Relationship Why do PTSD relationships most often fail?

Thank you for all the replies and insight. It really does come down to making a choice based on love and respect. I understand marriage and relationships are not always equal. I was married for 20 years prior to this relationship. I suppose in the end, what carries us through always remains the same no matter what the circumstances….. LOVE and the want to make it work. ❤️
 

Freida

Sponsor
Next year I will have been married 20 years and I have PTSD. Before diagnosis it just about tore us apart as he didn't understand
yep -- hubby and I are coming up on 25 years.... and I wasn't diagnosed until about six years ago.
How have we made it?
Hubby accepted early on that I was a flight risk and lets me run when I need to

The isolation thing is far, far bigger than many supporters realize. When I'm in that mode the only thing I can think of is escaping and even something as bland as a "hi how are you" text can make me run even further and faster. Because it gets into my bubble. And things that get into my bubble hurt - no matter who they are from or how they got in. If hubby was incapeable of letting me go, or needed me with him constantly, or the worst!!!... needing contast reassurance? Oh ya - I'd be gone. Probably for good. Because when the urge to run hits? Nothing is going to stop me.

One thing in my defense LOL
I had NO idea that running was considered a bad thing by hubby, or any of my other supporters. It took coming here, meeting supporters and letting them educate me (sometimes with a smack upside the head! 😁) to get me to see it.

I really, really didn't know that people would worry when I was gone, or wonder when I isolated, or it felt like I didn't love them. I just needed my brain to quiet down and I thought I was doing them a favor by bailing .

Honestly I don't know how supporters do it....they are some remarkable people to put up with all our crapola. But the successful ones seem to be those who want to be in a relationship rather than needing to be in one. They have their own lives, so when we freak out it has less of an impact because it's one less thing for me to think about,
 
It sounds so familiar… your experience in comparison to his. My position was not that of your husband. I pushed to talk and communicate when he clearly asked me not to. I looked for reassurance because our relationship hadn’t yet developed a foundation of understanding. I made mistakes I now see in hindsight, but I can’t change what’s been done. My push to get closer only pushed him away and now I’m just picking up the pieces to my shattered heart. Sucks…. But it’s likely what’s best for both of us
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
I’d stop looking at them as mistakes. You didn’t do anything necessarily “bad” or “wrong”… you needed something that he couldn’t provide. You needed reassurance and security. That’s more of a personality thing, and there are men out there that aren’t bothered by that in the least bit. In fact, they probably want that themselves.

I’d be willing to bet a common trait in long term supporters is enjoying their own alone time. I personally can’t take people up in my space all the time, even if I love them madly. It’s probably what made me a good military wife back in the day… which also acclimated me to not hearing from my partner for long periods of time. Give me a chance to miss ya, dude.

Live and learn. That’s the thing about dating. You have to try a few people out before you find a good fit, otherwise we’d all be married to our first love.
 
I’d stop looking at them as mistakes. You didn’t do anything necessarily “bad” or “wrong”… you needed something that he couldn’t provide. You needed reassurance and security. That’s more of a personality thing, and there are men out there that aren’t bothered by that in the least bit. In fact, they probably want that themselves.

I’d be willing to bet a common trait in long term supporters is enjoying their own alone time. I personally can’t take people up in my space all the time, even if I love them madly. It’s probably what made me a good military wife back in the day… which also acclimated me to not hearing from my partner for long periods of time. Give me a chance to miss ya, dude.

Live and learn. That’s the thing about dating. You have to try a few people out before you find a good fit, otherwise we’d all be married to our first love.
Thank you for that, you’re right.
 

Freida

Sponsor
I agree with @Sweetpea76 ...you didn't do anything wrong. In a normal, relationship texting to say hi or check in would be expected and even if they've asked for space, it probably wouldn't be this huge of an issue.

that's what makes ptsd such a nightmare - "normal" isn't normal anymore. And figuring out what to do without understanding what was happening? That's gotta be so hard
Like I said....dunno how the supporters do it...
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
When I'm in that mode the only thing I can think of is escaping
I agree. It actually occurred to me recently, maybe it's a panic attack, or is panic?

