Relationship What do I do after an argument?


New Here
I am new here, so I hope this is the right place to post. I am the wife and supporter of a veteran with combat related PTSD. I am new to this site, but have previously lurked and read some of the recommended books, which helped a lot.

For some background, my husband and I have been married for almost ten years, but about two years ago we had a really close brush with divorce. We went as far as to establish separate households and get divorce papers written up. Somehow, we were able to turn things around and this past year has been fantastic, despite the pandemic.

Anyways, last night we had our first bad fight in a really long time. We had a code-word he was supposed to say if he felt like he was getting triggered, and he used it. I stopped the conversation at that point, but then he kept arguing with me, one-sided. Then I got upset and just dumped all my thoughts, and he stormed away to a friend's house. I sent him a single message of apology, and he came home about two hours later. He gave me a hug, but said he didn't want to be at the house, and he wanted to sleep in separate rooms. Today I've done my best to completely back off and leave him alone. He seemed tepid this morning. He is making small talk, but has spent most of the day working on some maintenance issues at our rental house.

I'm not really sure what to do next, or how to approach the situation. I've been a wreck all day. The whole argument started because has been angry with his family and they reached out to me because they don't understand why he wont talk to them. When I asked him about it, he said he feels better when he doesn't talk to them. I probably wouldn't have cared so much, but we have kids, and they adore his family. Also, his family hasn't done anything particularly grievous so I feel like I'm in a bad spot. I basically ended up telling him that I thought he was in the wrong for just cutting off his family, and that's why he left.

I could add more details, but I'm trying to keep this short. Does anyone have any thoughts? I fell like the stuff I normally do when he's been triggered wont be useful in this situation. :(


Hi @Am_Learning sorry for what your going through, that's really tough. Unfortunately PTSD sufferers can make some rapid changes sometimes. Maybe some time too cool if will help. It's difficult that he feels that he needs to cut ties with his family, especially when there's kids involved. Does your partner have a therapist/counsellor? If not, would be consider that? There's lots of supporters on here so keep posting and I'm sure people will reply. All the best to you. S3 😊


He feels better when he doesn’t talk to his family... but is he stopping the kids from seeing them? If not, I’d leave things be. Family dynamics are a touchy thing, and it’s probably better not to get in the middle. Take the kids over, but don’t get in the middle. He doesn’t have to see or speak to him.

It’s trickier if he doesn’t want the kids to see them. Is this a recent thing or something that’s been an issue for awhile?

As far as the fight.... I’d just give him some cooling off time. A lot of times when somebody is whipped up into a state like that they spew a lot of words they don’t mean. I’d give it a little time to see if he meant what he said.