Relationship Why do PTSD relationships most often fail?

To add to my current state of confusion, we actually had a back and forth yesterday without anger or blaming. It was short and within it he updated me that he put his mom in hospice. Shes been ill for some time and he’s been her caregiver. He opened up and shared with me which is something he’s fought to not do the last few months.

I told him that regardless of what happened I cared for him, I loved him and if he needed anything I was here. His response was …. If I could do anything for him he wants me to not text like a maniac and have mindless sex. He then joked that he knew neither were possible.

I don’t back and said but I couldn’t do either those things but hadn’t had sex before. His reaction was no actually… When I asked to talk instead of text he said nothing could be accomplished now, he was tired, it had been a long day and we said good night.

i’m so confused by his actions and words, it feels like the start of another cycle on the roller coaster and I don’t know what to do. I love this man but I’ve also come to realize if we can’t communicate and work together we are not a match and love alone won’t fix that.

Advice?
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
To add to my current state of confusion, we actually had a back and forth yesterday without anger or blaming. It was short abd within it he updated me that he put his mom in hospice. Shes been ill for some time and he’s been her caregiver. He opened up and shared with me which is something he’s fought to not do the last few months. I told him that regardless of what happened I cared for him, I loved him and if he needed anything I was here. His response was …. If I could do anything for him he wants me too not text like a maniac and have mindless sex. He then joked that he knew neither were possible. I don’t back and said but I couldn’t do either those things but hadn’t had sex before. His reaction was no actually… When I asked to talk instead of text he said nothing could be accomplished now, he was tired, it had been a long day and we said good night.
i’m so confused by his actions and words, it feels like the start of another cycle on the roller coaster and I don’t know what to do. I love this man but I’ve also come to realize if we can’t communicate and work together we are not a match and love alone won’t fix that.
Advice?
Honestly it just sounds this person is looking for an armchair and not a human being. Which is fine but you aren't an armchair.
 

Friday

Moderator
it feels like the start of another cycle on the roller coaster and I don’t know what to do.

Think of the easiest exchange of communication you know of. NOT with him. Texting, talking, whatever, with one of your best friends.

THAT? Is likely how easy it is with him, for him, reaching out the way he is. It’s not a rollercoaster, or a game, it’s just him. Doing his thing. Which doesn’t work for you

You DO know what to do.
I love this man but I’ve also come to realize if we can’t communicate and work together we are not a match and love alone won’t fix that.
 
You’re all so right. I know everything you’re saying to be true. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to walk away, it makes no sense to me. It’s all consuming, like I’m an addict. I know it’s bad for me, I feel terrible about it most of the time and getting past it has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
It's difficult DentedCan, it always is.

Something that I did learn with animal training is that all brain systems are driven to try to get what they want. So basically you cue the animal with something that is associated with food or petting, then at some point when the association is really strong, you decrease the association between cue and reward eg. every time you went towards the kitchen you give food to the cat, then at some point you just do it from time to time. This uncertainty will trigger compulsion and they will insist running even harder to the kitchen and eventually start meowing and trying to get your attention.

When a set of behaviours stops working systematically, it triggers compulsion. It might seem illogical but the reason for this is the fear of missing out an opportunity: if you try harder and more often perhaps you can get more. If something systematically happens when you do something (eg. a friend you know to always reply within the hour), then you'll do the behaviour only when you want, and actually not that often.

When you entirely stop to reward (like, 0 kibbles or no contact), at first you'll have an obsessive response. Then gradually you're gonna get discouraged. In behaviourism it's called extinction, and it's known for being painful and distressing.

Animal trainers recommend to try to avoid extinction as much as possible and use replacement of behaviours with distractors or other tasks that are more in line with what you want (like, before the cat starts meowing like crazy you make up a little game or whatever). And this works for humans too. Every time you feel compelled to try to contact, find a distraction. A friend. A task to do that you like. And keep reinforcing it.

So yeah, a break up in that form for me is very much extinction of behaviour and extinction of rewards. It gets worse before it gets better.

All this said not meaning you are a cat or anything. But seeing my own cat's responses to things I sort of understood why some adaptations are so hard for humans too.
 
It's difficult DentedCan, it always is.

Something that I did learn with animal training is that all brain systems are driven to try to get what they want. So basically you cue the animal with something that is associated with food or petting, then at some point when the association is really strong, you decrease the association between cue and reward eg. every time you went towards the kitchen you give food to the cat, then at some point you just do it from time to time. This uncertainty will trigger compulsion and they will insist running even harder to the kitchen and eventually start meowing and trying to get your attention.

When a set of behaviours stops working systematically, it triggers compulsion. It might seem illogical but the reason for this is the fear of missing out an opportunity: if you try harder and more often perhaps you can get more. If something systematically happens when you do something (eg. a friend you know to always reply within the hour), then you'll do the behaviour only when you want, and actually not that often.

When you entirely stop to reward (like, 0 kibbles or no contact), at first you'll have an obsessive response. Then gradually you're gonna get discouraged. In behaviourism it's called extinction, and it's known for being painful and distressing.

Animal trainers recommend to try to avoid extinction as much as possible and use replacement of behaviours with distractors or other tasks that are more in line with what you want (like, before the cat starts meowing like crazy you make up a little game or whatever). And this works for humans too. Every time you feel compelled to try to contact, find a distraction. A friend. A task to do that you like. And keep reinforcing it.

So yeah, a break up in that form for me is very much extinction of behaviour and extinction of rewards. It gets worse before it gets better.

All this said not meaning you are a cat or anything. But seeing my own cat's responses to things I sort of understood why some adaptations are so hard for humans too.
As strange as the comparison is it’s very spot on!! Thank you for that insight. I get where you’re coming from with the compulsion aspect.
As much as I see it and can conceptualize I still feel it in my bones. I know that I deserve to be treated better and communication and respectful relations are key to any successful relationship. I hear everything everyone is putting out and I appreciate it all.
Therapy has done me a world of wonders and I see things so much more clearly being on the outside.

To love and commit are choices we make. We’ve been conditioned to see marriage & relationships as fairy tales, to “complete us” or “sweep us off our feet”. We believe if we meet the “right” person all of our problems will fade away. When we commit to someone, we commit to their past, and they to ours.

As time goes on we meet their ego, their childhood wounding, their unconscious beliefs and their coping mechanisms.

This is usually the time we try to change our partner and make them fit the mould that will fulfill us, or we leave.

Commitment is a spiritual opportunity, it allows us to truly meet another person as we meet ourselves. It allows us to heal from our patterns and conditioning. It’s not always the fantasy we’ve been taught it “should” be and that expectation leads to so much suffering.

We free ourselves when we become conscious to another person’s “humanness” as well as our own.

I am starting to see my relationships from a different perspective, NOT that of, “make me happy and my life the fairy-tale I wish I had.”

I see relationships as mirrors, reflections to learn more about who I am, how I can evolve and grow and how I can learn to trust myself while also learning to trust another. The choosing of another person and making the choice to commit ourself to them and in our own evolution.


I want to be grounded on my own feet and healed from things in my past I have worked hard to forget. I want to feel whole on my own, steady and sure. I don’t want my unconscious beliefs and past traumas to dictate my life and relationships now. I want to be better, for myself and in turn all my peopl. I need to understand to heal and I feel well on my way.

I love this human and whether that means I have to walk away to evolve or I still have lessons to learn from it, I know it has given me more than its taken away. ❤️
 
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