The only difference I would say to @Freida 's above is, if there is no contact at all I see it as it was the correct decision or assessment for me to make/ they are in agreement. It reinforces it. I suppose that comes from neglect, or betrayal, or just plain (maybe incorrect) judgement. But once the smoke of the triggers clear, when in doubt the only confirming evidence to tip it is what seems like facts/ realities. And maybe there's some relief, too, to feel there is confirmation or justify leaving as not being of much importance.

Hope that makes sense, I am too tired. 🙄
 
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Freida

Sponsor
For me? It's panic
Sheer unadulterated can't see anything but escape routes terrified panic

Part of mine comes from being in a locked room with no escape so now i have to get OUT! I'm way better now but its still a battle to stay put sometimes. Plus I have to get the target off of his back....because I'm putting him in danger too

It sucks 🥺
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
I haven't been confined like that, though this I relate to:

For me? It's panic
Sheer unadulterated can't see anything but escape routes terrified panic
And not wanting to cause grief or harm or a burden.

I guess I trust my own judgement on what to avoid or what needs protection more than what to approach or believe in.
 
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I agree. It actually occurred to me recently, maybe it's a panic attack, or is panic?

The only difference I would say to @Freida 's above is, if there is no contact at all I see it as it was the correct decision or assessment for me to make/ they are in agreement. It reinforces it. I suppose that comes from neglect, or betrayal, or just plain (maybe incorrect) judgement. But once the smoke of
I agree. It actually occurred to me recently, maybe it's a panic attack, or is panic?

The only difference I would say to @Freida 's above is, if there is no contact at all I see it as it was the correct decision or assessment for me to make/ they are in agreement. It reinforces it. I suppose that comes from neglect, or betrayal, or just plain (maybe incorrect) judgement. But once the smoke of the triggers clear, when in doubt the only confirming evidence to tip it is what seems like facts/ realities. And maybe there's some relief, too, to feel there is confirmation or justify leaving as not being of much importance.

Hope that makes sense, I am too tired. 🙄
Thank you for your feedback. If I’m understanding your post correctly when you’re symptomatic and pushing people away and they actually go it just confirms your belief that you’ll be abandoned or rejected etc.?
I wish that I could say I didn’t push or was a perfect supporter but I wasn’t. He asked for time and space and although I agreed and said we should take a break from the relationship that isn’t what I wanted. I tried setting boundaries about what it was I was willing to except or let go of in relationships and communication and working together isn’t one of them. Over the last few months I’ve tried countless times to talk to him and have a conversation so the understanding and end of the relationship is in-kind and civility.
He isn’t ready to speak to me in person yet and any conversation we have he is cold, dismissive and angry. Anytime he has spoken to me claims by pushing for communication as the demise of our relationship. I can’t help but worry myself and have regret.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you for your feedback. If I’m understanding your post correctly when you’re symptomatic and pushing people away and they actually go it just confirms your belief that you’ll be abandoned or rejected etc.?
I wish that I could say I didn’t push or was a perfect supporter but I wasn’t. He asked for time and space and although I agreed and said we should take a break from the relationship that isn’t what I wanted. I tried setting boundaries about what it was I was willing to except or let go of in relationships and communication and working together isn’t one of them. Over the last few months I’ve tried countless times to talk to him and have a conversation so the understanding and end of the relationship is in-kind and civility.
He isn’t ready to speak to me in person yet and any conversation we have he is cold, dismissive and angry. Anytime he has spoken to me claims by pushing for communication as the demise of our relationship. I can’t help but worry myself and have regret.
You didn't need to be a perfect supporter. There isn't such a thing as a perfect supporter. You don't have to torture yourself in not having known better! And PTSD or BPD or not, the silent treatment and the rest suggests that your partner wasn't ready for any relationship, even with a "perfect" supporter. Or perhaps would tolerate a more distant or casual relationship but not a close one, and if what you want isn't a casual or distant relationship, there is a mismatch between you to that is no one's fault. And it's hard to grieve because we can sense that out of pathology people can be nice.

But your pain counts as much as his. Eating your pain wouldn't be correct even if you could afford it.

