General What are they thinking?

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
I think the idea of boundaries from my side of the fence translates to "how much of my crap are you willing to put up with?" Because that's what it boils down to. I will push to the limit - and then beyond - if someone lets me.
I mean, you've been pretty clear here. Your boundary is that you must have contact once a day.
He's just choosing not to honor it.

And that's not how good relationships work. If you both want to be in a relationship, then both sides have to be willing to put something into it.

I think the doormat thing comes up when supporters do ALL the work, their sufferer is totally not interested in "behaving" and then they excuse their sufferer treating them like crap and don't hold them accountable "because they have ptsd." Yes - living with ptsd is a bitch, and learning to manage it can take a long, long time. But it doesn't excuse total asshat behavior. It doesn't excuse stringing people along, just because we can.

Of course it could be that your guy may not know how long he wants to be away, and that's ok -- IF he tells you that this wait will be indefinite and you agree to it.

Then he's not stringing you along - he's telling you how his life works.
He's setting his boundary of "I cant commit to being in contact with you and I can't give you a date I'll be back."

If you are happy with that dynamic then the relationship will probably work.

But If you will spend all the time he is gone worrying about how he's doing and you keep asking him if he's ok then you aren't honoring his boundary and the relationship may crash and burn.

But If you want contact once a day and he blows you off then he's not respecting your boundary - and the relationship may crash and burn.

I feel as if I were to set boundaries this early in my relationship, I’d be lying to myself and him.
Nope. You are making it too complicated. The boundaries we are talking about are short and simple. They are based in respect of each other. Simple like: You will check in once a day - even if it's just a text that says I'm ok.
Or - I agree to not call you when you ask me not to.
Simple
Decent human being stuff.
Things that anyone, even someone with ptsd, can do.

Talk with the long term supporters around here and you will see that they can make it work because they have those hard boundaries that must be honored and they hold their sufferer to that line. And their sufferer knows there is NO wiggle room for asshat behavior.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
After a month apart, my sufferer explained to me the other day that ghosting me was his way of feeling free. Not having to answer to anyone.
I've been reading along and thinking about this. You might want to consider the possibility that at least part of what you're dealing with is an "attachment style" thing.

I'm not sure where you guys are at in the relationship. If I was living with someone, I think it would be unreasonable not to check in at least once a day. If I was just "seeing" someone? That might start to feel like a bit much. If I knew that person was super stressed worrying about me any time they didn't here from me on a given day? That would totally freak me out and I'd head for the hills. On the other hand, there have been times when I checked in with friends daily (online) even though we were on opposite sides of the world. But it was because it was fun/ rewarding somehow, not because either of us was trying to keep the other from having a panic attack. No pressure.

According to attachment theory, there's "secure attachment" which you might think of as "normal" and then there's several kinds of insecure attachments. All this develops in childhood, although it can change over time. The thing is, some of the same things that cause PTSD in kids also lead to insecure attachment styles. It seems to be kind of common for people with conflicting styles to pair up, leading to problems. Problems that can be worked out, but that means both parties have to want to work them out.

For example, I was raised to feel responsible for my mom's "feelings". Except that I could never get it right. (More or less by definition.) That didn't give me PTSD, other stuff did that. What it DID do is leave me pretty sensitive to those situations where other people seem to want to make me responsible for how they feel. Some people deal with that by working really hard to get things "right". I deal with it by thinking, "Nope, not happening again, I don't need this." and I leave. Or at least try to establish some distance. I had no idea I was doing that until I started therapy. I was just going with what felt easiest. The more "clingy" someone gets, the more space I try to claim to feel safe. NOW, I know that everyone who acts that way isn't a threat, but it can still be uncomfortable to live with.

