is a huge part of it for me too. I go on the rollercoaster with him, and sometimes depending on the situation end up emotionally worse than him.

Also that comment about making excuses - I also do that with everything, but there’s a few things I now realise shouldn’t be an excuse, rather should be accepted as him not treating me well.

Thank you Cheri, you have genuinely helped me a lot.
 
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