For me my PTSD very much comes in the form of being aloof, then moody, then irascible, then just forgetting something and be all nice again, then get paranoid about something and start to stir myself up until full meltdown. It took me years to understand that wasn't how people did function, and that it is, in fact, the reason my social relationships are quite strange. And I would be okay with that if I could stop the time in the moody moments and come back in the world once things are stabilized. And probably I've been unfair quite a number of times. But understanding it could be when coming back to my senses. The cyclic nature of these things made it difficult to manage and it's easy for a couple to sort of count on the cycles and getting stuck there rather than addressing the problems.

For me past a certain severity if the person doesn't want to do anything about themselves there just is nothing to do. And it can take time before you take your head out of your ass! This said with having been supported and also having been a supporter! I think there are so many different manifestations of PTSD, dissociative disorders, personality disorders, severities, social environments, family situations and healthcare conditions that it's really difficult to anticipate how things will blend between partners, even having similar disorders and live experiences.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
Oh @DentedCan 2.0 I'm sorry, it didn't come out quite right. I hope this makes better sense as I should be sleeping but woke up with indigestion.
when you’re symptomatic and pushing people away and they actually go it just confirms your belief that you’ll be abandoned or rejected etc.?
I don't push away as much as run away. No, I think it confirms it was preferable for both of us for me to leave. (But then again I know my mind is looking for confirmation in a sense, too, to reduce the fear of the unknown. Or expecting my thoughts are valid, no matter how much they are trauma-influenced. And avoidance. ) Some could be believing it confirms a lack of caring, some concern it will bring (more or inevitable) harm and grief to stay to either or both, including from dealing with the effects or complications of ptsd,. But it's confusing causes or desires as willful or a reflection of the other person, when for me it is usually more fear.
Over the last few months I’ve tried countless times to talk to him and have a conversation so the understanding and end of the relationship is in-kind and civility.
He isn’t ready to speak to me in person yet and any conversation we have he is cold, dismissive and angry. Anytime he has spoken to me claims by pushing for communication as the demise of our relationship. I can’t help but worry myself and have regret.
This is awful. ^^ Though I think, for me, the closure is the self-evidence it's over, what you describe is his anger and withholding forgiveness. I agree with @ruborcoraxxx , you as with everyone else (including him) are not perfect and will make mistakes. But your purpose or responsibility is not just to cater to him, or his feelings, but yours also. A relationship by definition is 2, not 1.

I think regardless of what relationship it is, the msg should be coming from a place of each (both) people saying, ~"You are precious to me, our relationship is precious to me; I am sorry I hurt you and screwed up and may we begin again?", and then listening to the answer. Because it is important both people's hurts can be heard. Then you can talk about needs. Even with children: I've always seen so much emphasis put on rewarding modelled behaviour, including acting mature or respectful, it's so rote, but so very little actually asking children how they feel and helping them feel good about thenselves and others. (I see the same with dementia care.) So I don't think it's restricted to a relationship, age or even maturity level, but more a question of genuineness, and ability or desire to, like @ruborcoraxxx said get over yourself and place the other person (and their feelings and needs) on equal footing with your own. And accept the responsibility the other person is not required to make you happy. They can make you happy, that is very different, because it comes from a place of gratitude for having them in your life, which is opposite of taking or a 'me' focus, and is not expecting them to be perfect. You're expecting them to be genuine. It's noticing all they do right, not wrong. Or also thinking, 'how lucky I am', not they didn't do x, y or z, or I want x, y or z. Like @Freida said, she appreciates her H understanding her behaviour without rancor, and she now has a better understanding of what he needs in relation to her behaviour/ her needs. Yes that's respectful, but it's also practical in terms of ptsd. And more importantly, if it comes from a loving place that is each person loving the other where they are, not expecting perfection or blaming for perceived shortcomings. It's actually pretty creative problem solving, and loving with acceptance but also effort. @Freida is working very hard to manage herself and overcome her struggles. It sounds like her H is trying very hard to support that without enabling or blaming or shaming or ignoring entirely what he needs.

You have much to give, and value in the giving. But needing or wanting different things is ok. And fwiw he should have been grateful you were forgiving of his inability to stay as present (emotionally too) as many others would expect.
 
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