What ever is going on, the time to talk if over is when things are reasonably calm. But I really think it would be good to talk it over. And for each of you to LISTEN to the other. It's tempting to hear what you want to hear, but I think you both need to hear what's actually being said, and to clearly understand what's actually being said. I LOVE what @Friday said about saying what you really mean. Whatever it is. Personally, people who do that make me feel safe(ish). I don't have to try to read their minds, I can be pretty sure they aren't playing some complicated mind game that's going to come back and bite me. (Which sort of goes back to dear ol' mom.) I have no idea what the guy in question's background is, how he came to have PTSD or what other issues he might have, but it might be worth exploring the totality of what's going on. Is he in therapy? Don't remember if you mentioned that. Because for the relationship to work in the long run, I think either he has to be actually working on his own stuff, you have to be willing to be a doormat, or both of you have to enjoy conflict. You don't sound like you want to be a doormat.
 

Makeupqueen1

New Here
I've been reading along and thinking about this. You might want to consider the possibility that at least part of what you're dealing with is an "attachment style" thing.

I'm not sure where you guys are at in the relationship. If I was living with someone, I think it would be unreasonable not to check in at least once a day. If I was just "seeing" someone? That might start to feel like a bit much. If I knew that person was super stressed worrying about me any time they didn't here from me on a given day? That would totally freak me out and I'd head for the hills. On the other hand, there have been times when I checked in with friends daily (online) even though we were on opposite sides of the world. But it was because it was fun/ rewarding somehow, not because either of us was trying to keep the other from having a panic attack. No pressure.

According to attachment theory, there's "secure attachment" which you might think of as "normal" and then there's several kinds of insecure attachments. All this develops in childhood, although it can change over time. The thing is, some of the same things that cause PTSD in kids also lead to insecure attachment styles. It seems to be kind of common for people with conflicting styles to pair up, leading to problems. Problems that can be worked out, but that means both parties have to want to work them out.

For example, I was raised to feel responsible for my mom's "feelings". Except that I could never get it right. (More or less by definition.) That didn't give me PTSD, other stuff did that. What it DID do is leave me pretty sensitive to those situations where other people seem to want to make me responsible for how they feel. Some people deal with that by working really hard to get things "right". I deal with it by thinking, "Nope, not happening again, I don't need this." and I leave. Or at least try to establish some distance. I had no idea I was doing that until I started therapy. I was just going with what felt easiest. The more "clingy" someone gets, the more space I try to claim to feel safe. NOW, I know that everyone who acts that way isn't a threat, but it can still be uncomfortable to live with.

What ever is going on, the time to talk if over is when things are reasonably calm. But I really think it would be good to talk it over. And for each of you to LISTEN to the other. It's tempting to hear what you want to hear, but I think you both need to hear what's actually being said, and to clearly understand what's actually being said. I LOVE what @Friday said about saying what you really mean. Whatever it is. Personally, people who do that make me feel safe(ish). I don't have to try to read their minds, I can be pretty sure they aren't playing some complicated mind game that's going to come back and bite me. (Which sort of goes back to dear ol' mom.) I have no idea what the guy in question's background is, how he came to have PTSD or what other issues he might have, but it might be worth exploring the totality of what's going on. Is he in therapy? Don't remember if you mentioned that. Because for the relationship to work in the long run, I think either he has to be actually working on his own stuff, you have to be willing to be a doormat, or both of you have to enjoy conflict. You don't sound like you want to be a doormat.
Maybe I should explain my side of things and where we are now, so everyone can better understand why I’m stuck.
Long story short, he’s a combat veteran with ptsd. We met around two years ago and instantly hit it off. He was honest and told me from the beginning he had ptsd.
I won’t lie, I was nervous at first, not knowing what to expect. But he told me he was taking medication for it and going to therapy, which I thought was awesome.
We started dating and it was great. It was great for a year and a half. Then bam. Instant change overnight.
HE went from being obsessed with ME, talking and checking in with each other all day every day to ghosting me.
We broke up back in May and spent a month apart. He recently came back to me after I let him have the space he seemed to need, but here he is again.
So we’re not together right now but we’re not just friends either.
When he came back, he informed me he was no longer taking meds anymore, or going to therapy. I wasn’t happy about that, but it’s obviously his choice I’ll always respect his decisions.
He said he didn’t wanna rush back into things, neither do I, but he still flirts with me, tells me he loves me and gets jealous over me. Which is confusing.
So that’s where the me checking in on him thing comes from. It wasn’t always this one sided, which is what everyone is failing to realize.
He use to be the “friendly chicken” pecking me to death. I’m just doing what we always use to do. Yes, we’re not together right now BUT, he’s still acting as if we’re trying to work back to that. So I’m still trying to navigate this new normal with us, which is why I said I’m stuck right now.
I feel like I’m being too much and he’ll blow up on me, so I’ll back off for awhile. Then he’ll call me multiple times in a row and if I’m busy and won’t answer, he gets mad. No matter what I do, he’s unhappy. I’m there for him, I’m too much. I back off, I’m not there enough.
This is all new to me and it’s been difficult meeting someone at what I thought was their best and then seeing them at their worst and trying to be there for them without being here sometimes.
Hopefully all of that makes sense.
It’s a mess but I’m trying.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
Then bam. Instant change overnight.
yep. This is how it happened for me too. One day I was just fine. The next my world exploded and ptsd took over. My entire world fell apart within months.
When he came back, he informed me he was no longer taking meds anymore, or going to therapy.
This would be a deal breaker for hubby. If I wasn't doing the work to try to get better he would NEVER put up with my ptsd crapola. Because either way I'm going to be a mess. But at least by doing the work I'm showing him that I'm trying to do what needs to be done for our lives to continue together. If I just refused? Ya, no way he would stick around to be my personal pinata.

And Yep - I get why your guy doesn't want to do it because this therapy crap sucks and if he's dealing with the VA it can be an even bigger stressor. But it doesn't change the fact that he is choosing not to do what he needs to so that he can get back to that person you first met.
It’s a mess but I’m trying.
And I truly think you are amazing for that. I just wonder - what is he bringing to the table right now? Because it seems like you are the one doing all the work. And I'm not sure that's fair for you.
 

Makeupqueen1

New Here
yep. This is how it happened for me too. One day I was just fine. The next my world exploded and ptsd took over. My entire world fell apart within months.

This would be a deal breaker for hubby. If I wasn't doing the work to try to get better he would NEVER put up with my ptsd crapola. Because either way I'm going to be a mess. But at least by doing the work I'm showing him that I'm trying to do what needs to be done for our lives to continue together. If I just refused? Ya, no way he would stick around to be my personal pinata.

And Yep - I get why your guy doesn't want to do it because this therapy crap sucks and if he's dealing with the VA it can be an even bigger stressor. But it doesn't change the fact that he is choosing not to do what he needs to so that he can get back to that person you first met.

And I truly think you are amazing for that. I just wonder - what is he bringing to the table right now? Because it seems like you are the one doing all the work. And I'm not sure that's fair for you.
I guess the crappy answer to what he’s bringing to the table right now- is nothing, sadly.
Maybe I feel guilty?
Before I met him, the only relationship I’d ever known was an abusive one. I was in it for ten years and this guy got me out of that dark place. When he loved me, he loved hard, which I never had. He was awesome.
He was there for me through some of my darkest times and held it together so well for me. I feel like I owe him for that. He stayed strong for me and put up with everything I was going through, so I feel like I should do the same for him now? I’m not sure.
Maybe I shouldn’t? I don’t know.
I just know that I still love him and we had a great year and a half together. My kids adore him. My family. It’s not something to easily walk away from.
I’m not saying I can do this forever, but I can’t say that I’m ready to give up on him either. I’m hoping he’ll realize how well he WAS doing before with medication and therapy and he’ll wanna get back into it. Before it’s too late.
He was married twice before me and every woman has left him and I wanted to be different. I can see why they left, nothing against them and their choices. We do have to take care of ourselves, but I didn’t wanna give up on him bc that’s what he’s use to.
I’m just doing everything I can or know how. I’m trying to give him space, but also trying to show him that he has someone here if he needs them. All while trying not to come on too strong. It’s hard to balance but I’m slowly figuring these things out. I’m not sure if it’s working or ever will work, but I’m not giving up until I can say that I know I did everything I possibly could.
I just feel like I haven’t reached that point yet.
 
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